Senior Specialist Lawyer – Waste Reform

Closing date: 20 March 2023 | Salary: £47,408 - £52,359 (Grade 8)Location: Flexible

Contract type: Fixed Term appointment until 31 March 2025 (with the possibility of being made permanent)

Work pattern:  Full time, 37 hours per week. 

Post number: 203419

As an organisation we support flexible working. This role allows hybrid working (a mix of home and office working) and a working pattern suitable for you can be discussed on appointment if you are successful.

You will be contracted to the nearest NRW office to your home, of which you will be required to attend for regular meetings, training and for one-to-one meetings with your manager. These will be planned in advance.

Job description

To provide professional, high quality, timely, innovative, risk based, effective legal advice, support and guidance to NRW in connection with all its functions, duties and powers. In doing so the post holder will have regard to NRW’s purpose, mission and values.


Your responsibilities will include to:

  • Act in the best interests of NRW ensuring decision making and advice given are legally sound and all risks are actively managed.
  • Provide high quality risk and solutions based legal advice so that the Board, the Chief Executive, Directors, managers and all officers fulfil their legal obligations, statutory duties and functions in accordance with the law.
  • Use professional judgement and risk analysis to best utilise the use of external legal providers, commission, utilise and manage those providers, including Solicitors, Barristers and Parliamentary Agents, to ensure that NRW fulfils its lawful obligations and the service delivers value for money.
  • Instigate and conduct criminal proceedings providing recommendations for decision to Head of Legal Services on Prosecutions, Formal cautions and civil sanctions including assessment of evidence and application of the public interest test in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
  • Take full conduct of civil litigation including specialist proceedings (eg judicial review) developing and implementing individually tailored litigation strategies, being accountable for assessing evidence, likelihood of success, preparing for and attending at courts, tribunals and inquiries and conducting advocacy in those fora.
  • Consider the pertinence of, and where necessary develop and draft legislative orders (eg Orders, byelaws and other subordinate legislation) to achieve NRW objectives.
  • Through effective engagement, communication, influencing and negotiation, develop and maintain good working relationships with internal clients and external stakeholders including Welsh Government, Westminster departments, other public- sector organisations, AMs, MPs, various industrial and commercial sectors regulated by NRW, the legal community, the Courts and Tribunal service.
  • Influence the development, implementation and interpretation of EU, UK and Welsh legislation by interacting with the relevant legislative bodies and their policy advisors in a way that promotes Welsh interests and ensures Wales specific impacts are understood. 
  • Contribute to and advise upon the development and implementation of NRW strategies and policies, identifying and limiting all risks and in so doing, ensure strategy and policy making is lawful, robust and can be supported through challenge.
  • Encourage best practice, innovation and continuous improvement across the Legal team and NRW by identifying and implementing learning opportunities from casework, sharing expertise and knowledge through mentoring and coaching thus improving resilience within and across teams, and providing training internally and/or to external bodies to enhance their understanding of NRW.

Qualifications, experience and knowledge

You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of the following: 

  1. Qualified solicitor with current practising certificate issued by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) or barrister with a current practising certificate issued by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), and practising experience in public and regulatory law.
  2. Ideally 2 years post qualification experience (PQE) on entry combined with business acumen, risk management skills and sound judgement based on experience.
  3. Evidence of compliance with competency frameworks and Continuing Professional Development obligations is required.
  4. Experience in the procurement/commissioning of external legal advice and associated services and the interpretation of such advice to aid internal decision making.
  5. A working understanding of the devolution settlement in Wales as well as the legal environment within which NRW operates including its relationship with Westminster Departments for non-devolved matters.
  6. Ability to operate with confidence and credibility at the highest levels of an organisation.
  7. Pragmatic and forward thinking with an ability to innovate to develop solutions to complex legal or service delivery issues.
  8. Political awareness and experience of operating in politically sensitive environments.
  9. Exercises sound judgement and be willing to be held to account for decisions, actions and choices made personally, thus instilling confidence and gaining respect at all levels.
  10. Excellent written and oral communication skills and presentation skills.
  11. Able to act as a role model of organisational values, showing exemplary behaviours of honesty, integrity and ethics.

Welsh language requirements

Essential Level 1 – able to pronounce Welsh and use basic phrases

Please note if you do not meet the level 1 requirement i.e., ability to understand basic phrases and ability to pronounce Welsh names correctly, then NRW offers a variety of learning options and staff support to help you meet these minimal requirements during the course of your employment with us.


