Senior Director, Legal
- George Weston Ltd.
- Lawyer - In House Counsel
- Area of Practice
- Corporate/Commercial Law, Real Estate Law
- Minimum Level of Education
- Professional degree - LL.B
- Minimum Number of Years in Practice
- 4-10 years
1. Summary of the Overall Role: Purpose and Rationale
The role of the Senior Director, Legal is to be an integral of the Legal Team that provides corporate and commercial legal support to various businesses within the Wittington Group of companies and businesses including Wittington Investments, Limited, Wittington Properties Limited, Luxury Businesses, along with a full range of corporate and commercial matters that are supported by the Wittington Corporate Office. The role will also support the Weston Foundation and its philanthropic activities.
2. Description of the Role’s Major Responsibilities and Functions
Reporting to the General Counsel & Secretary, practice areas will include a full range of corporate and commercial and real estate matters including support to the following areas:
- Corporate transactions, including partnerships and joint ventures
- Treasury, investments and finance matters
- Real estate projects, both development and leasing and municipal law
- Human resources and employment matters
- Support to Tax planning
- Insurance and risk management
- Support to Family Offices
- Charities and not-for-profit work
- General compliance matters
Business Partner:Provide support to enable the various functional areas and businesses to allow them to meet their objectives by fostering partner relationships within the functional groups at Wittington.
Compliance and Risk Management: Involvement in various compliance and risk management processes across the Group. Need to be able to understand significant changes (both external and internal) which affect the Company and its risk environment. Play a role in promoting an effective and integrated approach to managing compliance and risk management.
Leadership Role: Should possess the following leadership characteristics to promote effective partnerships within the businesses:
- broad and creative thinker, analytical;
- setting high performance standards, driving for results and consistently delivering on time and on budget;
- ability to collaborate with various stakeholders within the Wittington Group;
- providing compelling rationale for decisions and well thought through recommendations; and
- strong team player interested in contributing to the success of the team and in providing shared leadership
Dealings with External Advisors: The incumbent will be responsible for overseeing and managing external counsel including the following responsibilities:
- working collaboratively with and providing direction to external legal counsel on transactions, litigation, and other matters; and
- managing outside legal spend and ensuring the organization receives value for the fees paid.
3. Complexities of the Role
- develop and maintain effective business partnerships with a variety of individuals across the Weston group of companies;
- work closely with the different legal teams and business leaders to execute legal and business priorities and objectives
- Ensure members of the Wittington Group are apprised of significant issues and developments as part of their overall development
- handle a variety complex and time sensitive matters and be able to prioritize competing interests.
4. Primary Contacts
- Functional departments with the Corporate and Family Offices
- Colleagues in the operating businesses and at the Corporate Office
- Manage and oversee work being done by external counsel.
5. Specific Skills, Depth and Breadth of Knowledge and Competencies Required to be Successful in the Role
Experience and Knowledge
- 6 – 8 post-call year lawyer with experience in either the corporate/commercial practice area of a law firm or within the legal department of another organization
- Member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada with a minimum of 6 post-call years of experience in a law firm or a corporate legal department practicing primarily corporate law
- Thorough understanding of broad based corporate and commercial and real estate matters
- Strong business acumen
- Superior drafting skills with experience negotiating and structuring a wide variety of commercial agreements
- Sound legal and business judgment founded on experience and high integrity
- Proven track record of adding value to an organization through the development of comprehensive documentation and processes that mitigate risk
- Strong analytical skills, excellent oral and written communication skills and strong negotiator
- Expresses opinions clearly and convincingly and makes presentations with confidence
- Demonstrated judgment and discretion in handling complex, highly confidential matters with autonomy.
- Strong client service orientation and focus on delivering work on time and on budget
- Establishes effective relationships with internal and external clients, networks effectively and relates well to individuals at all levels of the organization and outside of the organization.
- Strong collaborative approach, excels in a small or large team environment
- Energetic attitude with comfort working independently or as part of a team
- Excellent verbal / written communication skills with the ability to establish collaborative relationships and credibility within the Legal department and with key clients / stakeholders
- Assist business leaders in meeting strategic and financial targets.
- plans activities well in advance, sets clear objectives and manages time effectively
- ability to manage high volume of work with a small team, in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment
- ability to manage legal budgets and continuously improve value of services being provided to the Company
- highly developed organization skills with a proven ability to prioritize and strong sense of urgency and results oriented.