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Senior Legal Advisor, Academic

Education changes lives. It broadens horizons, breaks down barriers, and fires imaginations. Like the University of Oxford, of which we are a part, we are committed to excellence in research and scholarship, and the enrichment of lives through education. This is our motivation, our purpose, and our mission. It is why all of our surplus is re-invested into education and research. It is why all 6,000 of us in 52 countries care deeply about reaching more people in more places, with world-class learning and research materials and educational services.

About the Role

As a Senior Legal Advisor reporting to the General Counsel for the Academic Division of OUP, the successful applicant will provide legal support for the Division of OUP to ensure minimisation of legal risk, compliance with the law, and advancement of the Division’s business interests and OUP’s mission.  The role is based in Oxford but is part of a transatlantic team of lawyers who support the Division’s global business, and is part of the larger Group Legal function based in Oxford.

The role requires excellent business partnering skills to support and enable business growth initiatives by providing commercially focused and solutions driven legal advice. Although the role supports a global business, travel is not expected.

The role’s core areas of responsibility will include:

  • advising on a wide range of publishing and general commercial matters, including drafting and negotiating a variety of agreements (examples of agreements include author and editor, content acquisition, digital licensing, digital and print distribution, publishing services, publishing operations)
  • advising on contract, copyright, and privacy law matters, including advising the publishing business on libel risks and pre-publication matters
  • creating standard templates, guides, and training materials to support divisional business models
  • promptly and effectively addressing and resolving pre-litigation claims to ensure timely and cost-effective legal advice; helping to manage litigation with external legal support
  • providing day to day legal advice to the Division in the UK, US, Canada, and elsewhere as required
  • Ensuring matters within the Division which affect OUP as a whole and/or affect the other publishing divisions (Education and English Language Teaching) are referred to the General Counsel, Academic for handling or escalation as appropriate

We are currently thinking through how we use our offices in the future and are open to discussing flexibility within this such as a blend of office and home working.

About You

The successful candidate will be a UK qualified solicitor with significant and relevant post qualification experience and will have:

  • legal experience and know how in key areas (copyright and intellectual property, commercial contracts), ideally from in-house experience at a publishing / media company and foundational experience at a law firm
  • the ability to effectively communicate with individuals at all levels of the organization including distilling complex issues for a variety of audiences
  • the ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders in a globally matrixed organisation by being a trusted business partner
  • excellent drafting, negotiation and problem solving skills
  • excellent organisational and prioritization skills, including the ability to manage multiple matters simultaneously and independently
  • a strong eye for identifying and experience mitigating legal, reputational, and compliance-related risks


We are a global organisation which has adapted successfully to the challenges of our times.  This is a full-time role that is based in our Oxford office, but we are open to discussing flexible remote working.

We care about work/life balance. With this in mind, we offer 25 days’ holiday that rises with service, plus bank holidays and Christmas closure (3-days) and a 35-hour working week.  We also have a great variety of active employee networks and societies.

We help make your money go further by contributing to your pension - up to 11% of base salary, offering loans and savings schemes through our partnership with Salary Finance, in addition to travel to work schemes and access to a wide range of local discounts. 


Please contact Wendy Foster, Talent Acquisition Partner,, should you have any queries.

We are committed to supporting diversity in our workforce, and ensuring an inclusive environment where all individuals can thrive. We seek to employ a workforce representative of the markets that we serve and encourage applications from all.

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OUP UK - Oxford
Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Division:
    Group Legal
  • Department:
  • Closing Date:
    24 October 2021
  • Salary:
    Dependent on skills and experience
  • Location:
    OUP UK - Oxford
  • Full Time / Part Time:
    Full Time
  • Ref:

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