Director, Legal Services

OCH is seeking its first Director of Legal Services to provide guidance, leadership and legal advice to support its strategic plan. Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance, the Director, Legal Services will build, integrate and provide leadership for a legal team and the delivery of legal services for the organization in the areas of corporate law, procurement, litigation, privacy, real estate development, residential tenancy, issues management and other identified OCH legal matters. The Director has a consolidated view of all OCH legal matters, enabling a coordinated approach to legal risk management.  The Director is a strategic business partner and provides expert advice and leadership to the executive team and internal clients on legal matters and on the coordination of external counsel where required. The Director will establish standards including policies and procedures, and will develop and provide a consistent approach to the review of agreements and other obligations entered into by OCH with the view of mitigating risk and ensuring all agreements meet the needs and values of OCH. 


  • Leads the design, build and organizational integration of a Legal Services business unit 

  • Directs a team and provides leadership in the delivery of client centred legal services to the senior executive team and internal client groups in support of business needs, including on commercial agreements, real estate, procurement, residential tenancy law, privacy and other identified corporate legal matters.

  • Oversees the development, implementation and maintenance of policies and procedures related to area of responsibility, and provides advice and input on other corporate policies as required

  • Monitors for statutory and regulatory changes, and emerging case law, and provides related advice, guidance and support to client groups

  • Provides strategic and expert advice, consultation and guidance, and integrates a business perspective in support of corporate decision making

  • Manages the provision of privacy and access to information services and activities 

  • Coordinates and supervises external legal counsel on identified matters

  • Oversees the delivery of legal administrative services, including title searches and the review of mortgage documents

  • Prepares and makes advocacy submissions on statutory changes and government consultations that impact OCH

  • Oversees OCH’s representation before courts, boards and tribunals, and on municipal or provincial work groups related to area of oversight

  • Implements and oversees a risk management framework to identify and manage risk, providing advice, analysis and recommendations on risk management practices 

  • Oversees the negotiation of terms of agreements related to area of oversight

  • Provides advice and support to Business Services, including through a risk analysis of processes, tools and controls, and the mediation and negotiation of settlements to complex and high risk vendor contract or performance disputes 

  • Manages and supports the administration of non-residential leases, third party agreements and activities related to OCH’s condominium interests

  • Ensures appropriate records management within area of responsibility

  • Identifies, implements and evaluates plans, practices and activities that drive effectiveness, efficiency and continuous improvement

  • Prepares budgets, monitors expenditures, ensures the timely validation and approval of expenses, and ensures costs are controlled

  • Provides leadership and overall management of staff within areas of responsibility, including assigning, monitoring and evaluating work, setting work plans, priorities and expectations, coaching, developing and motivating staff, and ensuring effective service delivery 

  • Identifies, plans for and manages human resources needs for assigned area of responsibility, including hiring, termination, discipline, investigations and grievances 

  • Oversees the effective and efficient operation of areas of responsibility, identifying, monitoring and reporting on adherence to targets and performance indicators, and driving continuous improvement

  • Manages collaborative and results oriented relationships, acting as a respectful, courteous and professional representative of OCH with all work-related contacts

  • Acts a senior strategic resource and supports the activities of the Board of Directors and Committees, including the preparation and delivery of reports and presentations

  • Participates in management team meetings, departmental and corporate workgroups, committees and initiatives as identified

  • Works in collaboration with other staff in a team approach to service delivery

  • Ensures the timely investigation, response to, and documentation of workplace incidents

  • Ensures that own work and the work of staff aligns with OCH values, interests, plans and objectives

  • Ensures that own work and the work of employees is carried out in accordance with applicable health, safety and privacy legislation, policies and procedures, and all other legislation, policies and procedures relevant to area of work


A typical candidate will have the following qualifications and experience. Exceptional candidates with different qualifications will be considered at the discretion of the employer if demonstrated experience, knowledge and ability warrant.

  • Completion of a University degree in Law (LL.B or J.D)

  • Member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada 

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressive senior legal experience in the specified legal areas, including five (5) years of experience managing and leading teams in an in-house legal unit

  • Experience providing legal advice on business decisions

  • Experience as a member of a senior leadership team

  • Experience designing and building organizational functions

  • Experience managing large contractual agreements

  • Experience working in a unionized environment preferred


  • Advanced legal knowledge, including corporate law, procurement, litigation, privacy, real estate development, residential tenancies, issues management, and other identified OCH legal matters

  • Comprehensive knowledge of best practices related to contract development and administration

  • Knowledge of risk assessment and management frameworks and practices

  • Knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, database applications and other standard corporate software

  • Understanding of the values, vision and mission of Ottawa Community Housing and a commitment to support those objectives

  • Knowledge of applicable health and safety legislation, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and supervisors

  • Must be familiar with applicable statutory requirements, policies, procedures and guidelines relevant to area of work


  • Business acumen and an ability to bring a business lens to legal analyses 

  • Ability to assess complex situations and define appropriate course of action

  • Excellent interpersonal skills including a demonstrated ability to communicate and work with a wide range of people, including professional contacts 

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills including the ability to tailor complex material to diverse audiences

  • Ability to write clearly and grammatically, to draft legal documents and to organize written material coherently

  • Effective negotiation and mediation skills

  • Results-oriented and use of good judgment in order to achieve desired results

  • Ability to recognize when a situation may be politically sensitive or liable to create media interest, and to escalate as appropriate

  • Proficient in the use of information technology such as mobile devices and computer systems in the performance of work


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