Kyle is a Senior Lawyer in the Government Legal Department (GLD). Here he discusses his training contract and work within the Commercial Law Group:
“Following the completion of the Legal Practice Course, and a brief stint as a paralegal at a personal injury law firm, I took a paid position at a Citizen Advice Bureau for a couple of years. This cemented my desire to pursue a career path which offered a range of interesting and diverse work, in an organisation which was not driven solely by profit, but also committed to furthering the public good. The Government Legal Department appeared to be a perfect fit and I secured a training contract in 2015.
Throughout my training I was given the opportunity to work on a number of high profile matters including:
- the Medical Innovation Bill
- amending guidance on the law relating to abortion
- working on appeals against the application of the spare room subsidy (informally known as ‘the bedroom tax’) by benefit claimants. This included appeals that were taken to the Supreme Court
My last seat was in the Commercial Law Group (CLGp), advising the Department of Health and Social Care. I enjoyed the work so much that I joined the team upon qualification/when I qualified in 2015.
Whilst some of the work of CLGp is no doubt similar to that undertaken by private commercial law firms, in my experience, the interplay with public law issues and the unique position of central government, means that GLD is involved in some of the most novel and interesting commercial law work in the sector.
In particular, the constant balancing of vital commercial issues, such as achieving value for money for the taxpayer and ensuring unbroken continuity of vital public services, means the work remains fresh and challenging.
During my time in the team I was closely involved in:
- the introduction of a new state-backed scheme to cover NHS GPs for incidents of clinical negligence and defending a judicial review to the scheme
- the rapid introduction of a replacement contractor to deal with a hundred of tonnes of clinical waste generated by over 40 hospital trusts
- the development of a multi-million pound grant scheme to combat antimicrobial resistance, by increasing data gathering capacity in low and middle income countries
- the protection of vital intellectual property including the blue NHS lozenge and letters
- grant funding, to help prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union
Work on such matters has involved traditional commercial work, such as the drafting of contracts, intellectual property licences and non-disclosure agreements, as well as specific public sector advice on procurement law and State aid.
CLGp has proven to be an environment in which I could thrive, and in late 2019, I was promoted and began working for the Government Digital Service, which is tasked with leading digital transformation to help the government work better for everyone.
One of the great things about GLD, which sets it apart from private practice, is that having a breadth of experience is really valued and you are actively encouraged to move into different areas of law. Over the last few months I have greatly improved my knowledge of data protection and tech law and I continue to look forward to the challenges ahead.