Vacancy Details

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Legal Investigator

Summary Information for vacancy - reference LI/JUN11


Pensions Ombudsman


£49500 - £58070 Per Annum


SW1V 1RB, City of Westminster, Greater London, London

Closing Date

27 June 2011

Interviews start

Not specified


Not Specified


Middle management

Pay frequency


Appointment Terms


Working Arrangement

Full time,Part time,Job share

Travel required


No of vacancies


Field of work

Legal Services

Brief Description

The role of the Pensions Ombudsman’s office is to investigate complaints of injustice suffered through maladministration in an occupational or personal pension scheme and to determine disputes of fact or law. The office now also investigates matters in connection with the Pension Protection Fund and Financial Assistance Scheme.

Legal Investigators are expected to deal with the more complex complaints in a timely, proportionate and effective manner. To identify where further information is needed, obtain relevant details, analyse the available evidence and make decisions as to how a case should be handled. This may mean communicating their own conclusion to the parties concerned and ensuring an outcome that is acceptable to all. Or, alternatively, recommending a decision to the Pensions Ombudsman, or Deputy Pensions Ombudsman, and drafting formal determinations. Legal Investigators may be required to instruct Counsel.

Legal Investigators are required to provide legal support to colleagues on legal issues arising on cases being investigated by other caseworkers.

The Legal Investigator plays a central role in ensuring the office as a whole is aware of legal developments which may have an impact on the way the Office deals with cases; akin to acting in a professional support capacity.

Vacancy description

The Legal Investigator’s role is to contribute to the Office business aims by dealing with cases using the most efficient method to reach a resolution.

Legal Investigators are accountable to the Team Leader for the efficient and effective discharge of the responsibilities of the post.

The main duties are to:

• Investigate (particularly legally) complex cases in accordance with the Office procedures and Aims and Principles, keeping parties informed in a timely way of the progress of the cases within their own caseload
• where appropriate, give a view to the parties to the complaint of the Pensions Ombudsman’s likely decision
• where appropriate, take opportunities to resolve / settle complaints
• draft determinations for the Pensions Ombudsman’s review
• update the office case management system (CMS) with details of progress on cases and ensure that all correspondence during the course of the investigation is generated through the CMS
• support the Ombudsman and senior management in following through any legal consequences of determinations which are appealed
• ensure that professional and technical knowledge keeps abreast with current changes
• contribute to the wider development of the office, as may be required by the Ombudsman, Casework Director or Team Leader
• aim to achieve specific targets as agreed
• provide support and advice to colleagues in the office on legal questions/issues which may arise on matters under investigation
• research legal issues and disseminate information about points of interest or importance which may arise, for example from law reports




• ability to interpret law and precedence
• awareness of own development needs
• good judgement and analytical skills
• good communication skills
• good drafting skills
• interpersonal skills
• good problem solving skills
• ability to manage caseload and progress a number of cases efficiently and effectively at any one time
• ability to reach a view, which at times will involve complex pension issues, on the validity of complaints on the basis of the evidence available and justifying this opinion to the Ombudsman
• willingness to participate in office-wide work, including working groups where appropriate.


• knowledge of relevant pensions legislation
• experience of dispute resolution or complaints handling


• qualified as a solicitor or barrister with at least two years post qualification experience.

Further information

CRB check required - No

Regulated by OCSC - No

Reserved for existing civil servants - No

Reserved for UK nationals - No

How to apply

Please visit the Pensions Ombudsman's website for details about how to apply:

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Professional Skills for Government

The Professional Skills for Government (PSG) competency framework is a structured way of thinking about jobs and careers for Civil Service staff at all grades. It sets out the skills you need to do your job well as a member of the Civil Service, no matter what grade you are or where you work.