Director of Legal

 

Drive the business and jump novel legal hurdles, as head of the legal team, at a cutting-edge, dynamic and high-growth fintech company. 

GoCardless processes billions in payments each year. Tens of thousands of businesses across the UK and beyond rely on us to handle their payments, and hundreds more sign up every week. As we look to the future, those businesses will be larger, more demanding, and present in multiple countries - and so will we.

The legal team is at the forefront of GoCardless’ expansion, development and scaling - both domestically and abroad. We enable the business to move into new markets and geographies, often dealing with novel issues along the way. This is all whilst ensuring that deals get done at scale, we launch new, innovative features, and that the multitude of other issues that arise at a scale-up are dealt with appropriately. 

The team is seen as an enabler, not a blocker, and we would like to keep it that way. 

 

The role

As Director of Legal, you will be the lead of a team of three lawyers that support the entire GoCardless business. You will set the direction and structure for the team, ensuring that we pave the way for the business to execute, with a focus on innovation, efficiency and approachability. 

You will take a consultative approach and work closely with leaders across the business - never working alone, or able to concentrate on purely legal issues. We’re a fast-growing business, and your focus is to enable that business to grow - in the right way. 

You will report to the General Counsel, and manage the lawyers and legal operations analyst within the legal team. Other key relationships will include leaders across the sales and partnerships, product, customer, people and business operations teams, as well as external advisors. 

Some of the main elements of the role will involve:

  • A large portion of the role will involve ensuring we continue to be a world-class legal team, with results to match: 
    • Setting direction (including a long-term roadmap) for the legal team, with a focus on innovation, efficiency and approachability
    • Communicating the team’s roadmap to the senior leadership team, and the wider business 
    • Managing team performance through the use of OKRs, KPIs and KRIs 
    • Ensuring that the team are happy and motivated, and that they develop and progress, both personally and professionally
    • Structuring the team during the business’ continued expansion, ensuring that we are appropriately staffed at all times, and that we continue to hire great people
    • Building strong relationships, and getting the most from, the best external counsel
    • Setting and gaining approval for the legal team’s budget
  • However, we’re not a corporate - you will need to dig into a very wide range of real legal issues - whether that’s helping to manage our next equity raise (or exit!), understanding complex global regulatory issues, or answering a legal ticket when the team is stretched
  • You will also be a point of escalation for a broad range of legal (and sometimes non-legal) issues - you’ll need to be adaptable and to really understand the business 
  • Constantly developing the team’s tools and processes - aiming to put the legal team out of business in as many areas as possible, whilst increasing the execution velocity for the rest of the business 
  • Keeping up to date with the biggest potential issues for GoCardless, including in the world of payments, commercial law and legal tech, to name a few
  • Delivering change within GoCardless - the deeply embedded nature of the team means that we often take on the design of large cross-functional projects, and drive them through to completion 
  • You will be a great communicator, able to exert authority, but also to put people at ease when difficult situations arise - from internal stakeholders, through to regulators and other authorities across the globe

 

What we're looking for

We’re looking for a lawyer (preferably English qualified, but we can be flexible) with exceptional private practice training, followed by in-house experience in a fast-paced environment. You will be likely to have managed a team (or teams) in the past, yet also be driven and able to work independently. You will have a solid grounding in a very wide range of legal (and quasi-legal!) areas. 

As a technology and payments business, it helps if you‘ve had experience in those areas, or perhaps you have a keen interest in them outside of your day to day work. 

We’d love to hear from you if:

  • You are a lawyer, preferably English qualified, with significant post-qualification experience - preferably with experience managing in-house teams 
  • You have experience in scaling legal processes
  • You know what KPIs and KRIs are, and how to set them 
  • Your communication and stakeholder management skills are first class, and you are able to distil complex and cumbersome legalese into understandable English
  • You are easy to work with, and want to work in a fun, fast-growing but demanding young company

Bonus points if:

  • You’ve helped a company expand internationally 
  • You have knowledge of FCA requirements
  • You have experience with selling and supporting SaaS solutions  
  • You can explain what an API is 

 

This role would ideally suit someone with experience in a fast-paced in-house team, who is looking to help shape the legal team at a younger, high-performing company.  However, we recognise that the most talented people can have the most unusual backgrounds, so if you’re unsure, please apply. The role will be based in London and we are really looking for a full time lawyer.

 

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