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Job ad: Head of Legal Protection, Helen Bamber Foundation

Job ad: Head of Legal Protection, Helen Bamber Foundation

JOB TITLE: Head of Legal Protection 

CONTRACT: Sabbatical Cover (10 months cover; full-time 37.5 hours per week)

SALARY: £45,000 p.a.  

BENEFITS: 22.5 days holiday, plus 4% matched pension contribution

LOCATION: Camden, Central London

RESPONSIBLE TO: Kerry Smith, CEO 

The Helen Bamber Foundation (HBF) is a specialist UK charity which provides expert care and support for refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced torture and human cruelty. Our clients have been subjected to atrocities including state-sponsored torture, religious/political persecution, human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation, gender-based and honour-based violence. We support hundreds of clients every year from all over the world through our Model of Integrated Care.

The Model of Integrated Care (MOIC) includes: 

  • Specialist programmes of therapeutic care for individuals, families and groups; 
  • Detailed medical assessments & co-ordination of external healthcare services; 
  • Provision of expert Medico-legal Reports (MLRs) and other legal protection support (for asylum, immigration, National Referral Mechanism cases and welfare and housing issues); 
  • Welfare and housing casework and advice; 
  • A Creative Arts, Skills and Activities Programme; and 
  • Referral to specialist lawyers and organisations for legal, welfare & housing advice. 

The role is for a ten month contract, in a fast-paced environment working at the forefront of human rights. This is an exciting opportunity to join the Helen Bamber Foundation as part of the internationally recognised multi-disciplinary team. The contract offers a unique chance to contribute and lead on legal protection issues affecting some of the most vulnerable in society.

The Role 

HBF is seeking an experienced lawyer for an interim period to give direction to the Legal Protection and Medico-Legal Services of the Foundation. The role involves implementing the Foundation’s strategic goals as well as managing the Legal Protection team, comprising six full-time team members plus volunteers. There is responsibility for advancing legal protection concerns for HBF’s clients in the contexts of asylum and trafficking/modern slavery claims, and legislation and policy changes affecting HBF’s client base. The role requires working with clients and members of a multidisciplinary team that includes clinicians, the housing and welfare department as well working closely with the counter-trafficking team. 

The post-holder, in collaboration with MLR writers, will have overall responsibility for ensuring that MLRs are completed to the highest standards, and in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol, the duties of experts in providing expert evidence and the expectations of HMCTS. The post-holder will have oversight of all financial procedures associated with the Medico-Legal service. Responsibilities will also include developing training for MLR writers relevant for new recruits and established writers. 

As a member of the senior management team, the post-holder will also contribute to the overall strategic direction of the Foundation, ensuring KPIs are met by the department and developing relationships that promote HBF’s expertise and reputation.

The person in this role will be hearing and reading traumatic material and should also be able to demonstrate knowledge of good self-care principles in an intense work environment. Clinical supervision will be offered to support the appointed post-holder where necessary.

Duties and Responsibilities

Delivery:

  • Work closely with HBF’s clients and multi-disciplinary team to determine the pathway for each client from a legal protection perspective within asylum and/or NRM system.
  • Recruit and manage MLR writing doctors (in collaboration with the Medical Director and Lead GP).
  • Alongside HBF’s multi-disciplinary experts, provide training on legal protection and medico-legal writing in the context of asylum, trafficking, updated policy and legislation.  
  • Work closely with clinicians to complete the legal review of medico-legal reports to a high standard in accordance with the obligations above. 
  • Ensure that the financial processes related to the Medico-Legal Service are consistently up-to-date. 
  • Work closely with the Referral and Legal Protection Coordinator to ensure that all referrals are managed and considered by HBF’s key staff in a timely manner. 
  • Work closely with the Housing & Welfare Casework Manager to ensure the development and delivery of these services. 
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of law, policies and legislation that impact HBF’s client base. 

People management:

  • Inspire, support and line-manage team members that fall under the Legal Protection team.  
  • Contribute to the oversight and management of the Foundation’s staff member as provided by the Senior Management Team. 
  • Recruit and manage volunteers where necessary.

Strategy & Planning:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Legal Protection and Medico-Legal Services strategy. 
  • Contribute to the overall strategic direction of the Foundation as part of the senior management team.
  • Develop and implement the Measuring and Evaluation programme for HBF’s Legal Protection and MLR service. 

Policy & dissemination: 

  • Identify legal and policy issues that affect HBF’s client base and contribute to the development of relevant policy positions, both internal and external, as well as any strategic litigation options and stakeholder training.
  • Attend relevant external and stakeholder meetings.
  • Promote HBF’s work at conferences and other events where necessary.

Other:

  • Provide updates about the Legal Protection and Medico-Legal Services to the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis.
  • Assist the fundraising team in developing relevant funding proposals, in reporting and other meetings with current or potential funders.
  • Undertake any other duties appropriate to the responsibilities of the post as requested.

Person Specification 

Essential criteria:

Experience

  • Barrister or solicitor with 5+ years PQE or equivalent experience;
  • Particular expertise in asylum, trafficking/modern slavery, human rights and judicial review including up to date knowledge of legislation and case-law;
  • Experienced in representing clients at the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) and Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber);
  • Experience of working with experts in legal proceedings;
  • Experience in a Lexcel accredited practice or equivalent case management expertise;
  • Experience in line managing/supervising staff and/or volunteers;
  • Experience in working with particularly vulnerable clients;

Skills

  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills with the ability to prioritise workload and pay attention to detail;
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills with the ability to negotiate and advocate to achieve positive outcome;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a good team player with an ability to work in a fast paced and pressured environment;
  • Demonstrate a positive and can do attitude and willingness to assist where and when needed;
  • A clear understanding of issues surrounding client confidentiality and data protection including maintain accurate records and safeguarding;
  • Understanding and commitment to Equality and Diversity in the workplace and in relation to working with vulnerable clients; and
  • Computer literate and able to use Microsoft packages and databases.

Desirable criteria:

  • Legal practice experience in, housing and homelessness, welfare benefits, mental health, criminal law and/or community care;
  • Experience of working in a legal aid practice;
  • Experience of working with medico-legal report writers;
  • Skills in developing and delivering training; and
  • Experience of recruitment. 

Please send your CV and cover letter to jobs@helenbamber.org  

Closing date: 12th July 2019 (however there will be a rolling recruitment process)

Interviews: week commencing 22nd July 2019 

Free Movement

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.

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