Legal Counsel

  • Niagara Region
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Jan 07, 2018
Full time Lawyer (In House Counsel) Lawyer (Public Sector)

Job Description

Serving a diverse urban and rural population of more than 430,000, Niagara Region is focused on building a strong and prosperous Niagara. Working collaboratively with 12 local area municipalities and numerous community partners, the Region delivers a range of high quality programs and services to support and advance the well-being of individuals, families and communities within its boundaries. Nestled between the great lakes of Erie and Ontario, the Niagara peninsula features some of Canada’s most fertile agricultural land, the majesty of Niagara Falls and communities that are rich in both history and recreational and cultural opportunities. Niagara boasts dynamic modern cities, Canada’s most developed wine industry, a temperate climate, extraordinary theatre, and some of Ontario’s most breathtaking countryside. An international destination with easy access to its binational U.S. neighbour New York State, Niagara attracts over 14 million visitors annually, as well as a steady stream of new residents and businesses.

Reporting to the Director Legal and Court Services, the Legal Counsel is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the management, staff and Council of The Regional Municipality of Niagara in the delivery of legal services, including legal advice, the development and review of agreements, by-laws, policies and procedures and their implementation, regulatory compliance, administrative law, planning and development, real estate law, expropriations, environmental law, civil litigation, employment, labour and human rights matters and the enforcement of Regional By-laws.

• Post-secondary degree from a recognized university.
• Law degree from a recognized law school.
• Successful completion of Ontario Bar Admission Course.

• At least 5 years legal practice with emphasis on general municipal law (including municipal planning and development), civil litigation, contracts, real estate, procurement and freedom of information/privacy.
• At least 3 years experience in municipal law.
• At least 1 year supervisory experience.
• While the minimum experience required is necessary to carry out the diverse obligations of Legal Counsel, the Region values experience and will assign varying workload based on that experience.
• Must be a Barrister and Solicitor entitled to practice law in Ontario.
• Must be a full member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

1. Niagara Region is a large, complex municipal Corporation. The complexity of Regional operations requires that Legal Counsel possess some level of expertise in virtually all areas of law; additional specialized knowledge in a smaller subset of those laws and knowledge of the services provided by the Corporation to fulfill the duties of this position. The amount of regulation and legislation governing Regional programs is increasing along with the need to specialize or focus on specific areas of law. However, conflicting with the need for specialization is the size of the legal services division at Niagara Region which requires of necessity that Legal Counsel be prepared to provide advice, on a time sensitive basis, on a very broad range of topics often dedicated to specialized counsel in other settings. The resulting pressures can be considerable.
• Provides professional legal services and expertise in the areas of civil litigation, regulatory litigation, real estate law, municipal planning and land development law, environmental law, commercial law, municipal law, contract law, administrative law and construction law, as well as areas of the law specifically relevant to the Region including, including procurement, development charges, freedom of information and protection of privacy, long-term care facilities, social assistance and public health law.
• Maintains professional competence in all applicable areas of the law.

2. Provides professional legal services, to the extent required, in all areas of the law required by the client’s needs.
• Takes client instructions and conducts legal research.
• Provides legal advice and counsel to clients, carrying out transactions with significant legal elements, and intermediating between client and specialized outside legal counsel, and reporting to client.
• Provides professional legal services to the Regional Corporation and all its constituent elements, including Council, Council committees, individual Councillors (including the Regional Chair), Regional Departments, Niagara Regional Housing, Niagara Regional Police Services, staff committees, and individual staff members.

3. Provides support to division and department activities.
• Participates in various non-legal administrative matters for the Region, such as staff committees and task forces.
• Participates in senior leadership team of the Corporate Services Department, as required.
• Supports the planning and monitoring of the Legal and Court Services Division budget.
• Provides policy development within overarching corporate initiatives.
• Provides policy development and advice for specific departments.

4. Selects and retains outside lawyers, overseeing their work, liaising between outside lawyers and the Region and appraising their performance.
• Provides direction, guidance, coaching and support to other legal staff in the division and non-legal staff throughout Region.
• Acts as a facilitator between staff in different departments and representatives of public with emphasis on problem solving and achieving overall Niagara Region objectives.
• Acts as a source of information to provide corporate perspective to diverse elements within Region that may have less exposure to operations outside their particular area of expertise..

• May be required to support emergency operations under the incident management structure, at the direction of the Emergency Operations Centre Director
• Must be able to work under pressure with tight deadlines and limited information combined with significant risk to the Region associated with an incorrect or incomplete advice.
• Regional staff strive to enable the strategic priorities of council and the organization through the completion of their work. Staff carry out their work by demonstrating the corporate values of service, honesty, choice, partnership and respect.

Uncover the wonder of the Niagara Region and join a team dedicated to meeting tomorrow’s challenges TODAY!

Let us know why you would be an excellent team member by submitting your online application.

We thank all candidates for their interest however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.