Housing Solicitor/Legal Executive

London (Greater)
£43,200 - £49,800 per annum
21 Feb 2019
07 Mar 2019
Full Time
Organisation Type
Housing association / RP

Fixed term maternity cover
37.5 hours per week

Here at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing we are constantly changing, developing and improving the lives and environments for our customers. We value our people and the contributions they make to help us to achieve our priorities.

The role
You will be work as part of the Legal Services Team consisting of other housing lawyers providing a comprehensive in-house legal service to the Housing Services Directorate on all aspects of tenancy and leasehold management law including possession, disrepair, anti-social behaviour, other tenancy and leasehold issues including service charge disputes. You will represent MTVH within court proceedings and to act as its` advocate in the County and Magistrate`s Courts and Residential Property Tribunal and contribute to the drafting of housing management policy, the preparation of training materials and delivery of in-house legal training on issues of tenancy and leasehold management to the MTVH staff.

This role would be suitable for housing lawyers, qualified solicitors or legal executives.

What you will be doing
-To manage a large housing and leasehold litigation caseload on behalf of MHT ensuring quality standards are maintained
-Manage a large and varied litigation caseload including possession claims based on rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and other breaches, defending claims based on disrepair and other causes of action.
-Drafting of all court claim forms, statements of case/defences, applications and written evidence.
-Advocacy in the County and Magistrate`s Courts and Residential Property Tribunals on routine cases.
-Drafting instructions to counsel in complex cases and to external experts.
-Negotiating settlement on the contentious issues, quantifying and agreeing damages/compensation and costs.
-Taking innovative action to provide legal solutions and avoidance of litigation if possible and to settle cases economically and expeditiously.
-Maintaining up to date records/databases on limitation periods, steps taken, court timetables and deadlines on all open files.
-Maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards in their role as solicitor or legal executive and complying with all professional requirements imposed by The Solicitor`s Regulation Authority and The Law Society or The Institute of Legal Executives.
-Maintenance of legal knowledge and provision of advice on the law and legal developments including changes to procedure and best practice
-Maintaining a good knowledge of legal and professional developments by subscription to legal periodicals, online information sources and regular attendance at seminars and CPD training.
-Contributing to the knowledge base of the Legal Services Team by dissemination of relevant information to the Team and other staff members.
-Providing legal advice and assistance to officers on all aspects of housing and leasehold management law with the primary aim of providing early cost-effective solutions without recourse to litigation if possible.
-Participation in the creation of training materials and written policy on legal issues and the delivery of training to Trust staff and other external agencies.
-Assisting and encouraging non-legal staff to develop legal skills and undertake "DIY" legal procedures within their level of competence.
-Maintain the highest professional standards when representing MHT at court, case conferences, training sessions and other relevant meetings and in all communication (written or verbal) with the Trust`s tenants/leaseholders or their legal representatives.
-Comply with departmental policy before providing professional undertakings to external parties
-Implement the time recording system and maintain an accurate record of all time spent engaged on each open file within the caseload.
-Maintain a record of all disbursements incurred on each open file within the caseload.
-Comply with departmental policy before incurring liability for disbursements.
-Ensure at all times the provision of an accurate figure for total costs (including disbursements) incurred on any open file.
-Ensure that all open files remain in budget.
-Notify client officer of any potential or actual significant increase in costs both internal and other side.
-To endeavour in appropriate cases to recover full inter-partes costs for the MTVH.
-Perform other duties as may be reasonably required by the Head of Legal Services and to work outside the MTVHs normal office hours as and when business needs dictate.
-Agree to conduct yourself in line with the general standards of conduct and behaviour as detailed in MHP`s Code of Conduct which include awareness of risk, health and safety at work, data protection and embracing the cultural diversity of all colleagues and customers

Skills and experience you need
You will have a strong sense of stakeholder awareness and be able to build quality relationships and rapport supporting tenancy and housing law for MTVH.

Technically you will hold substantial knowledge of housing law and court proceedings. A natural multitasker with a can-do attitude you will possess the ability to represent MTVH with external agencies and be skilled in negotiation.

Essential Criteria
-Admission as a Solicitor in England & Wales or a Fellow of The Institute of Legal Executives (FILEX)
- Substantial post qualification experience (a minimum of 3 years PQE) in housing law acting on behalf of social landlords and tenants gained in private practice, local authority or in-house RSL legal team.
- Detailed knowledge of housing and leasehold legislation, case law, litigation practice and procedure.
- A specialist in the successful and efficient management of a large housing litigation caseload particularly in fighting anti-social behaviour, defending disrepair claims, pursuing claims for possession/other remedies for other breaches and negotiating out of court settlements.
- Experience of utilising the rules and procedures on costs including scrutiny of and negotiation on detailed assessment of costs.
- A confident advocate with substantial experience in the County Court.
- Experience of handling leasehold disputes in the Residential Property Tribunal.
- Knowledge of general residential property law.
- Experience of representing tenants and knowledge of the conduct of publicly funded litigation.
- Experience of delivering housing law training.
- Civil Proceedings Certificate rights of audience if a Legal Executive

Personal qualities
-Strong communication skills
-Maintain high levels of professional standards and ethics
-Show an innovative approach to problem solving
-Manage and mitigate risk
-A commitment to continuing professional development.
-Effective, networking, negotiation and influencing and stakeholder management skills

About Us
Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing is one of the UK`s leading providers of affordable housing and care and support services. We employ over 1900 people to manage and develop our large portfolio of nearly 56,000 homes serving over 75,000 customers across London, the East Midlands, Southern and the East of England.

How we reward you
Our staff are as important to us as our customers. When working with us you will be introduced to a huge variety of benefits including:
-A unique benefits package that can be adapted to suit each individual.
-The opportunity to choose from a wide variety of benefits which includes options around Health and Wellbeing Programme
-Employee Assistance
-Discounts with multiple retailers and many more.
-An impressive Pension Scheme
-28 days annual leave plus bank holidays, with the ability to buy and sell up to 5 days!

Our promise
All employment decisions at MTVH are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy or maternity, race or religion, sex or sexual orientation.

"We are proud to have been recognised by Disability Confident for our commitment to disabled people and those with long term health conditions by providing fair and equal opportunities for all applicants enabling them to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations."

To apply: Please upload an updated CV and a one page supporting statement outlining why you are interested in the role and how you meet the key criteria for the post.

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