Applications to this role will be assessed based on the following competencies, both at shortlisting and interview. Please give examples of how you demonstrate these competencies when completing your application form.

Essential Knowledge and Skills

  • The post holder will have extensive, in-depth knowledge and expertise to provide objective high-level specialist/technical advice to other specialists. They may be the only individual within NRW with this level of specialist/technical knowledge. Other people within the organisation need to use this post holder’s knowledge and expertise to deliver their own organisational business activity and continuity.
  • The post holder's knowledge and skills are of significant importance to NRW and may be seen as a high-level expert by other external third-party organisations.
  • An ability to manage a breadth of complex financial, legal, operational and reputational risk in their own area of responsibility or management is essential.
  • An ability to manage risk in a wider business context. They will have the associated risk management skills and knowledge of organisational procedures and policy.
  • The post holder will have financial management, leadership and influencing skills although they may not have any significant line management responsibilities.
  • The post holder will use for their advanced specialist/technical knowledge, which they will actively update to remain fully aware of developments in their field of expertise. They will have a clear understanding of the potential impact of any such changes, and with the ability to interpret and apply across the function and potentially across NRW. Keeping up to date is more than a CPD requirement and is essential for NRW business continuity and critical to maintain up to date knowledge.

Evaluation of Information

  • Develop, contribute and interpret organisational strategy to enable the delivery of plans.
  • Able to analyse, interpret and apply a wide range of  highly complex information, extracting key points and communicating this to individuals at all levels. 

Decision Making and Autonomy Requirements

  • There is high reliance on the post holder and their decisions and actions will influence others.  The consequence of decision making / action will be wide reaching and impactful, often organisation wide. Post holders will have the autonomy for making decisions within their area of technical specialism. 
  • Work is carried out within broad parameters and the post-holder is expected to act independently, typically only seeking guidance or authority where action may be outside current policy. There may be conflicting priorities which they will have to manage whilst adjusting their work programme or the work of others. Key milestones and performance indicators will be reviewed.
  • Responsible for making independent decisions at their management level based on analysis, research, input from other specialists or experts with an understanding of the range of options available and their potential implications for the business. Typically, there will be no off the shelf solutions which can be bought in.
  • They will contribute to overall strategy for NRW.
  • Decisions made will relate to formulating or changing procedures and contributing to the direction of travel, which will be applied by others in the organisation. Such decisions will be substantial and may include the commitment of resources within a section or work area, and/or tackle major and difficult problems/ situations where many factors need to be taken into account. Decisions may require some original thought, analysis and interpretation in determining the course of action to take. Problems may be complex and require significant assessment, requiring in-depth understanding of the issue and the organisation. The consequence of decisions will have the potential to affect the image of the organisation and are likely to be generally longer term in nature.

Communication and Relationships with Others

  • Post holders will interact with other roles across the business, engaging the organisation in delivering strategies and policies in the most efficient way.
  • Ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders, internally and externally, communicating at a strategic level. Ability to work collaboratively, potentially at a senior level. As the subject matter expert, they will provide authoritative specialist or professional advice.
  • They are able to discuss complex policy or strategic issues around their specialist knowledge and area, tailoring their method and style appropriately for the audience.
  • Post holders will typically produce complex documents, reports, accounts, contracts etc. Content will contain extremely high-level advice or opinion which a recipient will act upon or use, the consequence of which is likely to have a detrimental impact if incorrect or poorly drafted. Data and content may need to be sourced from multiple locations or sources, entailing external research and professional judgment.

Benefits of working for us

This role will offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Agile and flexible working (role dependent) 
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme offering employer contributions of 26.6% to 30.3%
  • 28 days annual leave, rising to 33 days
  • Generous leave entitlements for all your life needs
  • Health and wellbeing benefits and support
  • Weekly well-being hour to use as you choose

See full details for all the employee benefits you will receive.

How to apply

Please send a completed application form to: using the post number as the email reference

Before completing your application, please read our Guidance on completing a job application form

Application closing date: 20 March 2023

Interviews will take place through Microsoft Teams

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Jane Chapman at or 03000 654236

Natural Resources Wales embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We welcome and encourage applications from groups currently underrepresented, including women, black and ethnic minority groups and people with a disability. We have a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

We put the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, dignity and respect at the heart of our values.

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