The British Museum


Bloomsbury, London



Expiry date

09th October 2023

Job description

Legal Counsel



Fixed-term – 18-months

£46,742 per annum

Application deadline: 12pm (Midday) on Monday 9 October 2023 

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an experienced lawyer to join the Legal Services team at The British Museum on a fixed-term basis.

The successful candidate will contribute to implementing the Museum’s Legal Strategy and delivering a sector-leading advisory function. They will provide colleagues around the Museum with accurate, timely and effective advice. 

Joining a small and collegial team with a busy and varied workload, candidates will have relevant experience gained in leading firms or comparable in-house roles, and will work closely with the Legal Counsel, Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Governance to deliver high-quality and strategic legal support to colleagues around the institution.

Applicants will have in-depth technical knowledge across a range of key legal areas, including commercial, contract, intellectual property and charities law. They will be adaptable, responsive, and actively engaged in commercial and legal issues relevant to the Museum and Cultural sectors.

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Provide high quality in-house legal advice;
  • Contribute to implementation of the Museum’s Legal Strategy;
  • Work with external legal advisers as required, ensuring value for money;
  • Represent the Museum and communicate on its behalf with third parties and relevant external and internal stakeholders;
  • Design and provide in-house training courses as required; and
  • Provide other support as required by the Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Governance.

Person Specification:

  • Admitted as a practising solicitor or barrister in England and Wales.
  • Relevant experience either in-house or in private practice.
  • Sound knowledge and experience of relevant law and practice.
  • Able to: carry a varied and unpredictable workload and work to tight deadlines; assess commercial risks efficiently; clearly and concisely provide advice; understand the operational ramifications of advice and find practical solutions; apply knowledge/skills through handling complex problems within and outside area of expertise.
  • Professional manner, objectivity, and commercial negotiation skills.
  • Able to: listen, and to argue cases coherently with tact and sensitivity; support others in complex decision making; communicate complex legal matters in a clear, straightforward way.

About the British Museum:

Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history and culture. The Museum is one of the leading visitor attractions and its world-famous collection includes the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, Egyptian mummies, the Admonitions Scroll, and the Amaravati sculptures.

The Museum offers a competitive benefits package including:

  • Membership of the civil service pension scheme
  • Free entry to a wide range of museums and exhibitions
  • Participation in private and public Museum activities, including talks by leading curators from around the world and behind-the-scenes opportunities to learn how museums care for and manage their extraordinary collections
  • Generous annual leave allowance
  • Interest-free travel, bicycle and rental deposit loans
  • Professional and personal development opportunities
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Discounts on food and gift shop purchases

Additional details:

For more information about this role, please see the job description.

If you have any additional needs that we should be aware of in order to support you with your application, please provide details to

The British Museum is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all staff and job applicants. We aim to create a working environment in which all individuals can make best use of their skills, free from unlawful discrimination or harassment. We value the benefits that a diverse workforce brings to a Museum which represents world culture. The Museum is committed to ensuring that no job applicant suffers unlawful discrimination because of any protected characteristics. Our recruitment procedures aim to ensure that individuals are treated because of their relevant knowledge, skills and experience.

We are also currently piloting a flexible way of working that allows our employees to work remotely in a way that suits them and the organisation. We welcome questions and conversations at interview stage and how flexible working could work for you.

The Museum adheres to the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) for pre-employment screening of Civil Servants.