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Senior Legal Advisor, Academic

Education changes lives. It broadens horizons, breaks down barriers, and fires imaginations. As a department of the University of Oxford, 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 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 proactive, pragmatic and solutions-driven legal advice. Although the role supports a global business, travel is not expected.

Key responsibilities include:

  • providing advice on a wide range of publishing and general commercial matters, including contracts, copyright and trademarks, licensing and sales matters, and business models
  • drafting and negotiating a variety of agreements, including author and editor, content acquisition, digital licensing, digital and print distribution, publishing services and operations agreements
  • advising on pre-publication matters such as defamation and permissions queries
  • creating standard templates, guidance, and training materials to support the Division’s business models while minimising legal risk
  • promptly and effectively addressing and resolving pre-litigation claims to ensure timely and cost-effective legal advice
  • handling general legal queries and providing day to day legal advice to the Division in the US, UK, Canada and elsewhere as required, but not including employment law matters
  • 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. We expect this role to require a minimum of 2 days per week in the Oxford office.

Please note: We may close the role early if we find the right candidate for the role so encourage you to apply at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment. 

About You

This is a great opportunity for an organized, pro-active individual who has the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively at all levels, and who can build strong relationships within a globally matrixed organization. You will also have:


  • Current qualification as a UK solicitor.
  • Significant and relevant post qualification experience, with a mix of in-house experience and foundational experience in private practice.
  • Experience and know how in key areas (e.g. copyright and intellectual property, commercial).
  • Experience identifying and mitigating legal, reputational, and compliance-related risks.
  • Excellent drafting, negotiation, and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent judgement and the ability to form a long-term view of matters taking into consideration multiple perspectives and future implications.


  • In-house experience at a publishing / media company.


We care about work/life balance here at OUP. 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 are open to discussing flexibility in respect of working hours and the use of technology to support regular remote working, dependent on role. 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 12%, 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. 

This role comes with the added benefit of private medical insurance, a car/allowance, and a discretionary annual bonus or management bonus.

Please see our Rewards and Recognition page for more information.


Please contact with any queries relating to this role. 

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, OX2 6DP
  • Division:
    Group Legal
  • Department:
  • Closing Date:
    11 October 2022
  • Salary:
    Dependent on skills and experience
  • Location:
    OUP UK - Oxford
  • Postcode:
    OX2 6DP
  • Full Time / Part Time:
    Full Time
  • Ref:

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