Head of Legal

The Head of Legal plays a leading position in the business by providing leadership to the legal department and legal leadership across the business. The Head of Legal does this by providing proactive, in-depth, legal, business-focused advice to the business, as well as implementing initiatives and processes in order to set standards and reinforce a culture of integrity, quality, ethical behavior and responsibility across the business.

The Head of Legal is tasked with analyzing and identifying the legal risks and implications of all of the business’s transactions, keeping the senior management in all departments of the business informed of developments in laws and regulations that potentially affect the business.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the Head of Legal

Leadership and Supervisory Role: The Head of Legal is first and foremost tasked with leading the junior lawyers in all legal corporate affairs. In his leadership position, the Head of Legal is tasked with the implementation of key legal processes that relate to legal drafting, negotiations, and commercial settlement agreements.

The Head of Legal takes a leading interest in the management of the business resources and budget allocation for the business’s legal activity. The Head of Legal also contributes to the business’s strategy and decision making processes alongside other departmental leaders. He additionally takes responsibility of ensuring that all allegations of legal misconduct are reported in a timely manner to the executive team in an attempt to maintain integrity within the business.

In this capacity, the Head of Legal will also act as a mentor to key legal department personnel, encouraging their professional growth, and grooming them for the occupation of his position in future.

Legal Advice: The Head of Legal also manages legal risk within the business by taking responsibility for providing legal advice to the business’s senior leadership on all legal matters affecting their individual departmental transactions.  The Head of Legal provides senior leadership across the business with strategic and operational guidance, aiding them in the management of litigation issues such as contract disputes and product liability. In this capacity, the Head of Legal is also charged with reviewing and providing advice to the business upon request on matters concerning applicable contracts required for operation of the business. He further instructs and assists external legal partners where necessary identifying potential legal risks and assessing the issues impacting legal risk, which ensures that all of the business’s risk management approaches are viable.

Collaboration: The role of the Head of Legal is also a collaborative one and in that capacity he works with departmental leadership and key stakeholders across the business in overseeing and ensuring legal compliance across the business, maintaining the business’s integrity both internally and externally (reputational risk). The Head of Legal will also work with departmental leadership across the business in identifying and managing potential legal risk.

In this collaboration, he also ensures that there are efficient systems in place relating to compliance of high impact policies such as anti-bribery and corruption, financial transaction compliance, and so forth. The Head of Legal will also work with junior lawyers in drafting sensitive and high-value legal documentation necessary for business operations.

Knowledge: The Head of Legal ensures that there is free circulation of information on relevant laws and policies across the business. He oversees the delivery of training to management and personnel on legal issues affecting individual departmental activities and transactions.

Other Duties: The Head of Legal also performs similar duties as he deems fit for the proper execution of his duties and duties as delegated by the Chief Finance Officer or the Employer.

Required Qualifications of the Head of Legal

Education: The Head of Legal must have a Phd preferred in Law from an accredited law school and at least five years of working experience in a legal corporate environment.

Experience: A candidate for this position must have had at least 7 years of working experience working in a corporate legal capacity within a fast-paced, fast-evolving and dynamic environment, preferably working as a Senior Lawyer. The Head of Legal must also have successful experience leading negotiations on complex, high value, contracts, and agreements.

The candidate must also have a demonstrable track-record producing effective and high-quality legal advice to departmental heads within a business, leading to enhanced integrity in both internal and external affairs. He will further have proven and successful experience creating departmental priorities that align strategic direction of the legal department and the overall business objectives. A suitable candidate will also have proven experience in relationship management and a demonstrated ability to lead a legal team and develop talents that subsequently drive value across the business.

Communication Skills: The Head of Legal must have exceptionally good communication which will especially be necessary in his leadership position. Clear communication of instructions and information down the line will significantly determine the performance and efficiency of the junior lawyers, hence, the legal department as a whole.

The Head of Legal will also need exceptionally good communication skills in his highly collaborative and interactive capacity where his clarity in information conveyance will determine how effectively collaborative tasks are executed. He will additionally need good communication skills in drafting high-value legal documentation, which must be clear, unambiguous, concise, and conclusive, leaving no room for misinterpretation or manipulation.

Ms Office: The Head of Legal must additionally be technologically adept and possess excellent computer skills. He must have good Ms Office, Ms Excel, and PowerPoint skills, which will be necessary in the creation of various legal documents and engaging presentations as necessary.

Legal Skills: The Head of Legal has to have an ability to identify and remedy complex legal issues without inviting the services of external legal advice. He must also have exceptionally good skills in the legal negotiation such as mergers and acquisitions, tender bidding, and contract acquisitions. He must also have an ability to draft and manage complex patent, trademark, and regulatory documentation, handling such matter comfortably within a fast-paced business environment.

Interpersonal Skills: The Head of Legal must be a result-driven and service-driven individual, must have exceptionally good problem solving skills, be highly adaptable and flexible, work comfortably in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, have an ability to handle multiple simultaneous tasks and meet tight deadlines, be proactive and self-motivated, have a keen eye for detail, and have an ability to remain calm and composed during times of uncertainty and stress.

Leadership/People Skills: The Head of Legal must have exceptionally good leadership skills having ability to influence cross-functional teams towards a unified direction along with the business’s senior leadership and relevant stakeholders. He must also be a likable and relatable individual who is capable of building strong and long-lasting bonds with others. He will be able to inspire trust and confidence in others who will then trust in his insights and judgments and readily follow in his directives.

Career path