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Deputy Director Legal and Regulatory


Birmingham, London or Teddington

About the job


About the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)

Do you care about the safety of products and want to protect people and places? Is your passion to empower consumers to make good and informed choices? Can we use your skills, knowledge and experience to enable UK business to thrive? If the answer is yes, then we would like to hear from you!

We are the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). OPSS was created to provide dedicated national capacity for product safety while taking forward work on supporting small business growth and implementing the Industrial Strategy vision of simplifying regulation.

We have been given a huge opportunity to shape the future, and how regulation works in the UK and overseas. By our actions, we can improve protections for consumers and the environment, improve business confidence and drive improved productivity in industry that delivers jobs and security.

We are here for the purpose of making regulation work to deliver real world impact. Regulation is a powerful Government tool to address market failures, influence behaviour and promote positive action. Designed and delivered well, regulation can be an enabler of growth, innovation and productivity.

Our Mission is to be a trusted product regulator for the UK.

Our Goal is to be leader of good regulatory practice and a champion of local regulation.

We are currently a departmental Office of BEIS, operating as the national regulator for products. When we were established in January 2018 the then Secretary of State asked us to get started straight away and committed publicly to a consultation on our future status. We are now looking with Ministers and central Government at the case for becoming an independent agency, whether as an executive agency or statutory body.

This post, with the provision of embedded legal advice to OPSS, is central to that journey.

For further information on OPSS please visit .

Further details on working for OPSS can be found on the OPSS careers website.

Job description

About the Role

The Deputy Director Legal and Regulation will be responsible for a range of accountabilities and activities that will ensure that the Office for Product Safety and Standards operates within an effective legal and regulatory framework. You will lead and shape our regulatory policies and practices as part of our Leadership Team bringing a legal voice to that discussion; help structure processes and delivery and provide advice on regulatory and operational matters.

You will organise additional legal resource as needed as well as building up your own small legal team.


As our new Deputy Director for Legal and Regulation, key responsibilities will include:

• Overseeing the provision of legal advice on all regulatory and operational matters;

• Developing and implementing effective policies and practices that ensure the Office operates in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements;

• Leading and developing effective working relationships with Government Legal Department staff that provide legislation and policy legal advice services to OPSS to ensure a seamless approach to regulatory and policy legal advice;

• Providing advice and oversight of enforcement and prosecution cases, including instructing external Counsel where appropriate;

• Leading a best practice Office approach to data acquisition, processing and sharing, including developing ways to streamline within legal constraints the way organisations working in the product regulation landscape acquire and share data;

• Overseeing the operation of the Office’s complaints and appeals processes and operations and Primary Authority determinations procedures.

You will lead a team based predominantly in Birmingham and London and be responsible for legal processes on all OPSS delivery. You will report directly to Graham Russell, CEO, and will have direct line management responsibility for several G6 Functional Team Leads.

As a key member of the OPSS’s leadership team, you will play an active role in the leadership, management and development of the organisation. We expect all our senior leaders to be:

• Inspiring – about our work and its future
• Confident – in our engagement with others
• Empowering – to allow our teams to deliver

As a departmental office with policy and delivery responsibilities we are working to achieve a supportive, diverse culture that values our staff and the work they do, supports a close engagement with the department but recognises our specific role.

Person Specification

What we are looking for:

To be successful in this role you will need to be an excellent lawyer and leader. In particular, you will need to be able to demonstrate your capability and potential against the following essential criteria:

• Post qualified as a lawyer with extensive experience in public and regulatory law;

• Experience of prosecutions;

• Knowledge of product safety law or the ability to pick up a new subject area at pace and with confidence;

• Knowledge of FOI and data law;

• The ability to communicate complex legal positions and ideas clearly, and with impact, to a wide range of stakeholders, both internally and externally;

• The ability to build and maintain successful relationships at Board level, winning the trust of those who may have differing or conflicting views, and garner the respect and support of your staff, colleagues and counterparts in other organisations;

• The ability to work collaboratively with GLD lawyers advising BEIS and OPSS on related matters;

• The ability to build and maintain successful relationships internally and externally at Board level, winning the trust of those who may have differing or conflicting views;

• The confidence, presence and impact to operate within a complex, highly regulated environment, garnering the respect and support of your staff, colleagues and counterparts in other organisations;

• The ability to network and work collaboratively across a large number of internal and external teams, communicate legal evidence to a non-technical audience;

• Extensive experience of providing visible leadership to support long term strategies, with a proven ability to develop a motivated, engaged and high performing workforce and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion;

• The commitment to continuous improvement of processes and policies and to ensure relevant policies and procedures are delivered in an efficient and effective way and are applied throughout the organisation in a consistent and compliant manner.

Please take time to read the attached Candidate pack for further information about this role and the recruitment process.