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Senior Legal Counsel (Mat Cover)


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Posted: 10 September 2020
Location: Stockley Park
Contract:  Permanent
Salary:  Competitive

Overview & Job Purpose

This role is a senior member of the Legal Department, supporting and reporting into the General Counsel. It forms part of SBF GB&I Extended Leadership Team.

The role will involve providing legal advice on a broad range of issues affecting the Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I businesses. This role supports, and works closely with, the General Counsel, the Legal team and the UK and Irish businesses. The role includes creating, developing and maintaining SBF GB&I’s legal policies, templates and resources, and leading on the coordination and delivery of tailored compliance and disruptive legal training programmes for the legal team and commercial business.

The legal support to be provided will mainly focus on the UK and Ireland, but will also involve support for Suntory Beverage and Food Europe (SBFE) and other SBF international markets, as well as interacting and working with other Suntory group entities and their lawyers.

Key Responsabilities 

  • Lead a variety of commercial and operational legal matters in the UK and Ireland and, as required, SBFE and other international markets.
  • Draft and negotiate a wide range of commercial and other legal agreements for LRS (and in some instances SBFE) including manufacturing, co-packing, logistics, transportation, warehousing, distribution, procurement, sale of goods, trading agreements and joint business plans, licences, sponsorship, consultancy, services, agency and research and development agreements.
  • Create and maintain LRS’ Legal Team’s commercial legal templates, policies and resources for GB&I, adapting to changes in legislation and otherwise as needed.
  • Work with agility with a huge variety of stakeholders in the GB&I business, including in particular the Procurement, External Supply, Sales, Consumer Care, External Affairs, Supply Chain, Logistics and Customer Service, Innovation, Planning, Regulatory, Manufacturing, Quality, EHS, Finance, IT and Operational teams in LRS on a wide variety of ad hoc queries and projects associated with operating a soft drinks company.
  • Foster relationships and use tailored ways of working for key business partners across UK & Ireland and SBFE.
  • Support SBFE integration and harmonisation projects working with regional legal colleagues and SBFE business.
  • Create and deliver a range of legal training to the SBF GB&I business, and to the legal team itself.
  • Lead in respect of advice to Sales and other commercial teams on competition law issues and policy, complex routes to market, e-commerce and digital, compliance issues, customer agreements, trading terms, business plans, GSCOP, product launches, disputes, logistics issues, customer mergers, insolvency, retail, wholesale, convenience, on-trade and out of home.
  • Lead SBF GB&I's competition law compliance maintaining a competition law policy, delivering risk-based advice to the business, providing relevant training, handling competition law queries, and conducting risk analyses.
  • Provide time-critical business leadership and legal advice and support during business incidents.
  • Provide strategic and legal support to General Counsel and External Affairs with industry issues such as customer mergers, insolvencies, Soft Drinks Industry Levy, Brexit, etc. and lead in liaising with relevant industry bodies on SBF GB&I's behalf.
  • Instructing and managing external counsel and managing external legal spend efficiently.
  • Support the development of the Legal team.

Experience & Skills

  • Professionally qualified as a Solicitor (or equivalent);
  • Excellent grounding in general commercial law;
  • Ability to work fluently in English (written and spoken);
  • Prior Fast-Moving Consumer Goods experience is an advantage.
  • Proactive with a positive attitude, composed and capable of managing a number of diverse matters simultaneously and comfortable working with few predetermined boundaries;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and specifically in relation to drafting documents and agreements and negotiations;
  • Be able to create and communicate commercial and pragmatic solutions in an easy to understand way, adapting as necessary to influence across the business;
  • Adapts behaviour appropriately and with agility to different situations, anticipating change, adapting response and taking prompt and decisive action where needed;
  • Adopts appropriate self-control and resilience in challenging situations;
  • Proven ability to integrate into a business quickly;
  • Ability to take personal responsibility for matters and to hold oneself and others accountable as appropriate;
  • Ability to work across a very wide range of stakeholders in a fast-paced and diverse business, including at a senior level;
  • A team player;
  • Develops a learning culture within the legal team and wider to build legal knowledge and capabilities;
  • Ability to take tough decisions when needed, and to own those decisions within the team and the wider business;
  • Open to giving and receiving feedback;
  • Ability to handle sensitive and/or confidential items with tact and discretion;
  • Very good managing, planning and organisational skills. Capable of working efficiently, meeting deadlines and handling any stress and pressure at the same time;
  • Meticulous and structured working habits and system orientated;
  • Ability to think strategically about projects, the direction of the Legal team and the business more generally, with an agility in responding to new business needs, opportunities and threats.