Current vacancies

Head of Disputes and Sanctions

Job details

No. of posts: 1
Vacancy Reference Number: OGA018
Grade 6
Salary: £94,000
Location: Aberdeen or London
Travel to other locations with UK? Yes
Appointment Type Permanent
Appointment Term Full time
Level of Security clearance Basic
Medical required? No

Unless otherwise stated consideration will be given to requests to work on a part time or job share basis. Flexible working hours can also be considered.

Application details

Closing date for applications: 27 Jul 2017

Brief overview of role

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated individual to step into a stretching leadership role with responsibility for shaping a brand new enforcement regime for one of the UK’s largest and most technically and commercially complex industries.

This role would suit an experienced lawyer or commercial manager looking for a new challenge and experience in the public sector. Equally it could suit someone with management experience in an economic regulator looking for an opportunity to apply that experience in a new environment. 

Detailed job description and key responsibilities

  • Shaping a brand new enforcement regime for one of the UK’s largest and most technically and commercially complex industries. 
  • Work with industry, government and other relevant stakeholders (for example industry trade associations, business organisations, universities and trade unions) to focus collective efforts on the delivery of MER UK.
  • Lead a team of dedicated and experienced professionals responsible for: exercising these new powers; the use of the OGA’s existing power to intervene in negotiations for access to upstream oil and gas infrastructure; and providing leadership to the industry as it works to embed the more collaborative approach to business that is required by the Energy Act and the MER UK Strategy that underpins it.
  • Leading the Disputes and Sanctions team, assigning and prioritising cases and providing strategic direction, support and oversight as the team members pursue their individual casework responsibilities from identifying issues, through to making recommendations on use of the powers to the OGA’s final decision-maker.
  • Taking direct responsibility for the most complex and high-profile cases, whether to issue sanctions, to intervene in disputes between UKCS licensees, or to recommend a determination using infrastructure access powers.
  • Managing the Dispute and Sanctions team’s interface with the Operations Directorate, working with colleagues there to identify and track issues and to gather information relating to cases if an investigation is needed.
  • Briefing OGA Senior Leadership Team and Board on potential and developing cases. Working with the communications team on handling strategies for high profile or contentious cases.
  • Working with the heads of the OGA’s technical, analytical and legal teams, to refine the OGA’s understanding how the new powers can be used to achieve MER UK and to ensure that recommendations made by the Dispute and Sanctions team for use of the powers are consistent with the powers, evidence-based and robust.
  • Leading the OGA’s engagement with industry to understand and change industry’s approach to commercial negotiations, which has been recognised as a key barrier to MER UK.

Person specification

  • Competence 1: Making Effective Decisions - Effectiveness in this area is about using sound judgement, evidence and knowledge to arrive at accurate, expert and professional decisions and advice.
  • Competence 2: Leading and Communicating - Being able to communicate purpose and direction with clarity, integrity and enthusiasm. Interacting and engaging with people in a straightforward, truthful and candid way.
  • Competence 3: Collaborating and Partnering - Working collaboratively, sharing information appropriately and building supportive, professional relationships with colleagues. Creating an inclusive working environment.
  • Competence 4: Delivering at Pace - Delivering timely performance with energy, and taking responsibility and accountability for quality outcomes.

Specialist Skills, Qualifications, Experience, Licenses, Memberships or Language

Essential Desirable
• Degree (or equivalent) in finance, law, business or other relevant subject.
• Significant and relevant experience working in the oil and gas sector or in another sector for an economic regulator.
• Proficient negotiator, with experience in the resolution of disputes (formally or informally).
• Excellent communication skills, written and verbal, particularly the communication of complex issues to senior management.
• Significant experience of leading high-performance professional teams, including a demonstrable ability to lead a multi-disciplinary project team.
• Postgraduate qualification in finance, law, business or other relevant subject.
• Significant management experience in a commercial or legal role working for an oil and gas operator or joint venture owner.
• Significant management experience working in an enforcement role in an economic regulator.
• Significant experience of oil and gas Joint Ventures, including joint venture forums and the workings of contractual agreements (JOA, CTIA, TPOSA, DSA etc).
• Working experience of the UK upstream oil and gas industry codes of practice: CCOP and ICOP
• Clear understanding of oil and gas industry financial and economic principles and M&A processes.
• Knowledge of the UKCS fiscal regime and the role it plays in industry finance, economics and operations.
• Experience of the application of competition law.

Application Process and Further Information

Unfortunately you do not meet minimum nationality and educational requirements of this position.

To apply please send a covering letter and CV quoting the recruitment reference number and job title to

You should provide examples in your covering letter that best demonstrate your skills and abilities against the competencies and specialist skills. The maximum word count against each competence example is 250 words. The information you provide will be assessed during the short listing stage and if you are invited to attend an interview, the indicated competence areas will discussed further.

When completing your application, you should use the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action and Result) methodology for each competence. All appointments are subject to successful completion of pre-employment checks

For further information please see the Information to Candidates pack (PDF)

Additional information on what you can expect as an Oil and Gas Authority employee

Apply online

Equality and diversity statement

The OGA is committed to embedding equality and diversity into all our policies and processes. We will aim to recruit, retain and promote staff on the basis of competence and regardless of characteristics including those listed under the Equality Act 2010. These protected characteristics are; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation