South Bank, Greater London
£55,000 - £70,000 per year
Permanent, Part-time, 3-4 Days per week
Job description


The Old Vic is London’s independent not-for-profit theatre, a world leader in creativity and entertainment.

The Old Vic is mercurial: it can be transformed into a theatre in the round, a space for music and comedy, has played host to opera, dance, cinema, music hall, classical dramas, variety, clowns, big spectacles and novelty acts. It was the original home of the English National Opera, the Sadler’s Wells dance company and the National Theatre. It's also been a tavern, a college, a coffee house, a lecture hall and a meeting place.

All of this is now in the bones of the building, and is as important a part of its open-armed, inclusive, welcoming personality as its grand historic decor and the iconic performances and famous productions it has housed. 

Today, Artistic Director Matthew Warchus is building on 200 years of creative adventure, with The Old Vic recently being hailed as London’s most eclectic and frequently electrifying theatre. Under his leadership, we aim to be a surprising, unpredictable, ground-breaking, rule-breaking, independent beacon of accessible, uplifting and unintimidating art.

We hold the belief that theatre needs to be cherished, supported and shared with as many people as possible. Our 1000 seats are yours from £10 a ticket. Our productions are diverse, adventurous, new, exciting. Our education and talent programmes allow students to explore, and artists of tomorrow to create. Our building is open and alive, day and night. Our theatre is yours.

So, whether you’re looking for a comedy or new musical, a dramatic work or dance performance, a £10 preview, a late-night cocktail or a show you can watch together as a family, there is always something new to entertain at The Old Vic.


Our Culture at The Old Vic

There is a collective will to sustain an environment at The Old Vic that is safe, inclusive, welcoming and happy. We want our theatre to be a beacon of enlightenment, entertainment, engagement and empathy.

Our working culture at The Old Vic is open, proactive and collaborative. As an organisation, we prize creativity and the bravery to be led by that. We all bring passion and an entrepreneurial spirit to our roles.

Above all, The Old Vic is a values-led organisation. We have high standards and we operate with heart. We care very much about our audiences, our staff, the impact we have on societal and community issues, and about contributing a body of world-class work. We want to sustain and grow our theatre, but not by compromising our standards or values. Each day, we want people to be reminded of why they joined us, and the attraction, excitement and welcome they felt when they first arrived.

To maintain our values and workplace culture we created The Guardians Programme, in dialogue with our staff, which has now been adopted by more than 40 organisations across the UK. The Old Vic Guardians are a group of trained staff who offer a confidential outlet for colleagues to share concerns about behaviour or the culture at work. We additionally also hold annual  sessions where staff can discuss what behavior is ‘OK or Not OK’ at The Old Vic and this is used to inform our cultural statement.


General Counsel - Job Description

Department/Team       Executive

Responsible to            Executive Director

Contract                      Permanent, 3-4 days per week/0.6-0.8 FTE

Location:                     Currently remote. Ordinarily at The Old Vic, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB, although some long-term remote working will be considered

Hours:                         Core hours are 10 am – 6pm but we are open to discussing a flexible arrangement

Salary:                         £55-70k (pro rata), depending on skills and experience


Purpose of job

This is a broad in-house role. You will be sole legal counsel and Company Secretary for The Old Vic Group (comprising The Old Vic Theatre Trust 2000 and its subsidiaries and The Old Vic Endowment Trust) providing pragmatic, high quality legal, commercial and leadership advice for all aspects of the Group's affairs. You will be a senior adviser who can contribute to the direction and success of the charity acting as a member of the Senior Management Team. You will support the Board of Trustees in fulfilling their responsibilities as charity trustees and in the governance and risk management of the Group.


Areas of responsibility

The General Counsel will be responsible for:

  • Corporate governance, including company secretarial filings, Charity Commission filings, Board appointments and retirements, management of conflicts of interest, servicing of Board sub-committees and compliance with relevant governance standards and codes
  • Management of risk, including support the Board in setting and reviewing the risk policy, maintaining the risk register and ensuring appropriate reporting and assurance, overseeing risk management in day-to-day operations.
  • Day-to-day legal advice on all legal matters for the Group, including but not limited to contract drafting and commercial negotiation, media, charity, IP and data protection, GDPR, property, employment and company law
  • Providing all necessary legal advice and guidance to internal stakeholders, including the Board and the Executive and Artistic Directors, to safeguard the Group’s assets and reputation
  • Day-to-day contractual and operational support to all departments including but not limited to production, theatre management, development, communications and marketing and employment (including for unionised permanent and casual staff)
  • With the other members of the Senior Management Team, leading The Old Vic and helping shape its future through contributing to the development and delivery of organisational design and culture, processes and systems development, staff recruitment, retention and development and other shared areas of work
  • General regulatory advice on all matters affecting The Old Vic Group
  • Working with department heads to ensure appropriate internal policies and procedures are in place and are understood by all staff, contractors and freelancers
  • Working with department heads to ensure appropriate external policies and procedures are in place and are accessible to external stakeholders
  • Acting as data protection officer including management of all matters relating to privacy and data protection
  • Procuring and managing external solicitors and counsel as required (including where support is provided pro bono) and managing costs within budget to mitigate risk and resolve issues as and when these arise
  • To take responsibility for any litigation or dispute matters that may arise and the general dealing of issues associated with the public (including complaints)
  • Acting as a general reference point within the organization for legal queries and empowering others to better understand and assess legal risks
  • To work flexibly as may be required by the needs of The Old Vic and to carry out any other duties that are reasonably required of this role

This is not an exhaustive list of duties and the Theatre's management may, at any time, allocate other tasks which are of a similar nature or level.


Person Specification

For this role, we are looking for a likeminded team player who is genuinely passionate about applying their legal expertise within the theatre industry.  Our environment offers a completely unique and rewarding experience for the right person.

The successful candidate will have several years' post-qualification experience as a qualified lawyer. Whilst we are wholly flexible about the background in which the legal experience has been achieved (private practice / in-house / government etc), in-house experience in a charity or performing arts/media/entertainment industry organisation would be desirable.

Regardless of prior background, the successful candidate will be enthusiastic about the arts and committed to ensuring that The Old Vic achieves its aims through providing thorough, appropriate and innovative legal and commercial approaches and through maintaining rigorous and effective legal and contractual processes and advice.


  • A qualified lawyer with several years' post-qualification experience
  • Strong and demonstrable all-round legal experience gained at least partly in house
  • Experience of working with/for a charity in a voluntary or professional capacity
  • Ability to work under pressure combined with a calm and measured approach
  • Self-motivated and able to manage and prioritise competing demands  
  • Strong drafting and negotiating experience
  • A practical, problem solving approach
  • Strong administrative, planning and organizational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with experience of adapting and communicating legal advice clearly to stakeholders at both a senior and junior level
  • Ability to work at pace and adapt to change


  • Strong academic background
  • Private practice experience in a well-respected firm
  • In-house experience in a media/ entertainment industry/cultural/not for profit organization/theatre client
  • Demonstrably good drafting skills, ideally with broad experience of drafting a variety of contracts to a high standard.
  • Corporate governance, company secretarial and/or risk management experience
  • Charity law experience
  • GDPR and data protection experience
  • Experience of/interest in organizational leadership/senior management role


How to Apply

To apply for this role, please:

  • Apply via our Application Portal.
  • Attach a CV and short covering letter as one document to your application explaining why you are interested in this role and how your experience and skills match the person specification.

Please ensure one document is attached before hitting ‘Finish application’ or closing the page.

  • Complete the online equal opportunities monitoring survey (found on our Work With Us page)

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2021.

We receive a high volume of applications. If you have not heard from us within 14 days of applying, please assume that you have not been successful on this occasion and keep an eye out for future vacancies.

Please note: where we receive an unprecedented high volume of applications, we reserve the right to close applications early.


Equal Opportunities

We actively support and encourage people from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and skill sets to join us and help shape what we do. We are particularly keen to receive applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and disabled candidates.

We may take positive action, in cases where candidates are equally qualified, to increase the employment of under-represented groups at The Old Vic.

We don’t ask for our applicants to tick a box for any prior convictions at the application stage, to ensure we work to the Fair Chance Recruitment Principles. 

We are a PiPA (Parents and Carers in Performing Arts) Charter Partner, striving towards creating a more family friendly working environment.

We are also a signatory of the Care Leaver Covenant which aims to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently.

The Old Vic has made a commitment that all applicants with disabilities who meet the essential criteria for this job will be invited to interview. Please complete the Equal Opportunities Statement below to help us with this.



We would love to hear from you in whatever way feels most appropriate to you. If you would like to access this application pack or submit your application in another format, we would be happy to speak to you about your needs. 



All appointments are made subject to satisfactory references and proof of eligibility to work in the UK

Posted on: 08 January 2021
Closed date: 31 January 2021
Tags: Legal

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.