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PFA Recruitment: Head of Legal


Position Overview

The Head of Legal will act as The PFA’s lead legal executive, with responsibility for supporting and managing all legal issues relating to the organisation. They will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer to provide expert advice and assistance when necessary. The successful candidate will also act as Board Secretary for all the PFA boards and board subcommittees.

The Head of Legal will lead The PFA’s legal department, ensuring its staff and resources are managed effectively to deliver against its mission. They will oversee the transformation of The PFA’s legal services to its members ensuring they are viewed a providing a ‘world class’ in-house service.

The successful candidate will likely have an employment law and sports regulatory background, with previous experience of arbitration in sport, preferably football.

Cultural and personality fit will be crucial. The Head of Legal must have an international mindset, high intellect, strong influencing skills, significant drive, energy and ‘can do’ attitude.

Main Accountabilities
  • Provide leadership to the Legal department, ensuring all team members work effectively to deliver exceptional service to The PFA and its membership
  • Transform the legal services currently provided by the organisation mostly through an outsourcing model into a bespoke legal PFA legal department to ensure it is a ‘value add’ service to both The PFA internal stakeholders and its membership.
  • Develop relevant member focused services support players effectively in their time of need
  • Give astute legal advice to The PFA leadership and the organisation at large
  • Advise on and implement corporate governance, compliance and risk management protocols
  • Identify and mitigate any legal risks that could threaten The PFA or its mission
  • Support in the drafting, vetting and negotiation of contracts, including the negotiation of strategic funding agreement with key stakeholders
  • Advise on the legal implications of company policies and procedures
  • Ensure all contracts, legal documents and templates are up to date and compliant with statutory law
  • Report on all legal activities, risks and litigation to The PFA CEO / COO
  • Attend Players Board, Operational Board and OB/PB sub-committee meetings and act as board secretary
  • Research and evaluate different risk factors regarding business decisions and operations

Person Specification

Assessed Competencies

  • Qualified lawyer. Professional track record should ideally include relevant experience in private practice (preferably top national or international law firm) combined with experience at a sports organisation or club
  • Proven legal expertise in UK law, with a demonstrable track record of results both in top level private practice as well as within sports organisations
  • Strong understanding and knowledge of UK employment law, in particular the specificities linked to professional footballers contracts. Relevant expertise in football regulatory framework and national / international sports regulations
  • Previous experience of managing legal arbitration in sports, including representation before national/ international arbitration panels
  • High emotional intelligence and low ego, with the credibility to develop positive working relationships with all stakeholders
  • Capable of inspiring, developing and supporting teams to achieve their objectives
  • A proven commitment to, understanding of, and empathy towards the equality, diversity & inclusion challenges society faces

Essential Requirements

  • Qualified lawyer. Professional track record should ideally include relevant experience in private practice (preferably top national or international law firm) combined with experience at a sports organisation or club
  • A detailed understanding of Employment Law and its application in the UK
  • A detailed understanding of national and international sports regulations, in particular Premier League, WSL, EFL, FA, UEFA and FIFA regulatory framework is an advantage
  • A track record of successfully representing clients or organisations in front of national and international sports arbitration bodies
  • Prior football industry experience and / or a knowledge of the football ecosystem preferred
  • Experience of advising senior stakeholders of complex and sensitive legal matters
  • Strong analytical skills and demonstrable ability to understand complex legal concepts and translate those to non-lawyers to create practical solutions. Great attention to detail and ability to draft complex legal submissions
  • Track record of successfully managing team members, including the creation of development of a new bespoke in-house legal department
  • Highly developed communication skills with prior success of building relationships with all levels of stakeholders, both internal and external
  • Ability to be an ambassador for The PFA and represent the organisation in a professional way
  • Robust business acumen, capable of contributing towards The PFA’s mission beyond their own specialism
  • Experience of managing issues relating to risk and governance
  • Ability to identify issues which fall outside of his/her area of expertise and ability to coordinate advice to be obtained through external legal advisors in a efficient and cost effective manner
  • Strong knowledge of best practice in terms of EDI and experience of driving this through an organisation
  • Ability to manage senior and executive level stakeholders, often operating under tight timescales and managing competing priorities
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the capability to convince and persuade stakeholders that hold differing views or could be resistant to change
  • Given the international profile of the PFA membership, language skills are an important advantage

Personal Characteristics

  • Motivated, emotionally secure and leads by example
  • Low ego, affable and team orientated
  • Capable of effectively managing junior colleagues as well as more experienced colleagues to create a motivated and result-oriented legal team
  • Collaborative, approachable and partnership focused
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills: persuasive and convincing, with the ability to influence colleagues and peers in a matrix structure
  • Personally resilient; can dig deep and deal with disputed issues and ethical dilemmas
  • Tenacious and hardworking
  • Capable of making difficult decisions when necessary
  • Passionate, optimistic, and enthusiastic about the PFA’s mission
  • Persuasive and convincing, able to build trust quickly with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Ethical, honest, transparent and reliable
  • Culturally aware and sensitive
  • Logical and good under pressure, with the ability to juggle multiple demands at the same time
  • A global citizen, with knowledge of international languages an advantage
  • Culturally fluid and sensitive, with a proven commitment towards diversity and inclusion

To Apply

Interested candidates should contact Nolan Partners directly. Please do not contact The PFA directly as it will only delay consideration.


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