13th June 2017

We are currently recruiting a Mental Health Solicitor to join the team in our Newcastle upon Tyne office. The successful applicant must be a member of the Law Society Mental Health Accreditation scheme.

To apply please send a CV and cover letter addressed to Rachel Floyd to applicants@benhoarebell.co.uk or 47 John Street, Sunderland, SR1 1QU. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 31st July 2017.


JOB DESCRIPTION

Overview

Ben Hoare Bell LLP is a well-established Practice operating from 4 sites in the cities of Sunderland, Gateshead and Newcastle. The Practice has 8 Partners.

The Practice has a strong ethical base and wishes to remain committed to operating within the publicly funded area of legal work, offering a high quality service to people regardless of means.

The Mental Health department currently employs 3 solicitors and 1 secretary. The department currently holds a Legal Aid contract to cover the North.

Although this post is presently based in Newcastle the post holder is expected to work from any office used by Ben Hoare Bell.

This post demands a consistently high standard of legal analysis of instructions and evidence, the ability to take detailed relevant instructions from often confused and overwhelmed clients, and a proactive and creative approach to clients’ problems which often demands looking beyond the immediate problem.

Key Areas

  1. To be a Solicitor and advocate specialising in the area of Mental Health Law.
  2. To assist in other areas of work as reasonably required by the Firm.
  3. To promote the full range of work in the departments, particularly through links with relevant referring organisations.
  4. To participate when required in the decision making structures of the Firm.
  5. To carry out when required administrative tasks.
  6. Supervision of staff.

Responsibilities

  1. To advise, assist and act for clients in all aspects of the areas of work noted including where appropriate advocacy, briefing Counsel, delegating preparatory work/enquires and instructing agents.
  2. To keep fully up to date with legislation and case law in the area of Mental Health Law.
  3. To comply with the Firm’s file management and file organisation procedures including time recording procedures and preparing bills (or instructing Costs Draftsmen to prepare bills).
  4. To allot time to practice development including attraction of new clients and maintenance of existing clients and client base.
  5. To use secretarial time and skills effectively and responsibly, to supervise where necessary and to support other secretarial, fee earning or non-fee earning staff as required or appropriate.
  6. To manage caseload to the benefit of existing clients and the Firm.
  7. To comply with the Law Society training requirements for continuing education.
  8. To achieve any relevant Law Society panel membership and other appropriate membership.
  9. To comply with Legal Aid Agency obligations and other requirements e.g. contracting, in accordance with the policy of the Firm.

Development

To continue to gain expertise in Mental Health generally by experience, to play a part in contributing to in-house training and assisting with supervision of support staff under the direct supervision of the Head of Department, and to continue to develop your own knowledge and abilities with appropriate in-house and external continuing education.

To increase the reputation of yourself and the Department in the field of Mental Health Law.

This Job Description is not intended to be a complete and detailed statement of the responsibilities of the post.

The Post will be reviewed on an annual basis. The Post Holder will be invited to contribute to this review.


PERSON SPECIFICATION

Skills

All essential

  1. Clear communication to clients, client’s opponents, other solicitors and professionals and any other agencies involved in a case, orally and in writing.
  2. Advocacy, advisory skills, resilience and an ability to stand firm in acting for and representing clients in order to effect the best possible results for clients.
  3. Ability to work as a member of a team.
  4. Ability to work profitably and economically.
  5. Ability to interpret and analyse complex medical, social and legal evidence and to apply statute, regulation, case law and guidance to the facts of the client’s case.
  6. Strong research skills and the ability to consider critically how to use law to advance clients’ cases.
  7. Computer literate. The ability to word process documents with speed and accuracy is considered an asset.
  8. Good organisational skills.
  9. Ability to contribute to the development and marketing of the department.
  10. Ability to work flexibly and to meet deadlines.

Experience

  1. Experience of Mental Health Work (essential).
  2. Experience of Court of Protection work (desirable).
  3. Involvement in administration and management (essential).
  4. Work with community or NfP organisations (desirable).
  5. Marketing experience (desirable).
  6. Running litigation or Judicial Review.

Qualifications

  1. Qualified as a Solicitor or CILEX (essential).
  2. Current full driving licence (essential).
  3. Membership of the Law Society Mental Health accreditation scheme.

Personal

  1. Sympathy with ethical principles of the Firm.
  2. Resilience
  3. Tact
  4. Good interpersonal skills