The bbc's Programme Legal Advice department advises journalists and programme makers working on a wide range of programmes from news and current affairs to drama and entertainment

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The BBC's Programme Legal Advice department advises journalists and programme makers working on a wide range of programmes from news and current affairs to drama and entertainment. If you would like to join the small team of lawyers that help get programmes like the 10 o’clock News, Watchdog, Panorama and Have I Got News For You to air, you will find details of how to apply below:


Job Description

Job Title: Lawyer, Programme Legal Advice

Department: BBC Legal

Grade: 10

Reports to: Head of Editorial Legal

Location: London

Contract details – Continuing contract
Organisational Context

The Programme Legal Advice Department forms part of the BBC’s legal division which reports to the Group General Counsel and which provides a comprehensive legal service to the BBC.

The BBC Legal Division is responsible for developing and implementing the BBC's legal strategy and for providing legal advice to the BBC. The Division is made up of the following departments: General Counsel's Office, Editorial Legal (comprising Programme Legal Advice and Litigation), Intellectual Property, Commercial, Property, Regulatory and Fair Trading, Employment, Information Policy & Compliance and Future Media and Technology.

Key responsibilities:

To provide pre-transmission legal advice to BBC journalists, programme makers and commissioning executives on matters such as defamation, contempt and privacy. This includes being on a rota of lawyers who deal with urgent news queries that arise out of normal office hours.

To advise senior management in all production areas on legal risks associated with their output.
To deliver legal talks and seminars to BBC journalists and producers in respect of the BBC’s legal liabilities in programme making areas.

Person Specification

Qualified lawyer (minimum of 2years' post qualification experience) in media law i.e. experience in defamation, contempt, reporting restrictions, privacy and associated issues.

The ability to provide advice on points arising from the above areas of law.
Experience of dealing with/advising journalists and/or programme makers.
Ability to present legal talks and seminars.
Excellent inter-personal and influencing skills.
Ability to work to tight deadlines often under pressure.


The following competencies (behaviours and characteristics) have been identified as key to success in the job. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate these competencies.

Planning and organising - able to think ahead in order to establish an efficient and appropriate course of action for self and others. Prioritises and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources.

Analytical Thinking – able to simplify complex problems, processes or projects into component parts, explore and evaluate them systematically.

Communication - able to get one's message understood clearly by adopting a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audience and the nature of the information.

Influencing and persuading - able to present sound and well reasoned arguments to convince others. Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that results in agreement or behaviour change.

Managing relationships and team working - able to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people. Works co-operatively with others to be part of a team, as opposed to working separately or competitively.

Flexibility - adapts and works effectively with a variety of situations, individuals or groups. Able to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue, to adapt an approach as the requirements of a situation change, and to change or easily accept changes in one's own organisation or job requirements.

(A job description is a written statement of the essential characteristics of the job, with its principal accountabilities, incorporating a note of the skills, knowledge and experience required for a satisfactory level of performance. This is not intended to be a complete, detailed account of all aspects of the duties involved).  

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