Legal Counsel

Job Description – Legal Counsel

Reports to:   Director of Legal & Public Affairs


The IPA is the world’s most influential professional trade body for practitioners in advertising and marketing communications. We celebrated our centenary and were granted Royal Charter status recently too, so we must be doing something right. What we actually do is help the people working in our approx. 300 member-advertising agencies – the practitioners in advertising – to do their jobs.  In the Legal & Public Affairs department, that means giving them sound, sensible legal advice on a whole range of issues, from understanding a client contract to the risks with a piece of creative (and much more).

The Legal & Public Affairs department is a fundamental part of the IPA. In many cases, it’s the main reason ad agencies join. They get free legal advice from us as part of their membership fee. We are a very small, busy team doing quality legal work for our ad agency members, but we are definitely not a law firm.  You can escape the rat race in our Belgravia townhouse: you won’t be expected to do long hours or to work at weekends. We value your wellbeing so you won’t be left on your own to sink or swim – we work as a tight-knit team and talk things through with each other.  For your learning and development, you will be able to access most of the same professional ad courses and qualifications that we offer to our member agencies, for free.  And our office is the best in the building - spacious and calm, overlooking beautiful Belgrave Square. The IPA is a walk away from Knightsbridge, Green Park, Hyde Park and the attractions of Belgravia.  We even have access to the private Belgrave Square Gardens where you can enjoy your hour and a quarter lunch break.



Your main role will be to assist the other members of the Legal & Public Affairs team (one employment lawyer, two advertising lawyers and the director) by acting as the IPA’s in-house lawyer and taking on general commercial work for the IPA itself. In time, once you have proved yourself, you would then be able – time permitting and in addition to your main role – to help answer the broad range of advertising legal/regulatory enquiries received daily from our ad agency members. 


To do the job you will need to have excellent academics, have trained and worked in a quality law firm (min. 2 years’ pqe) specialising in general commercial plus IP/IT, have a hunger to work in advertising and preferably – but not essentially - have experience of advertising and/or ad tech work. Since your main role will be to act as the IPA’s in-house lawyer, you must be competent and confident in working with contracts – reviewing/commenting/advising as well as drafting from scratch. That will be the staple diet. If you don’t have that experience, please don’t read on.


· support the other lawyers in the team by providing high quality legal advice to all IPA departments where required, in particular, drafting and negotiating commercial contracts across a broad range of topics - from IT to freelance contributors to NDAs to standard terms and conditions for services etc - and advising on various legal issues, including data protection and intellectual property;

· have the ability and desire to learn how to advise member agencies on their daily enquiries, covering such matters as the CAP/BCAP Codes, Consumer Protection Regulations, IP rights (copyright, trade marks and passing-off), data protection, pre-litigious disputes and contracts – particularly client/agency contracts (both creative and media);

· write accurate, informative guidance notes and legal alerts regularly for member-agencies on issues which are likely to affect their businesses, such as on changes in U.K. and European legislation and regulation and pressures on the advertising industry, generally;

· write articles on advertising law and regulation and contribute to the IPA legal department’s social media presence; and

· prepare presentations on legal and regulatory issues for members and for IPA staff.



· at least 2 years’ pqe gained in private practice at a quality law firm;

· solid experience of general commercial work – contract drafting and negotiating in particular - and of “soft” IP (copyright, trade marks and passing-off); and

· a decent knowledge of data protection law.

Organisational skills:

· strong organisational skills to ensure that all matters are dealt with on time; and

· forensic attention to detail.

Business skills:

· the ability to understand general commercial issues and to provide effective legal advice across a range of commercial matters;

· clarity of thought and the intellect to build credibility quickly with IPA colleagues and the IPA’s membership; and

· a strong customer-service ethic.

Personal skills:

· well-developed personal skills and the confidence to deal with people at all levels of seniority (and with all types of personalities) in a wide variety of roles;

· strong communication skills with the ability to listen to and interpret people’s needs, as well as being able to articulate coherent points;

· a willingness to consult and provide support; and

· be energetic and enthusiastic.


£60,000 p/a, plus attractive benefits.


Email applications to Lettie Hannon, Director of Resources: