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Counsel - Labor & Employment - Fixed term contract

Greater London
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Philip Morris International UK
FMCG & consumer goods
501-1,000 employees
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PMI Vision

We’ve built the world’s most successful cigarette company, with the world’s most popular and iconic brands. Now we’ve made a dramatic decision. We will be far more than a leading cigarette company. We’re building PMI’s future on smoke-free products that are a much better choice than cigarette smoking. Indeed, our vision – for all of us at PMI – is that these products will one day replace cigarettes.

Why are we doing this? Because we should … We understand the millions of men and women who smoke cigarettes. They are looking for less harmful, yet satisfying, alternatives to smoking. We will give them that choice. We have a commitment to our employees and our shareholders. We will fulfill that commitment by pursuing this long-term vision for success. Society expects us to act responsibly. And we are doing just that, by delivering a smoke-free future. … And because we now can. Success in the cigarette business gives us the resources to pursue our ambitious vision. Thanks to the imagination and perseverance of thousands of people at PMI, we have developed breakthrough products that are smoke-free and enjoyable.

Role Summary

We are looking for a Counsel Labor & Employment position to join our global Labor & Employment Law Team. The role will be based in our London offices and be expected to provide both UK and global labor and employment law guidance to business and functional leaders across the organization. It is a 9 months’ contract to cover a maternity leave.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Partner with UK leaders, UK and global subject matter experts, regional legal teams, and business colleagues to create proactive strategies designed to avoid or minimize exposure to legal liability.
  • Provide support on strategic initiatives and projects, including UK and global policy development, as well as day-to-day employee lifecycle issues for UK employees, including but not limited to hiring, performance management, conduct issues, leave, disability, wage payment, reorganization, and termination matters.
  • Help business colleagues understand the risks and consequences of the given situation; effectively communicate the consequences and develop alternatives to manage identified risks.
  • Develop and provide training on current employment law issues and legislation to managers and People & Culture to help develop awareness and capabilities.
  • Efficiently gather and distill relevant information from appropriate sources; identify and analyze legal issues and know when to escalate them
  • Stay current with legal developments, best practices and benchmarks in the UK and global labor and employment law and assist internal clients in implementing policies and procedures in response.
  • Help maintain a professional culture emphasizing dignity, respect, and inclusion.
  • Actively collaborate with other attorneys in the Labor & Employment Law team and across the Legal & Compliance Department, including the Regions and markets on day-to-day advice and key initiatives for the Company.
  • Oversee outside counsel, including negotiation of fee agreements and ensuring billing complies with Department policy.

Critical Skills
  • Deliver expert legal counsel on labor and employment matters of the Company in a timely manner.
  • Partner with People & Culture (HR), Inclusion & Diversity Workplace Experience, IT, Legal Privacy and others to help ensure compliance with current and developing local and country legislation.
  • Leverage experience to identify and proactively manage employee and labor relations matters.
  • Strategically manage and provide legal support as needed for employment pre-litigation and litigation matters.
  • Assist and consult with various stakeholders in the development of the collective bargaining strategy and participate and/or advise in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.
  • Assist with the effective management of grievances and other employment conflicts and claims; oversee the arbitration process including case preparation, briefing and presentation.
  • Act as a team player and role model for the legal function, encouraging collaboration and standards of excellence.

Knowledge and experience desired to undertake this role

  • UK qualified solicitor or barrister with significant post qualification experience gained in employment law in either a top international or national law firm and or well-respected (and preferably multi-national) organization.
  • Experience with a demonstrated in-depth understanding of UK employment law and regulatory legal matters. Both in house and major law firm experience preferred.
  • Previous experience with life sciences or technology industry preferred.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, handle multiple, conflicting priorities while managing a substantial workload and client expectations.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how government officials develop and implement policy, with an ability to analyze government regulations/legislation.
  • Experience of working successfully in a highly results-oriented and performance-driven environment with a focus on excellence.
  • Robust interpersonal, networking, public speaking, and writing skills, with the confidence and credibility to act quickly, communicate effectively with diplomacy and civility, and command respect of both internal and external audiences.
  • Proven ability to think strategically and exercise sound judgment.
  • Ability to oversee complex projects and lead them to successful completion in an organized, efficient, and effective manner.
  • Ability to lead and work in a multi-disciplinary setting to achieve consensus.
  • Extreme attention to detail.
  • Ability to maintain an appropriate perspective regardless of the delicacy or pressure of a situation.
  • Ability to travel as necessary.
  • Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and preserve the integrity of information and processes.

Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the U.S. PMI is building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. PMI’s smoke-free IQOS product portfolio includes heat-not-burn and nicotine-containing vapor products. As of June 30, 2019, PMI estimates that approximately 8.0 million adult smokers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to PMI’s heat-not-burn product, available for sale in 48 markets in key cities or nationwide under the IQOS brand. For more information, please visit and

PMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.