EL1 - Senior Legal Counsel

Last updated: 
9 May 2016

DIVISION: Policy and Corporate
GROUP: Policy and Governance
SECTION: Office of Legal Counsel
TITLE: Senior Legal Counsel
WEEKLY HOURS: 36:45 Full Time
SECURITY CLASSIFICATION: Designated Security Assessed Position (DSAP)


The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) is responsible for providing high quality legal services to IP Australia.

The successful candidate will contribute to the operational objectives of the OLC by assisting with the provision of timely and practical legal advice, the procurement of external legal services and legal project management. The successful applicant must have excellent communication skills and demonstrated experience in developing strong relationships with clients and relevant stakeholders. The successful applicant should be skilled at managing competing priorities, tight deadlines and operating under pressure.


An opportunity exists for a highly skilled, experienced and enthusiastic lawyer committed to delivering efficient, high quality, strategic and practical legal advice.
You will be required to exercise high level judgement in the provision of legal advice and assistance across a broad range of matters.
You will have:

  • Demonstrated capacity to provide timely, strategic and practical legal advice
  • Highly developed communication skills
  • Proven ability to coordinate and work both independently and as a team member
  • Admitted as a solicitor or barrister of the Supreme Court of an Australian State or Territory and must hold, or be eligible to hold, a current legal practising certificate
  • Experience in advising and managing employment law matters would be highly regarded


The successful applicant will report to an EL2 lawyer and will work both independently and under limited supervision to perfom the following duties:

  • Conduct legal research and analysis and provide timely and practical legal advice, including in relation to:
    • privacy, freedom of information, government commercial, employment, administrative, statutory interpretation and other areas of law
  • Manage complex legal matters
  • Assist with the procurement of external legal services under the Legal Services Multi-Use List
  • Supervise and train junior staff, as required
  • Assist with carrying out other administrative duties connected with in-house legal services, 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.


  • 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.
  • Possession of or ability to quickly obtain a current restricted government practising certificate.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a minimum of a baseline security clearance
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse legal issues, advise on available options and make recommendations
  • Excellent problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Experience in supporting, guiding and coaching other team members
  • High level written and verbal communication skills with the demonstrated ability to establish and develop effective client relationships and present complex legal information to diverse audiences
  • Proven ability to coordinate and work within a team, sharing information, ideas and considering the views of others
  • Ability to work independently, to prioritise tasks and meet specified deadlines
  • Admitted as a solicitor or barrister of the Supreme Court of an Australian State or Territory and must hold, or be eligible to hold, a current restricted government practising certificate.
  • Experience in advising on and managing employment law matters would be highly regarded.


To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Provide an expression of interest of no more than 750 words detailing relevant experience and skills having regard to the selection criteria and specific duties
  • Provide a current CV (no more than 3 pages) with the names and contact details of two referees (including current supervisor).

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


  1. Shapes strategic thinking
  2. Achieves results
  3. Cultivates productive working relationships
  4. Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  5. Communicates with influence
  6. Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal research and analysis and to provide high quality legal advice
  7. Experience in advising on at least two of the following areas of law: privacy, freedom of information, government commercial, employment matters, administrative law, and statutory interpretation


For further information pertaining to this job please contact Samara Rodway on (02) 6283 2568.


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: Date: 02 May 2016