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Legal Counsel Editorial & IP

Job Description

Job Description

Under the supervision of Assistant General Counsel - Editorial & IP, this role provides management and support in respect of editorial and intellectual property legal matters within CUP&A with particular emphasis on: (i) contracting for content creation and rights management (most notably with authors, editors, contributors and journal societies), (ii) general IP/copyright advice and procedure, and (iii) publishing ethics support.


  • A key contact for editorial divisions worldwide to advise on best practices for the acquisition, retention, and development of Cambridge content and assets, including use of third party IP and content licensing; author, contributor, learned society and editor contracts; Open Access; copyright exceptions; and other relevant laws surrounding the creation of CUP&A products in all media formats.

  • Advise on the wide range of contracts and templates required for the editorial needs in each business division and propose/implement improvements to contracting processes.

  • Draft bespoke and non-standard contracts and addenda as required by commissioning teams.

    Key responsibilities will include:

  • Liaising with editorial and production staff regarding interpretation of editorial and IP contracts, both historical and contemporary.

  • Managing the development and deployment of new template suites for each of our global publishing divisions.

  • Advising and supporting the Global Brand Protection team in respect of global trade mark and brand matters.

  • Advising and supporting editorial staff in respect of negotiations with authors, external counsel, literary agents and other third parties; and

  • Identifying and managing any potential pre- and post-publication contentious issues (including libel, plagiarism and potentially contentious issues).

Candidate Description

We don't mind which university you went to or where you trained. While we give an indication in the job description of desired experience in relevant roles as a guide, we're keen to hear about different experience which would make you a strong addition to our team.

You're curious to learn (we are an education and research publishing organisation after all), and a perfect mix of self-starter and team player. You show us how you balance your ethical responsibilities with your commitment to helping colleagues - it's a fine line which we pride ourselves on being good at navigating, and we're always keen to learn from colleagues.

Along with sound legal skills, you will communicate effectively, providing expert guidance at a time and in a way that enables business colleagues to achieve their objectives. Whatever you are working on, you will be able to deliver your own initiatives and projects in a way that inspires confidence, as well as working collaboratively with others in the team and the wider organisation.

Your success will be underpinned by your ability to prioritise, with a practical and pragmatic approach, when advising on a wide variety of day-to-day matters.

Application Description

University Printing House, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK, CB2 8BS

Employer Description

We are Cambridge University Press & Assessment, a world-leading academic publisher and assessment organisation, and a proud part of the University of Cambridge.

We are looking for a Legal Counsel to come and help our Editorial & IP Legal team with our global commissioning of new content and worldwide licensing. We welcome applicants looking for a full time, part time or job share opportunity.

This is an opportunity for you to join Legal & Business Affairs, an approachable team which empowers the business to make effective and ethical choices and is enthusiastic about operational excellence to help us continually improve the way we support Cambridge. We are a large yet close-knit team that supports each other, enjoys solving problems, and loves changing the way our colleagues think about Legal, Business Ethics and Compliance. We are seeking team members who share our passion and our values: collaborative, innovative, empowering and responsible.

Why would you join us?

Our mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Which is why every year, we give vital support to millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. From teachers and learners to researchers and academics, we help to build confidence, unlock potential, and enable success.

We give people the opportunity to show what they've learnt, we spread knowledge, spark enquiry, and aid understanding.

We achieve this by embracing change, and continuously focusing on our customers' needs. And by collaborating, and carefully listening to our customers and to each other, we keep moving forward, keep innovating, and keep finding newer and better ways of doing things.

The key to our work is our colleagues, whose shared commitment enables us to have an ever-greater impact. We are a united, vibrant, and respectful global community of people, and we ensure that every individual is recognised, listened to, and cared for. And because our impact is amplified when our people are empowered, we give everyone the opportunity to develop in their own way. Whether you want a career that is linear, or want to follow your own path, we'll support you, and help give you the resources and training you will need to be bold and take ownership of what you do.

We are particularly focused on inclusion and improving diversity at all levels in the organisation. We know that diversity of thinking, backgrounds and approaches leads to innovation and creates an atmosphere where everyone's contribution is valued.

What can we offer you?

The role is a key part of the Editorial & IP Legal team within Legal & Business Affairs, and you would get to work on new and exciting legal matters with great colleagues. It offers a varied caseload, both due to the changing nature of our business, particularly the shift from print to digital, and from products to services, and also the international reach of our work as part of a global organisation with offices in over 50 countries.

On top of this, working with Cambridge will also give you stability. We show our care for our people by supporting them to grow not just professionally but also personally. We promote work-life balance through flexible work schedules, hybrid work arrangements, and generous paid leave. In addition, you will be entitled to our health care benefits with coverage for dependents, group life insurance, and robust wellbeing programmes right from the first day of joining us.

We also care about the world around us. We're a founding catalyst member of Lawyers for Net Zero, and a member of LawWorks (a UK charity working to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal funding), as well as having our own Wellbeing and Green groups within the department and being key contributors to the organisation's sustainability strategy.