Share this Job

General Counsel & Secretary to the CAA

Apply now »

Date: 02-Jul-2021

Location: London, GB

Company: Civil Aviation Authority

To Apply


Please note, the CAA will not be accepting direct applications for this role. All applications and questions should be directed to our search partner, Green Park - https://search.green-park.co.uk/caa-gc/welcome/ and applications will need to be sent to applications@green-park.co.uk


Salary: A compelling salary to be discussed with our search partner, Green Park

Contract Type: Permanent





Aviation is facing possibly it’s biggest challenge since the Wright brothers first took to the air in 1903, with COVID-19 putting the industry in a situation it has never experienced. But, at the same time, we can see significant opportunities to address aviation’s environmental challenges and develop the amazing innovations our industry is famous for.


Our role as a regulator, influencer and strategic partner will never be as important as it will be in the coming months and years. As General Counsel and Company Secretary, you know what a pivotal role you as an individual and your team will play. The challenges and opportunities will be significant.


Being excited by these challenges, we expect the successful applicant to be so much more than a leading lawyer. For example, our senior team strive to lead by example on inclusivity and diversity and we expect you to play a key role.


As you’d expect and imagine your positive influence will spread across the organisation. Your high emotional intelligence and dexterity will help enable all our colleagues to live by our values and professionally represent what we stand for.


The General Counsel role is a key and strategically important one to help shape and implement the future of our organisation. It not a normal legal role. Of course, having a legal pedigree, knowledge of the law and regulations, negotiating skills etc is a given.  However, at the CAA, the General Counsel is “more than just a lawyer.” It’s important that we attract a colleague who is not only a great lawyer but also someone who has a natural curiosity for changing things, has integrity, is a team player and a personable leader with  an appropriate influence on the overall activities of the business—someone whose advice is sought out and heeded.


The reason is because the breadth of the industry we oversee is truly remarkable and so are the people within it. It touches everyone in some way. It ranges from the airlines and airports that are household names, to specialist carriers, business jets and helicopters. It includes tour operators selling package travel. It includes recreational aviators ranging from small aircraft, balloons, gliders, and microlights. It includes cargo. It includes new technologies such as drones and electric ariel vehicles. And soon, the Government proposes that we take on regulation for commercial launches into space. The aviation and aerospace industry in the UK are a national success story: ours is the third largest in the world.


We need to be on top of our game when it comes to all legal matters. You will join us at a unique time in aviation’s history and you can make a real personal difference. We need someone who really knows how to engage, listen, actively contribute, and communicate with a very broad range of stakeholders to ensure we do the right thing.


We are also conscious that aviation has some less desirable impacts for some people in terms of its contribution to noise pollution and carbon emissions. As well as working with Government and others to help improve aviation’s contribution in these areas we are also clear that people with these concerns are just as much our stakeholders as those that frequently take to the skies.


We may be referred to as an aviation regulator, but you’ll quickly find that in no way does this title do justice to the scale of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Behind the title we are just people. We are a people organisation and are only as good as our people and how well we work together. This means there is a constant focus on how we can get better to ensure we have people who feel supported to give their very best in a culture that truly respects all colleagues and values diversity of thought and diversity of people.


To be viewed around the world as a leading organisation for what we do; and to be viewed by our people as a leading organisation for how we do it –this is a vision you’ll share as you will be fundamental to helping us achieve it.


The Role


The CAA General Counsel role is much more than our most senior legal adviser. You will be a team player, using curiosity and energy to enable and drive change outside of your direct leadership area, working collaboratively with other directors and influencing our direction.  Like other directors, you will take personal accountability for leading some key corporate development initiatives. At the CAA, our Values are at the heart of everything we do, and our General Counsel will live out our values as a role model to all colleagues, everyday.




