Legal Manager - Northern Europe

Location UK-Newcastle upon Tyne
Job ID
Human Resources/Legal
Position Type


To lead and manage our Commercial Operations UKI in house Legal Team in order to ensure legal compliance and provide pragmatic solutions to legal issues. Will provide advice in relation to: customer contracting and terms and conditions, commercial policy, customer disputes, data protection and assist the following UKI teams: Sales, Procurement, Field Marketing, Partnerships and Alliances, Services and Sales and Marketing Operations.  The team will also help support wider Legal initiatives in country as required (i.e. Code of Conduct/data protection/anti-bribery training).


Key accountabilities and decision ownership:

Leading the UKI Commercial Legal Operations team
Line management responsibility for other lawyers within the UKI Commercial Legal Operations Team
Part of the Sage UKI Extended Leadership Community and active participation with in this Community (for example contributing to leadership events and strategic objectives)
Provide appropriate best-in-class end-to-end legal commercial, regulatory and compliance advice, including data protection advice (with reference to the Data Protection Counsel) on customer, partner, accountant and procurement matters.
Advise and negotiate on all such contracts across the operational side of the business, so that all contracts, projects and strategic business initiatives are appropriately negotiated to deliver maximum value whilst meeting all required commercial objectives and deadlines.
Ensure both that, as far as possible, litigation and claims in these areas are pro-actively avoided and that, where any litigation and claims come up, it is handled efficiently and effectively to secure the optimal result for Sage, taking into account the business' various priorities.
Exercise appropriate cost management and control with all external advisers to meet the Legal function's targets to reduce third party spend.
Assist in the harmonisation, streamlining and simplifying of existing Legal operational processes and procedures within the areas covered by the Commercial Legal Operations team.
Participate in regional 'deal desk' as required
Work with Field Marking teams to ensure our external marketing materials planned for use are compliant and do not carry legal risk.
Assist on RFPs but create a body of information for these requests which can be used on a regular basis.
Ensure regional partnerships and alliances are implemented with reference to the Partner, Marketing, M&A and IP team as needed.  Assist that team with the SPP roll out and implementation in country.
Manage and develop strong relationships with key stakeholders in the relevant country, including Sales, Finance (in particular Commercial Finance), Procurement, Field Marketing, Partner & Alliance team, the Country Manager.
Be able to interact with, influence, advise and support key contacts at all levels across the business, both within your area of expertise and across other relevant fields, to ensure close alignment between the Legal function and the business, and identify and progress value creation opportunities.
Assist as needed in the roll out of Legal training (such as Code of Conduct, data protection, anti-bribery) and other initiatives (e.g. partner due diligence).


Key performance indicators:

Leadership, guidance, coaching and development of direct reports and other colleagues both within and outside of the Legal Team
Creation of an inspirational working environment within the Commercial Legal Operations team, and across the entire Legal function, which fosters Sage culture and values.
A high-performing, happy and motivated Commercial Legal Operations team with a clear understanding of what they need to do and how they need to do.
A business that is in no doubt about the value the Commercial Legal Operations team is adding; that has no worries about whether all Commercial Legal Operations requirements are being met to in line with all required commercial objectives, deadlines and budget; and that, through the user-friendly way in which we operate, see the Commercial Legal Operations team as key business colleagues (not your typical "Legal Department").
Increased pro-active involvement from all operational areas of Sage business with the Commercial Legal Operations team, recognising the fact that the team speaks their language and is on their side.
Close alignment with the Heads of other teams within Legal and a co-ordinated collaborative team approach across the Legal function.
Growth in our talent base of Commercial Operations lawyers and other personnel, with succession planning having been seriously and frequently considered, so the team is well placed to keep pace with Sage's growth.
Strong legal strategies developed, with opportunities to develop new more effective working methods and practices frequently researched and assessed.


Skills, know-how and experience:


Must have:

·         Significant commercial legal experience and a track record of delivering commercially sound legal advice to business

·         Excellent leader, coach and communicator

·         Excellent analytical and commercial legal skills and who can function at a senior level within the team unsupervised.  Consistently high quality deliverables are a given

·         Excel at applying detailed legal knowledge to solve complicated commercial challenges

·         Good knowledge of UK Company Law and UK Company Secretarial requirements

·         Capable of both project managing and executing large legal projects unsupervised

·         An ability to analyse legal and commercial issues and to provide clear explanations of legal matters with relevant commercial advice.

·         Must understand strategic principles and have the ability to think beyond an operational level

·         Should be able to demonstrate experience of identifying legal compliance challenges in a business context and implementing change to ensure legal compliance

·         Ability to embrace, cope with and manage change quickly, and be enthused and excited about what's around the corner for us, given our fast pace.

·         Creativity coupled with an innovative thought process and a willingness to push the boundaries and be disruptive, inventive and make our own change - even on something we've only just finished.

·         Work directly with and developing the team (especially junior team members), to foster innovation and collaboration.

·         Drive and determination to deliver outstanding results as Sage transforms and grows.

·         Ability to think globally about the interests of the overall business and not exclusively focus on the needs/interests of the local market place.

·         Experience with technology services transactions and of related commercial contracts terms is preferred.



·         A detailed understanding of contract law with a slant towards IT matters is required. While in-depth knowledge of other relevant legal disciplines (e.g. IPR, company law, data protection, competition law, litigation, employment law or property law) is also highly desirable

·         Extensive experience of working with businesses to solve their commercial challenges in an effective, practical way

Technical / professional qualifications:

Educated to degree level and a solicitor or similar professional legal qualification

Company Information

Our Story

Sage is the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs.


Like many of the businesses we serve, Sage began as a small business and has grown beyond what seemed imaginable. Today over 13000 colleagues now support millions of entrepreneurs across 23 countries as they power the global economy.

It is these entrepreneurs who are the drivers of prosperity and it’s our privilege and honour to serve them. We take real pride from how many of our customers have flourished and, that our products have grown with them as they moved from start-up to successful, international businesses.

In a world where only the voices of the biggest are heard, we will always fight to hear the voice of the entrepreneur.


An innovator today and tomorrow     

Our smart people use the smartest technology to reinvent and simplify business accounting - working with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners and developers. 

We enable our customers to focus on their business and help them to leapfrog to the future.


Inventing the future 

We are changing the way that millions of businesses track the movement of money through their business. We are also changing the way we do business. And as a FTSE 100 business we believe in a socially-responsible world and we are active in supporting our local communities and invest in making a real difference through the philanthropy of the Sage Foundation. Our Sage Foundation is based on the 2+2+2 model - 2% of free cash flow, 2% of colleagues' time and up to 2 free products each year to charitable organizations. Colleagues are empowered to give to the causes that matter to them.

Our customers make life-sacrifices. They take risks to follow their dreams and pursue their passions and, on this, global prosperity is built. They deserve a bigger voice and we will always work hard to champion this noble cause.


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