NCSC Legal Advisors Ref. 2837

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Specialist Roles
Cheltenham, London, Manchester
You'll receive a starting salary of £62,592 - £68,246 (depending on experience) A London Allowance of £6,250 is applicable for London contracted employees

Equality, Diversity and inclusion are critical to GCHQ’s mission.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are critical to GCHQ’s mission.  GCHQ supports the Civil Service vision of being recognised as the UK’s most inclusive employer by setting stretching diversity and equality objectives for our organisation.  The legal team is particularly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion: we believe that a workforce which reflects the population we seek to serve and protect is essential to our legitimacy and licence to operate.  This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking, and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. Our data shows women, members of ethnic minority groups and individuals with disabilities are currently underrepresented in the wider organisation and so we would encourage applications from members of these groups.  Our teams benefit from a variety of different flexible working options as part of our offer to our lawyers in their work/life balance choices.  The successful applicants can be based in Cheltenham, London, or Manchester, with some home working encouraged.   

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

The Organisation

At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, is the UK Government’s lead authority on cyber security. The organisation is at the heart of the Government’s cyber security strategy and has the aim of making the UK the safest place to live and work online.   

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) seeks 2 lawyers with commercial law experience to join its legal team.

The NCSC legal team’s work is nationally important and fulfilling and we work closely with our clients to identify, mitigate and manage legal risk. The team has a range of areas of focus: emerging technology, telecoms, cyber incident management, cyber regulation, cyber operations and commercial. We are looking for highly motivated lawyers with excellent communication skills and a willingness to learn about the technical work for which NCSC is valued.   

The NCSC legal team is a team of qualified lawyers from a variety of public and private sector backgrounds.  It is part of the wider GCHQ legal team, which is currently split roughly 50/50 between commercial and operational lawyers and between London and Cheltenham.  

The NCSC Legal Team is looking for applicants with a background in commercial law.

Job Description

This role offers a real diversity of commercial work, and the successful applicant will need to be willing to step away from standard templates and think creatively about commercial arrangements. It also offers exposure to a diverse range of complex, novel and politically sensitive legal issues arising from our relationships with stakeholders in Government, the public sector and wider critical national infrastructure. The successful applicant must be willing to learn quickly about new areas of law and technology and will have the opportunity to work closely with global experts on managing cyber security risk in emerging technology.  

The role may cover some or all of the following areas of work:

  • Engaging with cyber security projects throughout their lifecycle, advising from the initial stages of development through to deployment at scale.
  • Advising on a wide range of commercial procurement and intellectual property licencing matters to enable the NCSC to best exploit cyber security offers from the marketplace.
  • Working closely with suppliers in the cyber security community on innovative, unique, and frequently sensitive projects to help deliver the NCSC’s mission.
  • Advising the NCSC on various aspects of data protection law as it relates to a novel and ambitious set of data sharing and collaboration projects.
  • Assisting NCSC incident management in their engagement with victims of a cyber-attack to facilitate effective information sharing and protect commercially sensitive data.
  • Advising on the impact and scope of cyber regulation in the UK, as well as legal issues arising from our relationships with cyber regulators.
  • Supporting the policy teams that provide cyber security and national security advice to wider government to facilitate decisions in relation to supply chains, exports, procurement and investment.   

 Person Specification

The successful applicant must be qualified to practise as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive in England and Wales and should have experience in some of the following areas, but it is not necessary to have experience of all of them:

  • commercial and contract law;
  • intellectual property protection and licensing;
  • technology contracts;
  • data protection and data sharing arrangements;
  • procurement law including major programmes; and/or:
  • cyber, telecoms or general regulatory law.

 Applicants will need to demonstrate:

  • excellent powers of analysis and the ability to think creatively about legal problems;
  • the ability to assess, analyse and balance legal risk;
  • curiosity and willingness to learn about the technical work of the NCSC; and
  • a collegiate and supportive approach to team working and dealing with clients.

 Civil Service Behaviours

  • Communicating and Influencing - Level 4
  • Working Together - Level 4
  • Managing a Quality Service - Level 4

 Further information on Civil Service Behaviours

Benefits we offer

At NCSC and GCHQ, we are proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes.  As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential.  With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we will enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.

You’ll receive a starting salary of £62,592 - £68,246 (depending on experience) A London Allowance of £6,250 is applicable for London contracted employees.

Other benefits:

  • 25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme.
  • Interest-free season ticket loan
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
  • Paid parental and adoption leave.
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%


Selection Process

Before You Apply

To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The role is based in Cheltenham, London or Manchester, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Depending on the role, it is generally possible to undertake a mix of office and home working and we’re open to discussing individual preferences. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

On the application, you’ll be asked to provide a personal statement to explain why you are suitable for the role and the skills and experience you will bring. You’ll also be asked to provide examples to show that you meet the criteria for the listed Behaviors (Communicating and Influencing, Working Together and Managing a Quality Service) on your application form.

  • Application sift
  • Interview
  • If successful, you will receive a conditional offer of employment subject to vetting.

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you to continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Were Disability Confident

GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role. This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, you must be qualified to practise as a Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive in England and Wales.

Our Vetting

To work in this role, you will need the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community must go through and it can take some time. As part of the DV process you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire and attend an interview with a vetting officer. In your interview the vetting officer will have a thorough, compassionate, and honest discussion with you about you as a person and your life experiences, to ensure holding a DV clearance is right for you. You don’t need to do any preparation for your vetting interview, just be honest and be yourself. All applicants for DV are treated impartially and consistently, irrespective of gender, race, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics.

The closing date for this role is: 23:55 11/04/2023

 Right to Withdraw Statement:

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.


This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.