  • Reporting directly to the CEO as member of the CAA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) and attending the CAA Board. 
  • Principal legal adviser to the CAA ExCo and Board in support of its purpose and duties as well as ensuring an appropriate level of legal support and governance is maintained throughout the organisation.
  • Playing a pivotal role at the heart of the CAA by providing clear leadership and direction to colleagues within The Office of the General Counsel and in order to enhance the CAA’s decision-making across the organisation.
  • Inspiring a diverse range of legal and other professionals to help influence and deliver the CAA strategy and build an effective, intellectually curious, learning, and responsive culture.
  • Advise upon and manage all aspects of legal risk.  You will be required to ensure that the CAA maintains legal compliance as a regulator in all its internal and external undertakings.
  • Ensure that CAA’s governance and approach to ethics remains appropriate for the organisation.
  • Act as the Company Secretary and oversee the duties related to this role.
  • Champion and role model the CAA’s Values and support others in doing so.




  • Leads a permanent team of 29, whose location is split between our Gatwick main building, Canary Wharf office and remotely from home.
  • We are open to discussing with the successful candidate how the precise role can be modelled for best effect.


Essential Criteria


Professional qualifications/experience:


  • You will likely have extensive senior-level legal experience as a qualified solicitor or barrister, gained across the public and/or private sectors (relevant areas of legal expertise may include regulatory, public, and commercial law).
  • Experience of working with Boards and senior officials and making a positive impact with a range of senior stakeholders both internally and externally.


Strategic leadership:


  • Ability to lead a large multi-faceted legal team in a complex and high-profile environment.  You will be able to oversee and inspire the team and serve on the CAA’s ExCo and Board contributing at a broader level beyond legal and governance advice.
  • Leadership aptitude for organisational development, capability building and financial discipline. 


Decision making:


  • Ability to think and act quickly, make sound decisions and calmly solve problems.
  • You will be a confident, inclusive leader, motivated to navigate opportunities and challenges and solve complex problems in an environment where strategy and politics are highly relevant.


Communications and engagement:


  • Interpersonal skills, high levels of emotional intelligence and intellectual vigour to manage the demands of external and internal stakeholders.
  • Relationship building skills, high levels of collaboration and influencing across all levels.
  • Experience of influencing government at senior levels.
  • Act as a senior ambassador for the CAA, when necessary representing the regulator in external engagements with stakeholders nationally and internationally.


Diversity & Inclusion


At the CAA, our General Counsel will be someone who not only embodies, and role models our values but really appreciates and personally champions the benefits of promoting a more diverse and inclusive organisation in all its forms. The CAA has come a long way and made some great progress, but there is much further work to do to ensure that we relentlessly make progress towards these goals. It is not only the right thing to do for our people, it will also make us a better organisation for our core purpose of protecting the public.




We can only deliver on our vision of aviation excellence with an engaged and happy team and so we strive to offer a total reward package which is compelling, supportive and recognises the contribution of all.


Salary: A compelling salary to be discussed with our search partner, Green Park


Pension: Personal Pension Plan provided through Legal and General, the CAA will double your contribution up a maximum employer contribution of 12%.


Life Assurance: 4 * salary.


Private Medical Insurance: CAA funds private medical insurance for single cover on your behalf, you will have the option upon joining to trade up to include direct family members.


Private Dental Insurance: CAA funds private dental insurance for single cover on your behalf, you will have the option upon joining to trade up to include direct family members.


Holiday entitlement: 28 days plus bank holidays with the ability to buy an extra 5 days per annum


Location: London Westferry Circus, London Gatwick, and remote working.


Additional Information


For further information please contact our search partner, Green Park as follows:


Microsite/candidate pack: https://search.green-park.co.uk/caa-gc/welcome/ 

Lead consultant: Dan Richards


To Apply


Please note, the CAA will not be accepting direct applications for this role. All applications and questions should be directed to our search partner, Green Park - https://search.green-park.co.uk/caa-gc/welcome/ and applications will need to be sent to applications@green-park.co.uk


Closing Date: 29th July 2021

Interview Date: September 2021

Job Segment: General Counsel, Secretary, Medical, Bank, Banking, Legal, Administrative, Healthcare, Finance