Position Title: Deputy Chief Legal Counsel
Classification: EL2
Position Number: 6859
Tenure: Ongoing
Duration: Permanent
Section: Office of Legal Counsel
Group: Policy and Governance
Division: Policy and Corporate
Location: ACT
Immediate Supervisor: Chief Legal Counsel
Security Classification: NEGATIVE VETTING Level 1

Group Responsibilities

The Policy and Governance Group (PGG) is the agency's lead on government engagement on matters relating to IP. PGG covers a broad range of areas, from legislation through to international policy and trade agreements, from audit and attorney registration to legal advice and economic research. As such, PGG interacts across the agency and contributes to IP Australia's strategic goals.

Section Responsibilities

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) is responsible for providing high quality legal, freedom of information (FOI) and privacy advice to IP Australia. The OLC provides legal advice to all Business Groups within IP Australia on a range of issues including statutory interpretation, administrative law, intellectual property, employment, contracts and procurement issues.

Job Description / Context of the Role

The Deputy Chief Legal Counsel supports the Chief Legal Counsel in leading the OLC and providing strategic, high quality, practical and timely legal services. The successful candidate will have highly developed skills in leading legal teams and contribute to the operational objectives of the OLC by providing legal advice and the procurement of external legal services. The successful applicant will have excellent communication skills and a strong client focus.

Job Specific Duties

  • The successful applicant will support the Chief Legal Counsel, working both independently and under limited supervision to perfom the following duties:
  • Advises on a range of issues such as procurement, contracts, privacy, FOI, intellectual property, statutory interpretation, general administrative law matters and employment issues
  • Manages IP Australia’s information access function
  • Manages IP Australia’s engagement with the agency’s external legal service providers
  • Oversees compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017
  • Oversees IP Australia’s involvement in litigation including for Patents, Trade Marks, Designs and Plant Breeder Rights
  • Provides training on legal issues relating to IP Australia’s functions
  • Represents the interests of IP Australia and manages IP Australia’s relationships with relevant stakeholders on legal matters including other Australian government agencies and external legal service providers
  • Carries out other duties connected with legal issues as required
  • Demonstrates attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participates in and encourages others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes)
  • Improves organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within relevant sphere of influence
  • Establishes clear expectations and creates an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, takes ownership and honours commitments
  • Maintains an understanding of their/worker responsibilities under the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and a commitment to promoting a healthy and safe workplace.

Job Specific Capabilities

The successful applicant will possess the following job specific capabilities:

  • Highly developed skills in leading legal teams
  • Strong track record of providing client focussed legal advice
  • Demonstrated ability to provide high quality legal advice in at least two of the following areas of law: privacy, freedom of information, government commercial, employment matters, intellectual property, administrative law and statutory interpretation
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Excellent interpersonal skills at all levels.

Eligibility Qualifications / Knowledge Required

The successful applicant must be admitted as a legal practitioner, however described, of the High Court or the Supreme Court of an Australian State or Territory. The successful applicant will also need to hold, or have the ability to obtain, an ACT Law Society restricted practising certificate.

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Frame their responses around the job specific duties and job specific capabilities of the role (as set out in this job documentation), and provide:
  1. An explanation of how their skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words)
  2. Details of no more than two (2) professional achievements, within the last 5 years, that demonstrate their suitability for this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words)
  • Provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position
  • Provide the name and contact details of two referees.

Applications must be submitted through the IP Australia Web Recruitment system (ESS).

Please note: you MUST be an Australian Citizen to be engaged in the APS and to meet IP Australia’s security clearance requirements.

Contact Officer

For further information relating to this job please contact Elizabeth Carroll on 02 6283 2463.


Apply for this role

Working in IP Australia

Australia’s Intellectual property (IP) rights system supports innovation, investment and international competitiveness. IP Australia administers Australia’s IP rights system, specifically patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. IP Australia also undertakes programs to educate and promote an awareness of intellectual property (IP), provides IP policy input to Government, develops legislation to support the IP system and contributes to bilateral and multilateral negotiations to improve IP protection internationally.

IP Australia strives to deliver robust IP rights efficiently, satisfy our customers in terms of timeliness and value for money and be recognised as one of the leading IP offices in the world for the quality (including accuracy and consistency) of the IP rights we grant. IP Australia is committed to external certification of our Quality Management System which involves applying ISO 9001:2008 to key business processes and to environmental management through ISO14001 certification within the agency.

All IP Australia staff contribute to the achievement of organisational outcomes and the overall management of IP Australia by assisting, as appropriate, the Commissioner of Patents and the Registrars of Trade Marks and Designs and Plant Breeder’s Rights, and their deputies (where relevant), to perform statutory functions, and where appropriate, exercise relevant delegations.

IP Australia recognises the importance of employees balancing their work and personal lives by offering staff access to an ongoing series of health and wellbeing programs, flexible work-life policies and a range of professional development programs. IP Australia is a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

The IP Australia office in Canberra provides high quality accommodation and facilities. These include: an on-site café, conference, meeting and training rooms; limited on-site parking for cars and motor cycles available on a rotational basis; the provision of undercover bicycle racks; excellent shower/change facilities for staff choosing to walk or ride to work; and the advantage of all staff being co-located in the one building.

Please note: All IP Australia positions are subject to an ENTRY ONLY pre-employment check unless a higher security clearance has been identified. Other pre-employment checks may also apply.


Job documentation updated and endorsed for use: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018