The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has created a new general counsel position in the run-up to becoming an independent government company next year.

Currently, the OGA is set up as an executive agency of the Department of Energy & Climate Change but will become fully independent when the Energy Bill is implemented in the middle of 2016.

When the change comes into effect the new general counsel will have responsibility for all of the regulator’s legal advice. This will involve mediation and arbitration work as well as advising on public, commercial and competition law. As a senior legal advisor within a major new regulator the successful candidate will have a key role in shaping the energy sector and advising on new powers.

Applications are being accepted from solicitors and barristers with management experience and an excellent knowledge of public, EU and European Court of Human Rights law.

The general counsel will also assume the role of company secretary and will report to the director of licensing and legal. The successful applicant will be paid £90,000 and will be based in Westminster. However, regular trips to Aberdeen will be required.

Once the OGA is established the successful candidate will be charged with creating and managing a panel of external firms. Among those who could be in the running for the new panel is Bird & Bird, which currently advises the Department for Energy and Climate according to The Lawyer Market Intelligence.

The deadline for applicants is 4 November and the OGA expects to have filled the role by early December. Currently, there are no plans to hire any further in-house lawyers.