Legal Contracts Manager, Glasgow

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university, focused on delivering excellent teaching and world-class research and known for forging strong collaborative links with industry, government, business and the third sector.

Based in Research and Knowledge Exchange Services, the role forms part of the Grants and Contracts Service and provides specialist support and legal advice across the University on externally funded research and knowledge exchange contracts.

The role involves negotiating and agreeing contracts on behalf of the University, ensuring that the contract sufficiently manages the legal and commercial risk to the University, maximising financial return and protecting academic and University interests.

You will have a degree in law and/ or extensive specialist experience (preferably in a higher education or professional services environment) of contract negotiations and of advising clients across various legal matters affecting the operations of a large research-intensive University. You will possess high level communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively and influence at a senior level, experience of assessing and balancing legal risk and reward, and the ability to plan your own workload and deliver to deadlines.

Job Description:

To negotiate contracts and provide legal advice in relation to the University’s research, consultancy and services rendered activity.

Main Activities/Responsibilities:

  • Negotiate commercial terms and conditions with external organisations for the University to undertake research, consultancy and services rendered activity in support of its strategic plan, ensuring that contracts sufficiently balance and manage the legal and commercial risk to the University whilst at the same time securing expected income and other benefits.
  • Consultation and advice with academic stakeholders to ensure that the above is delivered in line with strategic need, and that accepted levels of risk are clearly communicated so that they can be effectively managed through project delivery.
  • On behalf of the University and academic community, negotiate contractual terms and conditions with external organisations in relation to other miscellaneous requirements including confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements, assignments, secondments, ensuring that the contract sufficiently manages the legal and commercial risk to the University whilst at the same time securing expected benefits and outcomes.
  • The Contracts Manager role will be faculty-facing and faculty-focussed, will build and maintain relationships between RKES and faculty leadership and senior academics across the R&KE contracts portfolio and related strategic interests of each faculty grouping.
  • Provide ongoing support and advice following receipt of external funding to ensure that contractual obligations are understood and resolving disputes when they arise.
  • Provide advice and support to Contract Officers within the G&C team. 
  • Contribute to the development of continued process improvements in the university contracts work flow.
  • Liaise with G&C colleagues to document and communicate financial arrangements, discuss insurance provisions, deal with queries regarding contractual and accounting terms and ensure that accounts are properly established forclaiming and receipt of external funding.
  • Provide advice to internal stakeholders in respect of current and emerging legal and regulatory requirements, including but not limited to procurement, dispute resolution, governance matters, collaborations, international matters, complex contracts, intellectual property, regulatory matters, risk and compliance.
  • The successful applicant will be expected to: Manage their own workload and legal files and ensure that such legal files are recorded/retained in an organised manner and are easily accessible; work largely autonomously, with line management review routinely applied on completion, but referring issues as necessary to manage exceptional circumstances, foster and build strategic working relationships across internal stakeholder groups, manage the expectations of contacts across the University and balance competing priorities.
  • Work collaboratively with other professional advisers and administrators working for the University; 
  • Identify and work towards longer term strategic goals for the University.
  • The successful applicant will be required to: Apply appropriate judgement in relation to requests for legal input: prioritise and manage their workload to ensure that deadlines are met; determine whether external legal support is necessary; identify where input is required from other professional services within the University.

Candidate Requirements:

  • A degree in law or extensive professional experience of contract negotiations in a comparable role.
  • Practicing solicitor.
  • Extensive experience of client-facing contracting and ability to provide commercial advice and take a pragmatic approach to solving legal and other problems.
  • Extensive practical knowledge of legal issues associated with the Higher Education sector, research funders and/or technology transfer.
  • Experience of advising in relation to collaborative research projects.
  • Experience of advising and contracting in relation to intellectual property, data and proprietary information/knowledge.
  • Proven risk management experience.
  • Legal and analytical thinking and advising.
  • Ability to quickly build successful working relationships and establish credibility.
  • High level communication skills, with an ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, often with significant complexity.
  • Proven ability to influence at senior level both within and outwith the organisation.
  • Highly organised, with the ability to plan own workload and respond flexibly to competing priorities and deadlines.
  • Progressive use of work-related technology.
  • Action-orientated with the ability to use initiative to partner and work collaboratively with others to achieve successful outcomes.
  • Evidence of continuous professional development and the ability to stay up to date with current and emerging legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Supportive of colleagues and able to share specialist expertise.

On Offer:

On offer is a competitive salary and attractive benefits package.

To Apply:

For a confidential discussion about this position, to request the full job description or to apply, please contact:

David Thomson- Director

Telephone: 0141 244 0260


David Thomson

Founder and Director of Thomson Legal Recruitment Company- award-winning legal consultant and a veteran of the legal recruitment market.