Childcare In-House Advocate Lawyer

Is 2023 the year you look to take on your next career challenge?

LAW Absolute is recruiting on an exclusive basis to 2 permanent Childcare in house Advocate positions with Southwark Council. These 2 roles are being offered on a full-time basis.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to achieve a genuine work /life balance whilst doing challenging and interesting work, in and outside of court.

The ability to read ahead into cases to “get ahead” on preparation is a significant advantage in house, which makes it more viable to complete hearing preparation within office hours and so fewer late evenings and weekend working. Caseloads in Southwark are more manageable compared to neighbouring boroughs and so you will be able to maintain continuity of cases and see cases through from beginning to end.

In your role as an in-house Advocate in Southwark, you will have the benefit of working within a team where there is excellent business and legal support and collaboration, in which everyone pulls together to help each other.  You will be part of a dynamic working environment where diversity in all respects is genuinely valued and promoted, so that you are constantly learning and inspired by colleagues from various professional backgrounds and lived experiences.

You will have the advantage of being able to build trusting and effective close working relationships with a small team of instructing lawyers and with professional clients, who respect your role and value your advice.

You will benefit from regular attendance at the Central Family Courts and High Court in London in which you can build working relationships with follow stakeholders and judges and an understanding of local practice, instead of moving around the country.

The systemic approach to social work, and the input of the clinical service enables Southwark to stand out as a borough where there is a real commitment to empowering families and trying to work in a fair, respectful and progressive way.

Southwark is part of the South London Care Proceedings Project. This coalition of boroughs is aimed at improving local authority practice in care and related children proceedings. It works from a social work, legal practitioner and data led basis and so can identify trends and share experiences of good practice with other stakeholders and the courts.

About Southwark council

Southwark Council is a large, progressive, and ambitious council with an enviable reputation and forward-thinking attitude.

Based London Bridge, this excellent location offers superb transport links, a plethora of shops and restaurants and a big open plan council office.

The team are collaborative, supportive, and have a positive working relationship. You will benefit from working alongside a highly experienced advocate already working at the council and will be part of a newly created advocate hub. The 2 roles have been created to help with reducing council spend on external Counsel.

Southwark’s Children Services is rated as “Good” by Ofsted and has a positive working relationship with our courts and solid reputation for best practice with external stakeholders. Children Services has substantive in house resources from Early Help through to Permanence for our children and families including clinical commissioning services and in house family support within London.

The council is committed to its “Fairer Futures for All” promise which ensures that their residents and businesses are central to everything they do.

The vision for Southwark Council Legal Services is: “To be the council’s first choice provider of legal services, offering a sustainable, high-quality, responsive & efficient value for money service to the council and to the communities of Southwark.”

The role offers a salary of £ 48,747 – £55,845. There is also a market factor payment of 7.5% in addition to the annual salary applicable, and a hard to fill benefit payment of £2,327 per annum that can be redeemed against gym membership, health insurance, season ticket purchase, bicycle purchase, additional voluntary contribution to pension, subscription, and professional fees.

If you are interested in working for an organisation that places huge value on equality and diversity, prides itself on delivering an excellent quality service, and you are looking for a chance to play a part in this interesting area of law, then Southwark council could be the right organisation for you.

About the position

The successful Childcare Advocate will be expected to undertake the following duties:

  • Be responsible for the provision of high-quality advocacy at all levels of family courts, legal advice and responsive legal services to clients in respect of child care law and other aspects of law in relation to children and adults.
  • Represent Children Services in accordance with instructions in private and public law proceedings.  Provide written and oral advice on the law and practice in relation to child protection, adoption, human rights and any related proceedings involving vulnerable children and adults in public and private law. Prepare and draft all case management documentation including draft orders, positions statements, case summaries, skeleton arguments and threshold documents etc. To provide high quality legal advice and advocacy on behalf of Southwark in all levels of courts in London, mainly in the  Central Family Courts, which includes hearings before magistrates, district judges, recorders and circuit judges  and in the High Court of Justice and Court of Appeal.  Advocates to attend other courts in London, where required. Deliver training in house to social care clients and lawyers. Provide briefings to senior officers of the council and managers, where required on complex points of law and developments in law and practice.

The successful candidate will be required to advocate on interesting cases from the outset. Matters include non-accidental injury, international jurisdiction, DOLs, adoption, appeals etc. The successful Childcare Advocate will not be required to carry a caseload but will need to possess experience of final contested hearings lasting at least 3-5 days.

Southwark council would ideally be looking for the candidate who is able to attend the office on a monthly basis, subject to court commitments. This will enable you to build a closer more collaborative working relationship with colleagues on the ground as part of an in-house team.   However, as the role is predominantly court based, there is no requirement to attend the office a minimum number of days.

About you

The successful Childcare Lawyer will be an admitted Solicitor, Barrister or CILEX of England and Wales with a current practising certificate and eligible and competent to undertake advocacy on behalf of the council.

You will possess a minimum of 3 years post qualification experience.

Have significant experience of undertaking advocacy on a regular basis in the Family Courts.

Have significant experience of and ability to operate IT systems.

You will be ambitious and self-motivated and self-reliant and able to work to deadlines.

Be a team-player and able to work collaboratively with your clients.

Recruitment timeline

The closing date for advert applications is 3rd October 2023.

Shortlisting will take place circa 6th October 2023.

Interviews will take place week commencing 16th October 2023 and 23rd October 2023.

To register your interest in this role, please send your updated CV to

Please note our advertisements use PQE/salary levels purely as a guide. However we are happy to consider applications from all candidates who are able to demonstrate the skills necessary to fulfil the role.

At LAW Absolute we endeavour to respond to all applications within 48 hours. However due to the volume of applications we receive we may not be able to respond to every candidate individually.

If you have not heard from us within a 48 hour timeframe your application has not been successful and your details have not been retained. LAW Absolute acts as an employment business for temporary recruitment and as an employment agency for fixed term contract and permanent recruitment.


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Get in touch

Zoe Alex

Zoe Alex

Managing Director