Policy Adviser – Trade Disputes

Department for International Trade Logo
Closing Date: 19/08/2022
Contract Permanent
Working Hours Flexible, Full Time, Part Time
Location Darlington
Salary £28,070 - £31,824
Company Department for International Trade

Job Description


The Trade Disputes Team in the Department for International Trade (DIT) is responsible for managing the UK’s international trade disputes and using the UK’s independent voice to champion global rules-based trade.

Trade disputes occur when one trading partner claims that another is in breach of their international trade commitments. Disputes can be worth billions of pounds to the UK economy, can have significant implications for the UK’s international reputation, and often make headlines.

This is an exciting time to join the team and help shape the UK’s newly independent trade policy. The team is diverse, friendly, collaborative and supportive. We value and encourage learning and development, including through various formal offerings and an exciting, rich and rewarding team portfolio.

The role will be within the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) branch of the Trade Disputes Team. The FTA branch is responsible for developing policy on, and negotiating, the state-to-state dispute settlement chapters in the UK’s free trade agreements. It also leads on implementing dispute settlement commitments found in the UK’s FTAs. This is a great opportunity to work on important and high-profile areas of work and gain first-hand experience of negotiating with a number of the UK’s trading partners.

As a Deputy Chapter Lead you will play a crucial role in developing policy for, and supporting negotiations on the dispute settlement chapters in future UK FTAs. You will also work on the programme of work to review and implement commitments under the dispute settlement chapters of UK FTAs.

You may also have opportunities to work on other issues across the wider dispute team as priorities across the portfolio demand, subject to conversations taking into account individual preference, skills, development needs and business need.

Job description

You will:

  • Contribute to the development of policy for the state-to-state dispute settlement chapters in new UK FTAs
  • Act as Deputy Chapter Lead in the negotiation of state-to-state dispute settlement mechanisms in new UK FTAs
  • Support the programme of work to review and implement the commitments under the dispute settlement chapters of UK FTAs, working closely with colleagues in DIT and across government
  • Build and maintain relationships in DIT and across government to develop and test policy and ensure the effective implementation of commitments under the dispute settlement chapters of UK FTAs
  • Possible line management opportunities

Hybrid Working

The role will be based in either Darlington or London. You will be asked to express a location preference during the application process.

Please be aware that this role can only be worked from within the UK and not overseas.

Informal hybrid working arrangements will be available as agreed with the vacancy manager and in line with the requirements of the role.

Most DIT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average. If your office location is London, you will be eligible to receive London weighting.

Appointments will be made to candidates in merit order based on location preferences.

Support in applying for our vacancies is available by joining a virtual Candidate Support Session. These sessions include helpful tips and advice on the recruitment process, from application to interview.


Essential Criteria

  • Ability to operate in a fast-paced environment under tight time constraints, remaining flexible and adaptable
  • Ability to build effective working relationships both within DIT and across government
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate with colleagues and external stakeholders at all levels
  • Ability to quickly get up to speed in new and complex policy areas
  • Ability to draft papers and submissions on complex policy areas

Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge and experience of trade policy or international law
  • Experience of international negotiations

Person Specification

  • You will be a motivated, highly organised team player who has an eye for detail and can communicate effectively with different audiences
  • You will have the ability to be proactive and to develop and take forward policy initiatives and to gather, organise and present research
  • You will be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and be able to prioritise between competing demands, balancing the needs of the team and other stakeholders


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
Apply Now!

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