Assistant Property Counsel

  • Job Reference: 221098
  • Date Posted: 10 March 2023
  • Recruiter: HS2
  • Website:
  • Location: Birmingham
  • Salary: £36,300 to £45,350
  • Sector: Other Rail Jobs
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

Salary:  £36,300pa to £45, depending on skills and experience. In addition, we offer flexible benefits fund of 15% which is paid on top base salary and is fully pensionable, as well as a range of competitive benefits - check them out in the Benefits section on our website. 

HS2 Ltd endeavours to ensure everyone working for us and with us feels included, thrives and achieves their full potential. In practice, this means we are positive and inclusive about making adjustments, providing flexible working, encouraging our staff networks to flourish and providing personal and professional development opportunities.  

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Assistant Property Counsel specialising in property and compulsory purchase to join the dynamic HS2 Legal Team, contributing to the building of Britain’s new, high speed rail network – a 30 year + project.

As an Assistant Property Counsel at HS2 you will play a key role by working with colleagues across the project, providing expert legal advice which is critical to delivery and future operation of the largest infrastructure project in Europe. You will be required to advise on a broad range of topics and provide a full range of advice to HS2 and key internal stakeholders with a particular focus on property, planning and compulsory purchase in order to minimise exposure and risk whilst ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations and timely delivery of property requirements to ensure HS2 observes its commitments to its sponsors.

You will work under the supervision of Senior Property Counsel, but will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the wider legal team, including the General Counsel,  and other Property  and Planning Counsel on all aspects of property, planning and compulsory purchase law in connection with HS2, including the acquisition of a very diverse range of properties. licences, easements, compulsory purchase matters. HS2 Act powers and notices, disputes, utilities and related template documentation. The team is approachable, supportive and adaptable, with decades of combined experience in property and planning law.

This role will provide you with unique experience of working directly with clients, managing your own matters, dealing with high-value and programme critical cases, understanding how an infrastructure project is delivered in practice and dealing with the complex issues that arise as a result of working alongside government sponsors and other private and public sector stakeholders – experience that is exclusive to this once in a generation project that is doing things differently. From modern methods of construction to destination net zero, HS2 is utilising cutting-edge innovation to deliver the railway in the best way.

About the role:

In this role, you will be required to assist HS2 on a variety of project requirements:

  • Providing high quality advice to staff at all levels on compulsory purchase in connection with HS2, including service of notices, blight, tribunal claims and associated compensation issues and HS2 discretionary property schemes.
  • Handling, under appropriate supervision, own case load of a variety of complex property/compulsory purchase matters which in some cases will include drafting and negotiating bespoke agreements.
  • Research/advice on HS2 Act powers including but not limited to CPO, access, possession, planning and protective provisions.
  • Assisting with HS2 office portfolio related matters, including taking leases of operational office space and associated documents; licences to occupy; telecommunications licences and management of property portfolio.
  • Assisting the HS2 land and property team with commercial matters, including commercial contracts, costs agreements and confidentiality agreements.
  • Providing high quality advice on planning law queries as required, including the HS2 Act planning regime, environmental queries and highways and assist Senior Counsel with obtaining additional powers (when required).
  • Assisting Senior Counsel and Head Counsel with litigation cases involving planning matters.
  • Acting as a point of contact between external parties, such as external lawyers, Department for Transport, HS2 land and property team, and other internal stakeholders in order to ensure consistency and open communication.
  • Instructing external lawyers to provide advice to HS2 on property transactions and planning and CPO matters and act as liaison with external lawyers and assist with monitoring performance and cost.
  • Drafting, updating and maintaining standard form template documentation in order to continuously improve performance, compliance and consistency across the business and effective working practices.
  • Assisting in the preparation of legal advice and other reports and briefings for staff across HS2, including senior management, to maintain open communication and support decision making and attend internal governance meetings with colleagues and provide advice at such meetings, including to senior members of staff.
  • Updating and maintaining databases relating to property acquisitions to ensure accurate and relevant data is available for audit purposes and to advise and inform decision making.
  • Conducting research into relevant legislation, case law and procedures to ensure HS2 remains up to date and compliant and report to colleagues as necessary.
  • In all cases providing advice in such a way so as to ensure that the business is not exposed to undue risk and that consistent standards are adhered to.
  • Actively promoting and embedding Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in all your work, and support and comply with all organisational initiatives, policies and procedures on EDI.



About You:

A successful candidate for the role of the Assistant Property Counsel should demonstrate (both in their CV and at interview) the following experience and competencies:


  • A working knowledge gained in house or in private practice dealing with government departments, utilities and/or transport undertakers.
  • Experience advising on high value construction or infrastructure projects.
  • Experience of advising on compulsory purchase and planning matters

Skills & Knowledge

  • Qualified solicitor with post-qualification experience in property, planning and/or compulsory purchase law.
  • Flexible approach with some post-qualification experience of working within a multidisciplinary team on a wide range of property/planning issues
  • Good problem solving skills, including working without established precedent or procedure
  • Strong planning and organisational skills in order to manage a large caseload
  • Ability to demonstrate a sound understanding of the challenges facing the delivery of a major infrastructure project and the role of the in-house legal function as a key contributor to successful delivery
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, strong interpersonal and influencing skills.

About Us

High Speed 2 (HS2 Ltd) will be the UK’s new high speed rail network. As well as improving capacity, the new scheme will shorten journey times between a number of Britain’s major population centres, boost the economy and create thousands of jobs.
HS2 Ltd will create a skills legacy and develop a diverse range of talent. We aim to be a leader in EDI practice by creating a safe & inclusive working environment for all our staff - living our values of Safety, Respect, Integrity and Leadership.
In practice, this means we are positive and inclusive about making adjustments, providing flexible working, encouraging our staff networks to flourish and providing personal and professional development opportunities.
HS2 Ltd is also a safety-critical organisation. Employees are required to ensure reasonable care of their own and others’ health and safety by taking personal responsibility for working to our ‘Safe at Heart’ programme principles and following safe working procedures at all times.
HS2 Ltd endeavours to ensure everyone working for us and with us feels included, thrives and achieves their full potential.