Head of Legal Research and Analysis

Head of Legal Research and Analysis

Reference number: 279137

Salary: £59,341 - £67,252

National: £59,341 - £67,252

Job grade: Grade 6

Contract type: Permanent

Working pattern: Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time


Job summary

The Office for Environment Protection (OEP) legal team operates at the centre of the UK’s new system for environmental governance. We work on some of the most stimulating legal matters, tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time, from climate change to biodiversity loss. If this sounds like what you want from your legal career, we’d like to hear from you.

Created by the Environment Act 2021, the OEP’s principal objective is to protect and improve the environment. We do this by holding the government and other public bodies to account in several ways including:

  • Reporting on progress against England’s and Northern Ireland’s environmental improvement plans and targets.
  • Advising government on proposed changes to environmental laws and other matters.
  • Reporting to Parliament/the Northern Ireland Assembly about the implementation of environmental law.
  • Investigating suspected failures by public authorities to comply with environmental law and, where necessary, taking enforcement action.

The OEP’s legal team plays a crucial role in delivering every aspect of this work.

To find out more about the OEP, what we do, who we are and our current work, visit The OEP Website.

This role is based in the OEP’s General Counsel directorate, alongside two other legal functional leads – a Head of Environmental Law and a Head of Litigation & Casework. As Head of Legal Research & Analysis you would work closely with both of these functional leads, as well as with the General Counsel. You would line manage a team of four, made up of lawyers and legal researchers/paralegals. The legal team works flexibly across our portfolio of work; day to day you can expect to be supervising team members from across the Legal Directorate.

With a total staff across the OEP of just over 70, we are a small, dynamic, friendly and flexible organisation covering England, Northern Ireland, and environmental matters reserved to the UK Government. We offer flexible working arrangements, high profile, dynamic work and the chance to have an impact on improving the state of the environment.

The OEP is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which means it operates independently from Defra and is not part of the UK Civil Service. Our employees are public servants.


Job description

As Head of Legal Research and Analysis, you will be responsible for:

  • Leading your team, and providing day-to-day supervision of other lawyers, to provide a high quality legal service.
  • Developing the OEP's approach to researching and analysing issues of environmental law (including legislation, caselaw, regulatory practice and legal implementation) in support of the OEP’s statutory functions, for example investigating breaches of environmental law and reporting to Parliament/the Northern Ireland Assembly on the implementation of environmental law.
  • Overseeing the legal team’s support to the OEP’s Insights Directorate, in particular in relation to monitoring and reporting on progress against England’s and Northern Ireland’s environmental improvement plans and targets.
  • Identifying where externally commissioned legal work is needed and managing the delivery of that work.
  • Working with the General Counsel and other heads of function to provide expert legal counsel to senior management on complex, novel and emerging legal problems within broad areas of environmental and public law.
  • Keeping abreast of the 'big picture' relevant to the establishment and functions of the OEP, such as developments in environmental policy, law, technology and relevant social and economic factors, both in the UK and around the world.

The above list of job duties is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

The OEP offers a generous defined benefit, inflation-proof Civil Service Pension which is a valuable part of your total reward package. Upon joining the OEP, staff can opt to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme which, depending on salary, offers a personal contribution rate of between 4.6% and 7.35%, and an employer contribution rate of between 26.6% and 30.3%. There is also the option to join a partnership scheme. Full details and benefits of the options available to you can be found on the Civil Service Pension Portal.

The OEP is supportive of flexible working and has a flexible working policy to allow for variations in individuals working hours where this is compatible with business need.

Staff Wellbeing

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a CV and a 1000 word Personal Statement detailing how you meet the person specification and essential criteria.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application. Review the person specification on the job description and outline how you meet it providing specific and relevant examples. These could be from work, volunteering, training or education.

Further details are provided on the application form.


If successful at application stage, you will be invited to an interview where you will be assessed on the elements outlined in the advert.

Prior to interview or at interview, you may be required to complete an additional exercise or deliver a presentation. If this is required details will be sent alongside your invite to interview.

Interviews will be held in-person at either the Worcester office and/or at the Northern Ireland touch down space depending on applicants. Travel and subsistence costs will not be reimbursed for candidates travelling to interview.


All appointments will be made in merit order.

Candidates will be required to show proof of qualifications at or following interview.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact the OEP at [email protected]  as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Criminal Record Check

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service or Access NI on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing

[email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Contact point for applicants

OEP Recruitment

Email: [email protected]


Recruitment team

Email: [email protected]


Closing date: Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 30 April 2023

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