Senior or Principal Associate - Procurement

Location: United Kingdom
Office: Birmingham
Discipline: Corporate & commercial
Contact name: Aimee Kelly

Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone: 0161 234 8727
Vacancy reference: 017391
Closing date: 27 January 2023
Startdate: 04 August 2022 - 04 August 2022

This role can be based out of our Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester or Norwich office. 

What does the role involve?

We need a first class experienced solicitor to join our leading national cross-sector public procurement team.  This role is to work alongside our other public procurement lawyers, as well as lawyers in the commercial team, in providing support and advice in relation to public procurement law to clients including central and local government, national agencies, NHS bodies, education institutions, charities and utility companies, as well as suppliers to the public sector and utilities from SMEs to PLCs.

Ideally based in Birmingham or Cambridge, although we also welcome applications from candidates wishing to be based in Leeds, Manchester or Norwich, you will be involved in all aspects of procurement advice and for both procuring entities and suppliers.  Tasks will include: drafting and advising on procurement documentation (from contract notices through to evaluation strategy, standstill and award); procurement strategy and other procurement advisory work; and advising on challenges to procurement decisions and processes.

Mills and Reeve has a number of panel appointments including the CCS Legal Services Panel Framework. We have an impressive and growing client list and you will work closely with a number of the largest public sector bodies, as well as leading suppliers.  We aim to provide clients with pragmatic and commercially focussed advice and we are looking for a lawyer who can put their specialist knowledge of procurement law into practice and find practical solutions to support our clients' objectives.

Work will include, but not be limited to:

  • advising on all aspects of public procurement law;
  • advising on urgent contentious matters, including working with our procurement litigation specialists advising  on proceedings in the High Court (both defending and bringing challenges);
  • assisting in the maintenance of our market-leading procurement online resource, the Procurement Portal;
  • supporting other business development activities, including speaking at training events, seminars and external conferences, contributing to newsletters, blogs, tenders and pitches;
  • contribution to internal know-how and precedent development; and
  • supervising more junior members of the team and trainees.

Whilst the main focus of the role is public procurement, we would welcome applications from candidates who are also able to support clients in the drafting and negotiation of commercial contracts, particularly in respect of public sector outsourcing and projects.  An ability to advise on the state subsidy regime would also be welcome.

Why should I apply?

This is a chance to join a growing practice at a time of significant change in the public procurement sphere. The work you do will be substantial, challenging and varied and can sometimes make headlines.

What experience is required?

We are looking for an enthusiastic team player with a passion for procurement law.  You will have the confidence to take responsibility for your own matters, and clients, and to help in growing the practice.

You will be 4+ years PQE with previous strong public procurement experience.  We are looking for someone who can demonstrate excellent commercial legal skills, sound commercial acumen, an in depth understanding of the public sector and a passion for public procurement work.

What skills and attributes would I need?

  • Good academics
  • A breadth of experience of public procurement and commercial law
  • Excellent written English for drafting purposes
  • Excellent interpersonal and team skills, including ability to work with others, influence, and persuade
  • A track record of guiding clients through tricky issues to reach a pragmatic solution
  • A strong interest in the public sector and passion for procurement law
  • Marketing and business development experience
  • Experience of public speaking
  • Excellent commercial management skills including experience in scoping and pricing work
  • Excellent time and paper managements

Who would I be working with?

The role is within our Corporate and Commercial National Service Line (NSL) which is led by Kevin Lowe.

The public procurement team sits within our Commercial sub-NSL led by Stuart Thompson.  You will work with other commercial lawyers on public sector projects across all sectors, providing procurement support. You will also work with the litigation team on challenges to procurement decisions.

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer of employment, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes checks relating to your professional and academic qualifications, references from previous employers, your eligibility to work in the UK and any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). You will also be required to complete a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability.

Disclosure and barring service check and security clearance

This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (to check for any previous criminal convictions and cautions) and, given the nature of the work-type, you may also be required to undergo national security vetting to SC level – the latter can be undertaken following commencement of employment.

And finally

Mills & Reeve is committed to building a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive environment in which all our people can thrive. We hire people from a wide variety of backgrounds because it makes our firm stronger, and we have a collaborative culture that celebrates different perspectives and values respect for one another, working together, and openness and integrity. Our approach to flexible working means that we work in a way that achieves the right balance for our people, our clients and for our business.