Head of Office

Civil Legal Assistance Office


Starting salary: £49,420 - £57,490 (pro rata if part time).

We are seeking to recruit a Head of Office (Grade 7) for the Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) in Edinburgh. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced manager and litigator with a keen interest in social welfare & public law to manage a team that provides impactful legal services to clients, making a real difference. It also offers a career progression opportunity for an experienced litigator interested in building their management experience.

About us

The Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) is a network of publicly funded court solicitors and support staff employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB). We help people with their civil law problems by providing advice and representation to legally aided clients within our core areas of work. In addition, we operate a referral service to other providers of legal assistance and offer second tier support and training to advice organisations. Our work involves developing partnership links and project work with local and national organisations operating within the geographical areas we cover. 

We are part of the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s Client Legal Services Directorate. The Directorate comprises the Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO), Public Defence Solicitor’s Office (PDSO) and Solicitor Contact Line (SCL) making us Scotland’s largest multi-disciplinary legal aid practice.

Further information about CLAO can be found at www.clao.org.uk. If you wish to learn more about the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) and our other client legal services please visit www.slab.org.uk. 

Why work for us

We are an ethical organisation, carrying out rewarding work that can have a considerable impact on clients’ lives. We seek high calibre people and in return, we set out to provide good training and development with rewarding working conditions. We aim to be an ‘employer of choice’. Should you come to work with us, you’ll discover that no matter what your job or level of responsibilities, you are treated as an individual, with fairness, dignity and respect. 

Our stable and secure reward package includes:

  • A competitive salary with potential for pay progression
  • Generous holiday entitlement of 34 days per year (inclusive of public and privilege holidays) increasing to 42 days after five years of continuous service 
  • A defined benefit pension scheme with a 6% employee contribution 
  • Flexible and hybrid working arrangements 
  • Comprehensive access to learning and development opportunities and well-being support
  • Job security in a stable environment 
  • Supportive and positive work culture
  • Cycle to work scheme

To find out more about working with SLAB and our benefits, please visit www.slab.org.uk/recruitment/working-for-us 

About the role

We have a position within our Edinburgh Office for an experienced court solicitor to lead and manage the Edinburgh and Lothians team that delivers high quality specialist advice and representation to legally aided clients in predominately housing (social and private landlord eviction, homelessness, unlawful eviction, mortgage repossession, and disrepair), benefits and debt matters. In addition, you will line manage and support the solicitor responsible for providing the full range of CLAO casework services to the Argyll and Bute area.

As Head of Office, you will ensure the delivery and development of quality assured and efficient CLAO services within the Edinburgh & Lothians and Argyll and Bute areas. You will assist the Head of Service with this throughout the network. Working closely with external advice and support providers, you will also be involved in delivering important strategic and project work including Edinburgh’s homeless helpline, Court of Session unit and Sheriff court helpdesk.

 As a practicing solicitor, you will be responsible for managing your own varied and complex legal aid caseload by providing high quality, trauma-informed, independent advice and representation to clients within CLAO’s core areas.

The successful candidate will be passionate about using their litigation skills to improve the lives of as many people as possible. They will also be keen to be involved in continuously improving and innovating our service. 

The role will be primarily based in Edinburgh with occasional travel to the Lothians. From time-to-time travel to other areas may be expected, to cover work across the network in accordance with the needs of the business.

This post is permanent on a full time basis.

If applying on a part time basis (less than 37 hours per week), please give details of the number of hours and pattern of part time work you would be interested in. Further details are supplied in the ‘General Information for Applicants’ document.

We are an equal opportunities employer and we are dedicated to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all belong.

We welcome and encourage applications from diverse backgrounds, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce. These include people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, and LGBTQI+ people.

We will ensure that disclosure of disability status will not negatively impact anyone’s application. We are committed to guaranteeing an interview to every applicant who indicates they have a disability, in terms of the Equality Act 2010, that meets the minimum criteria for the role.

For more details about this role and a full list of essential criteria and required competencies, please see the ‘Additional Information’ section on the vacancy page of our recruitment portal.

Completed applications should be returned by Monday, 9 October 2022 via SLAB’s recruitment portal. Please note, we reserve the right to close this advertisement early if we receive a high volume of suitable applications.