Hovis Limited is a baking and flour milling business jointly owned by The Gores Group (51%) and Premier Foods plc (49%). Headquartered in High Wycombe we employ around 3,200 people at 8 bakeries, 4 flour mills and 3 regional distribution centres across the UK.
This is an exciting opportunity for a legal counsel to join the legal team at Hovis Limited, one of the most iconic household brands in the UK. Working at our head office in High Wycombe, you will be exposed to a wide variety of legal practice areas and a key stakeholder and contributor to the business.
You will work closely with the procurement team reviewing, drafting, negotiating and advising on contracts in relation to:
- the purchase of goods and/or services including for ingredients, packaging, logistics, recruitment, CAPEX, marketing and IT;
- the sale of our products;
- variation letters to contracts;
- non-disclosure agreements; and
- deed of novation.
You will also be required to advise the business on various elements of executed contracts including exclusivity, term/termination and liability.
You will have responsibility for:
- maintaining the business’ IPR portfolio including dealing with renewals/abandonment of trade marks;
- responding to potential infringements of the business’ trade marks and where appropriate sending cease and desist letters;
- researching and advising on the use of words/phrases stated on marketing material, new launches and re-brands and the associated risks;
- preparing trade mark licence agreements; and
- instructing external IP attorneys.
You will be responsible for supporting the business by ensuring compliance with applicable marketing laws and regulations, whilst supporting and enabling the vision of the marketeers. Working in conjunction with the Head of Regulatory Affairs, you will review and advise on a variety of content and copy that is used to market our brand including:
- the content contained on the packaging of our products;
- sales promotions, competitions and coupons including drafting the applicable terms and conditions;
- social media posts on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter;
- statements, articles and reports in magazines; and
- third party requests to use Hovis branded material i.e. for museum exhibitions.
You will assist in company secretarial matters, including:
- completing the businesses’ annual returns;
- appointing and removing directors; and
- filing documents with Companies House.
You will be encouraged to deliver training to the business (e.g. contract, anti-bribery, competition law) with the assistance of the senior legal counsel.
You will conduct legal research where appropriate/necessary and monitor changes in legislation/regulations that will impact the business e.g. Groceries Supply Code of Practice, Brexit etc.
Naturally, operating within an in-house legal team, there will be various ad-hoc matters that you will also deal with including:
- customer relations issues;
- competition law matters;
- debt matters/litigation;
- HR matters; and
- data protection issues (including supporting with data subject access requests).
The candidate would be a 2-4 year PQE qualified lawyer (in-house experience preferable but not essential) with:
- strong academics (2:1 degree or above and LPC with distinction);
- solid experience advising clients in matters relating to commercial law and commercial contracts;
- knowledge of, or interest in, marketing and advertising law;
- strong time management skills with an ability to juggle conflicting demands and work well under pressure in a fast paced environment;
- genuine interest in FMCG food sector;
- excellent drafting and negotiation skills;
- strong communication skills with an ability to influence people and provide clear advice confidently to all stakeholders, including the senior executive team;
- commercially minded, resilient and happy taking initiative, whilst knowing when to ask for assistant and guidance;
- ability to quickly build and maintain strong business relationships with colleagues and fellow professionals (incl. external counsel).