Legal Counsel (advertising)

Job description

Your main role will be to help us answer the very broad range of advertising enquiries we receive from our member agencies every day, both creative and media. In particular, you will deal with clearance and contract issues, across the board and across all platforms, including broadcast, social, print and outdoor. You will also be required to take on general commercial work for the IPA itself, look after the IPA’s trade mark portfolio, produce guidance notes and legal alerts for our members and other bits and pieces.

Who are we looking for?

To do the job you will need to have excellent academics, have trained in and worked for a quality law firm (min. 2 years’ pqe) with solid IP and advertising experience gained either within a law firm or in-house. You must also be competent and confident in working with contracts – reviewing/commenting/advising as well as drafting from scratch. If you don’t meet these requirements, please don’t read on.

In summary, you will:

  • advise our member ad agencies – both creative and media - on their daily enquiries, covering such matters as the CAP/BCAP Codes, Consumer Protection Regulations, IP rights (copyright, trade marks and passing-off), data protection, pre-litigious disputes and contracts – particularly client/agency contracts (both creative and media);
  • provide in-house legal advice to IPA departments where required, in particular, drafting and negotiating commercial contracts across a broad range of topics - from IT, to freelance contributors, to NDAs, to standard Ts&Cs, etc - and advise on various legal issues, including data protection and intellectual property;
  • write accurate, informative help notes for member-agencies on relevant changes in legislation and regulation and pressures on the advertising industry;
  • contribute to the department’s social media presence;
  • prepare and give presentations for members and for IPA staff; and
  • support the other lawyers in the team, who will also support you.

Key skills you must have 


  • excellent academics
  • at least two years’ pqe gained in private practice at a quality law firm;
  • solid experience of advertising and general commercial work, including “soft” IP (copyright, trade marks and passing-off); and
  • a decent knowledge of data protection law.

Organisational skills:

  • strong organisational skills to ensure that all matters are dealt with on time; and
  • forensic attention to detail.

Business skills:

  • a good understanding of advertising and general commercial issues and the ability to provide helpful, accurate legal advice;
  • clarity of thought and the intellect and character to build credibility quickly with IPA colleagues and the IPA’s membership; and
  • a strong customer-service ethic.

Personal skills:

  • the confidence and ability to deal with people at all levels and in all roles;
  • the ability to understand people’s needs and to clearly articulate complex points;
  • a willingness to consult and support; and
  • be energetic and enthusiastic.

The Agency


The IPA is the UK’s professional trade body for practitioners in advertising and marketing communications. We help the people working in our members’ advertising agencies: the ‘practitioners in advertising’. We give them sound, sensible legal advice to help them produce advertising for their clients. That includes everything from helping them understand a client contract, to advising on the risks with a piece of ad creative.

The Legal & Public Affairs department is a fundamental part of the IPA. In many cases, it’s why ad agencies join: they get free legal advice from us as part of their membership fee. We are a small, busy team providing quality legal work for our ad agency members, but although we provide advice to our agency clients, we are definitely not a law firm. You won’t be expected to work long hours or at weekends. You won’t be left on your own to sink or swim – we work together. You will be able to learn from the same advertising courses and qualifications that we offer to our member agencies, for free. And our office is the best in the building - spacious and calm, overlooking Belgrave Square in Mayfair.