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Senior Legal Counsel

Defence Housing Australia
Date Published: 13 Oct 2020
Legal Full Time
Public No salary information listed.
Senior Legal Counsel
  • Executive Level 1
  • Head Office Canberra

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) provides quality housing services to Defence members and their families. In doing this, we support the operational, recruitment and retention goals of the Department of Defence.


DHA’s Legal Services team is responsible for the provision of expert and strategic legal advice to management as well as setting internal governance policies and managing the impact of external factors that could impact DHA.


We are seeking an experienced and high performing legal practitioner who is a trusted advisor that supports the business to ensure legal compliance and mitigates risk exposure for DHA.


In this role, you will provide quality and solutions-based legal advice for DHA clients with a focus on ensuring DHA staff are supported and developed so that they are in the best position to take on the challenges of the work. You will be accountable for the co-ordination of external legal services covering litigation and claims resolution, property law, commercial and corporate law, contracts and building and construction law. You will build strong relationships with high profile stakeholders, ensure effective communication and provide practical dispute resolution advice and solutions.


This role is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Commercial or Litigation Government Lawyer or a private practice solicitor looking for a Government role.

Our ideal candidate will have:

  • Four years post admission relevant experience in a Government or commercial environment, or a comparable level of other relevant experience.
  • Exceptional analytical skills, a high level of attention to detail, with expertise in legal advice writing.
  • Excellent and proactive stakeholder engagement and management skills including the ability to effectively communicate with a range of stakeholders including a proven ability to resolve conflict and manage sensitivities.
  • A strong ability to make decisions based on sound judgement, expertise and knowledge as well as manage competing priorities, organise workloads and meet challenging deadlines under limited direction.
  • A proven ability to work within a team and allocate resources in a dynamic environment.
  • Highly developed negotiation, strategic, problem solving and analytical skills with a record of achieving results.
  • A proven ability to take initiative and be innovative in developing new or improved work practices.
  • In time, become the ‘go-to’ lawyer for the DHA Services team in leasing and property matters, and be aware of legal issues in the property and leasing space across Australia.


  • A law degree from an Australian tertiary institution or a comparable overseas qualification
  • Four years post admission relevant experience in a Government or commercial environment, or a comparable level of other relevant experience.
  • Admission, or eligibility for admission as a legal practitioner of the High Court or the Supreme Court of an Australian State or Territory.
  • Possession of a legal practising certificate or eligibility to obtain one.

Some of the benefits of working at DHA include:

  • Generous employee benefits with a competitive salary packing, including potential performance bonus and 15.4% employer superannuation contribution
  • Flexible work arrangements, including family friendly provisions
  • Benefits of working for the APS, while in an outcome focused Government Business Enterprise.



This is a full-time position.  DHA’s core business hours are between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.  DHA operates under flexible working hours and staff may be required to work outside core business hours at times. 


  • Provide high quality and sound legal advice that is complex in nature, in particular on the various State and Territory residential tenancies legislation, operational issues, strata laws, property laws, administrative law and commercial matters.
  • Provide practical dispute resolution advice and solutions, and assist external counsel to facilitate the smooth progression of litigation.
  • Manage matters before courts and tribunals.
  • Contribute to legal knowledge within DHA through a commitment to continued legal education and training. Design and deliver legal training to the business as required.
  • Represent the interests of DHA and help manage relationships with relevant stakeholders including other Australian Government agencies, Ombudsman and Tribunal representatives, State and Territory representatives as well as the private sector as necessary.
  • Provide legal advice on a broad range of matters relevant to the Commission, including the interpretation and application of the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987 (DHA Act) and ensure legal services are delivered by DHA in accordance with the Attorney-General’s Legal Services Directions 2017.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of the DHA’s internal policies and procedures.
  • Assists in guiding, coaching and mentoring junior staff within the Legal Services Team.
  • Accountable for developing plans and objectives for short-term tasks and contributing to strategic planning for longer-term initiatives.


Specific goals against key result areas are outlined in each individual staff member’s performance development agreement each year. 


Based on the duty statement, in less than 500 words, please tell us how your skills and experience are relevant to the role and describe the contribution you can make to DHA.



Apply Now

Note: applications for this role will take you to the advertiser's site.