Water Plus Ltd: Head of Legal and Company Secretary

England, Staffordshire
23 Sep 2016
19 Oct 2016
Job Title
PQE Level
10+, 8-10
Contract Type
Full Time

Water Plus Limited
Head of Legal and Company Secretary, Staffordshire

Water Plus is a joint venture between United Utilities plc and Severn Trent plc, which was set up in June 2016 as a stand-alone business, in order to compete in the developing water and sewerage non-household retail (NHHR) market in England and Wales, as well as the equivalent retail market in Scotland.

Already operating the full 'in-area' NHHR businesses of Severn Trent Water Limited (STW) and United Utilities Water Limited (UUW), as well as the Scottish and 'out of area' English retail businesses of both parent companies, Water Plus already serves approximately 75,000 business customers, ranging from small SME businesses to large multi-site corporates, and major single-sited corporate businesses, and has an annual turnover of approximately £940 million.

When the English NHHR water and sewerage market fully opens in April 2017, Water Plus will be one of the largest retailers in the sector, operating fully independently of its two parent companies. Water Plus will have the synergies to provide an efficient and cost effective operation, focused on improved customer service and growth.

Operating from a new location in Stoke-on-Trent, Water Plus has approximately 400 employees including sales teams, a contact centre, back office operational functions including credit management and support services including finance, legal, human resources and strategy and regulation.

Coming in as our first Head of Legal and Company Secretary you will in time recruit and lead the in-house legal and company secretarial team of Water Plus Limited, having accountability for the provision of comprehensive and cost effective legal and company secretarial services to Water Plus. The overarching objective of this role is to support the strategy and business objectives of Water Plus whilst ensuring compliance with all applicable legal, regulatory and governance requirements.
This will involve:
- Managing the provision of efficient legal and company secretarial services to Water Plus Limited and its two subsidiaries, sourced from a combination of internal and external resources.
- Providing timely and comprehensive legal services on all aspects of Water Plus business.
- Working closely with the executive and senior management team to identify, plan and effectively implement strategies for the growth, benefit or legal compliance of the company.
- Safeguarding the interests of Water Plus in all legal aspects of its dealing with third parties.
- Seeking and implementing innovative and workable solutions to business issues within the legal and regulatory framework.
- Pro-active involvement in the wider industry, including responding to government and regulator consultations, attending meetings of industry bodies and forums.
- Translating the complex legal and regulatory framework within which Water Plus operates, into readily understandable and clear advice to the business.
- Managing the provision and balance of external, specialist legal and claims services on a "value for money" basis and within the agreed budget.
- Developing and maintaining a governance framework for Water Plus, along with processes to ensure compliance and minimise risk for Water Plus.
- Supporting the board and executive team, co-ordinating board meetings and undertaking all company secretarial duties including external filings and the maintenance of statutory books and records.
- Managing internal resource and providing opportunities for continued professional development.

Who are we looking for?
- The successful candidate will be a Solicitor or Barrister with a minimum of 5 years relevant experience working in a city or major regional law firm or in a large commercial organisation. Preferably you will have some knowledge of UK utility regulation but as a basis you will need to be a strong commercial/ corporate lawyer with strong commercial acumen.
- Essential management skills include ability to respond to pressure and the varied nature of work, planning, good analytical reasoning, written and oral communications, motivational, inter-personal and team management skills.
- Business acumen and understanding of the commercial and customer impact of decisions, as well as having excellent technical legal expertise.
- A pro-active approach to identify and act in order to: (i) meet strategic business plans, and (ii) communicate any forthcoming changes in legal or regulatory requirements which could impact on the business; and to work closely with colleagues to achieve this.

This is a rare opportunity to join a 'start up' organisation that is already a sizeable company.

For more information please contact Victoria Moore or Mark Levine at BCL Legal

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