Senior Legal Counsel


British Canoeing







Practice Area:

Commercial and Governance


United Kingdom

British Canoeing Logo 2022

About British Canoeing

British Canoeing is the UK Governing Body for Paddlesports. They have had many advances in our sport and canoeing now covers a wide range of interests and passions as a sport and a leisure activity for all. They want to support and provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy and realise their potential within all aspects of canoeing regardless of their age, background or ability.

The Role

They are looking for an experienced lawyer to take up a newly created Senior Legal Counsel role.

This role will have a focus on supporting the elite performance department to further embed good governance practices, particularly within selection policy drafting and implementation. Reporting to the Director of Governance, this role will also be responsible for leading and implementing strategies to strengthen the overall governance practices of the organisation and providing clear and pragmatic legal advice to various stakeholders.

The successful candidate will have a collaborative and inclusive approach to working as part of a team, will have excellent attention to detail and be solution focused. Prior experience of working in sport is desirable but not essential.

Working Pattern: Full time desirably but open to discussions around flexible working/shorter hours
Closing Date: Sunday 18th September 2022
Interview Date: Tuesday 27th September 2022

This role is based at the British Canoeing offices at National Water Sports Centre in the Holme Pierrepont Country Park. They are currently exploring how hybrid working can benefit the organisation so we would expect a minimum of 2 days in the office with flexibility around days being essential.

Development Opportunities

British Canoeing is a small but growing organisation and as we continue to expand there will be opportunities to shape the role and develop. An example of development we are undertaking is participation of a number of their staff in the Inclusive Employers programme, designed to embed inclusive practices through all aspects of our organisation. The development of their staff is encouraged through our tailored and varied development opportunities.

Their Values and Behaviours

Their Values and Behaviours are important to them as they help to guide their decision making in their day to day work. They are at the centre of everything that they do and how we treat each other. By demonstrating the behaviours that underpin their values they are all working to be the best they can be and helping to further improve their culture.

Role Description – Overview

Role Purpose

The primary role purpose is ensuring that the highest standards of governance are achieved and maintained across the organisation; focusing on ensuring good governance is embedded within elite performance; that all disciplinary, complaints and appeal cases are managed appropriately and that excellent legal and governance support is provided to clubs, centres and delivery partners, committees, coaches and leaders.

Key Responsibilities

The following are the key elements of the role:

  • Leading and driving excellent governance within the culture, policies and decision making of British Canoeing Performance Programme (for both Olympic and Non-Olympic disciplines).
  • Sit on the International Panels (IPs) and World Class Programme Nomination Panel (WCPNP) to provide governance advice on selection policy development and implementation.
  • Support the IPs and WCPNP with responses to appeal cases.
  • Support the Performance Department with the management of complaint and disciplinary cases.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Governance and Legal and Governance Officer provide advice to colleagues and the Board on legal issues affecting the organisation including commercial contracts, liability, data protection, property law and litigation.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Governance and Legal and Governance Officer undertake periodic reviews of all major policies and procedures to ensure they are aligned to best practices.
  • With the support of the Legal and Governance Manager, lead the cascading of legal and governance best practice to clubs and committees and develop legal and governance resources including templates, guidance notes and training for clubs and discipline committees.
  • Supporting the Director of Governance in ensuring British Canoeing and British Canoeing Events maintain compliance with the Code for Sports Governance.
  • Support the Director of Governance in reporting to the British Canoeing and British Canoeing Events Governance and Risk Committees and assist with the work of these committees as

Person Specification



  • Qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive, Solicitor or Barrister.

Skills & Knowledge


  • Wide understanding of English law and legal system.
  • Understanding of key issues in sports governance.
  • Experience of providing legal advice to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


  • Experience of working in Sports Law.
  • Previous experience in the sports sector.



  • An inclusive leadership and working style that is naturally collaborative and solution-focused.
  • Communicates clearly - can set a new direction or changes with clear rationale and appeal.
  • Willing to challenge and advocate new directions.
  • Empathetic to the challenges and concerns of others and open minded to solutions.
  • Adjusts communication style to changing situations, and tailors to individual stakeholders.
  • Able to manage challenging and difficult conversations.

They will develop the role over time so they are not expecting the post holder to do the full role from the first day.

What staff like about working at British Canoeing

They asked their staff to share what they enjoyed about working for British Canoeing to help give you a sense of what it is like there. These are some quotes from their last staff survey.

“Great place to work. Great people, great values.”

“British Canoeing has done a really awesome job in responding to the Covid19 situation and really has done so much for staff during this period.”

“Obviously it's been a challenging year but I've felt supported throughout.”

“It hasn't been an easy time but I have loved how so many colleagues have lived the ‘Stronger Together’ value and despite the distance and screen time, have been checking in and looking after each other.”

What they Offer

They offer a rewarding career in an organisation that cares about their staff. They work hard to ensure that they can offer a package that is fair and competitive and provides you with the support to do your job as well as you can.

They offer competitive rates of pay which are reviewed annually.

They also offer a comprehensive range of staff benefits as follows:

Health and Wellbeing

They aim to support everyone at British Canoeing to create a healthy work-life balance

  • Annual Leave - they offer enhanced levels of annual leave above the statutory minimum (minimum 25 days plus Bank holidays)
  • Flexible Working Hours and hybrid working
  • Occupational Sick Pay Scheme
  • Comprehensive Family Leave policies to support those with caring responsibilities
  • Staff Volunteering Days
  • Trained Mental Health First Aiders
  • Employee Assistance Programme – their Employee Assistance Helpline offers support to employees and their families to information, advice and counselling on a variety of personal and workplace issues.

Financial Rewards and Benefits

  • Salary Sacrifice Pension Scheme: 8% total contribution through their Aegon pension scheme
  • Life Assurance (2 x salary after qualifying service)
  • Eye care voucher: Eligible display screen users receive a free eye test voucher

Personal and Family

  • Discount offers through retailers such as Gill and Halfords.


  • Onsite free bike storage
  • Onsite free parking

How to apply

LawInSport Recruitment have been retained as exclusive agents for this position.
All unsolicited, third party introductions will be forwarded directly to our team.

To apply for this position please send your updated CV to or click apply at the top of the page. The closing date is the 18th September 2022.

If you have a disability and would prefer to apply in a different format or would like us to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to apply or attend an interview, please contact us.

To be successful in this role, you may be required to undergo and complete a satisfactory DBS check as a condition of your employment. Therefore any offer of employment will remain conditional prior to the review and assessment of the circumstances of any offence that may be advised on your DBS certificate.


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