Senior Legal Counsel

Haywards Heath or Manchester
from £80,000 depending on experience
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We’re First Central Insurance & Technology Group (First Central for short), an innovative, market-leading insurance company. We protect the things customers love so they can get on with what matters to them in life. 

Data drives us. It fuels our outstanding distribution, finance, technology and legal services. Our underwriting skills are built on data expertise; it creates the insights we need to give the right cover to the right customers at the right price. But, it’s the people inside and outside our business that power us. They make us stand out, help us succeed. We’re ambitious. We’re growing. We’ve won awards.   

Ready to be part of the driving force behind First Centrals Legal operation?

As Senior Legal Counsel you'll ensure our legal operations run seamlessly day in, day out. Your primary focus will involve negotiating commercial contracts and handling broader corporate strategies, advising stakeholders at all levels across the Group on a spectrum of legal matters, from regulatory challenges to complex commercial agreements.

Your commercial and /or corporate expertise will be invaluable, as you’ll collaborate closely with key business units like Underwriting, Finance, Tax, and Claims, guiding decision-making.

Drafting a variety of agreements will be routine, alongside overseeing crucial legal registers and ensuring compliance with various regulatory bodies like FCA, Gibraltar Financial Services, and Guernsey Financial Services.

Ideally based in or close to Haywards Heath, West Sussex or Salford Quays Manchester, we work on a hybrid basis - a mixture of office based (say, 1 day a week or a couple of times a month) and working from home - but if you like to be in the office more, thats good with us too! Live further afield, dont let put you off, we embrace remote working, all we ask you are happy to meet up with the team say once a month or every other?

We'd love you on the team if you've:

  • got seasoned Legal experience, we're talking, extensive background in legal practice, ideally commercial or corporate work in the insurance or a regulated industry (ideally but not essential), whether in-house or private, with expertise as a qualified Lawyer in England and Wales or equivalent
  • commercial contract expertise, capability in reviewing, drafting, and negotiating a diverse range of commercial contracts, including experience of Material Outsource agreements
  • exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, adept at addressing stakeholders at senior levels and managing upward effectively
  • a knack for translating complex issues into resolutions, so if problem-solving and risk assessment are part of your tool kit coupled with the ability to assess and advise on legal risks - we want you!
What's Involved:
  • Primary responsibility for advising all levels of stakeholder Group-wide on legal and quasi-legal matters and taking ownership of driving Group and team level strategy and particular projects.
  • Depth and breadth of expertise in commercial contracts and strong project management skills.
  • Work closely with key business stakeholders including Underwriting, Finance, Tax and Claims teams.
  • Draft a wide variety of insurance-based agreements (both regulated and non-regulated).
  • Primary responsibility for and managing the progress of and provision of advice in respect of challenges from regulatory or quasi-regulatory bodies such as HMRC and any non-UK financial services regulatory bodies.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the Group’s Contracts Register, Intellectual Property, Litigation Register, Legal Issues Register and day to day transaction records.
  • Support broker and distribution ancillary activities including consumer lending and CCJs.
  • Conduct legal research and provide advice to the Group in a range of legal matters.
  • Advise on regulatory issues, particularly, FCA, Gibraltar Financial Services and Guernsey Financial servicers matters.
  • Review, draft, and lead negotiations of a range of commercial contracts, including Material Outsource agreements.
  • Advise upon matters of general company law and broader corporate/strategic matters.
  • Draft insurance policy wordings for motor and ancillary policies.
  • Draft company policies and procedures, and complete legal research to ensure they are in line with legislation from the relevant jurisdictions.
  • Liaise with stakeholders for relevant documentation (external and external) and maintain an accessible filing system for these documents.
  • Manage and maintain the companies’ County Court decisions log, liaising with the Courts for updates and information and ensure the relevant documentation/filings are completed in respect of any litigation.
  • Engage with the relevant departments to manage risks related to CCJs and work to reduce impact to credit rating reports.
  • Work in conjunction with the Group General Counsel in dealing with legal and regulatory issues as required and deputise for the Group General Counsel by attending meetings from time to time as required.
  • Supervise, support and mentor more junior team members and work collaboratively across the business.
  • Handling bailiffs, following established procedure, and communicating with relevant departments.


Job Specific Competencies:

Experience, Knowledge and Skills

  • Experience of working as a lawyer in an in-house and / or private practice capacity, ideally with insurance experience over 6 years PQE
  • England and Wales qualified Lawyer (Solicitor or Barrister) or equivalent
  • Ideally experience of working in the general insurance / financial services industry or in another relevant commercial setting (it's not essential)
  • Good knowledge of legal and corporate governance processes
  • Experience of working in a regulatory environment (it's not essential)
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to ‘manage up’ and deliver to stakeholders at most senior levels
  • Problem solving skills with the ability to translate problems and find resolutions
  • Good organisational skills with the ability to meet tight deadlines
  • Good numeracy and literacy skills
  • Good IT and software skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Demonstrable legal research skills
  • People Management and Mentoring aptitude / experience
  • Resilient to challenge from senior levels whilst developing strong internal relationships at all levels
  • Ability to assess and advise upon legal risks
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and regulation (i.e. Companies Act, Data Protection Act, GDPR, FCA rules)
  • Business acumen
  • Solid understanding of risk management techniques


  • Emphasis on attention to detail and accuracy
  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic
  • Embrace, embed and incorporate the Company Values
  • An organised and proactive approach
  • Takes initiative to make decisions
  • A flexible approach and positive attitude
  • Approachable and keen to help others
  • Confident in presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner
  • Strives to deliver performance targets and drive business improvements to contribute to the success of the business
  • Ability to handle information in a confidential manner
  • Continuous Improvement / Growth Mindset

Join us and spearhead our legal initiatives, leveraging your seasoned expertise to navigate complex legal landscapes, drive strategic solutions, and foster impactful relationships. Together, let's shape the future of our Group's legal function!

What can we do for you?

People first. Always. We’re passionate about our colleagues and know the best people deserve an extraordinary working environment. We owe it to them so that’s what we offer. Our workplaces are energetic, inspirational, supportive. To get a taste of the advantages you’ll enjoy, take a look at all our perks in full here. 

Intrigued? Our Talent team can tell you everything you need to know about what we want and what we’re offering, so feel free to get in touch.

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86% of people would recommend a friend to work at First Central

Based on 164 Glassdoor reviews (March 2022)


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Eight flexible bank holidays; you can choose which festivals you observe


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