Job Description

Company Description:

McDonald's is the largest family restaurant in the world, serving approximately 69 million customers across 36,000 restaurants a day: in more than 100 countries. The UK & Ireland market is one of the most successful entities across the wider business, serving on average 4 million people a day. It has operated in UK since 1974 and the business is growing continuously with more than 1,400 restaurants and over 154,000 employees.

McDonald’s UK & Ireland has a proven track record of investing in the development of its employees and offering flexibility as part of its dedication to being a modern and progressive company. Every year, it invests over £40 million in developing people, giving every one of its employees the opportunity to take part in structured training.

McDonald’s buys ingredients from over 17,500 British and Irish farmers and spends over £1.1billion annually on its food and packaging requirements. McDonald’s is committed to supporting British and Irish farmers to ensure it can continue to source many of its ingredients from the UK and Ireland.

McDonald’s is a market leader in its field, striving for the highest standard of quality, speed and restaurant experience. Re-generation of our restaurant infrastructure, covering digital ordering, re-imaging and dual-point service make working at McDonald’s more exciting than ever!

We are dedicated to using our scale for good: good for people, our industry and the planet. From bold recycling initiatives and sustainable sourcing efforts to our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, we see every day as a chance to have a genuine impact on our customers, our people and our partners.

We're a people business just as much as we are a restaurant business. We strive to be the most inclusive brand in the world by building diverse teams who create delicious, feel-good moments that are easy for everyone to enjoy. Joining McDonald's means thinking big every day and preparing for a career that can have impact around the world.

Company Vision and Culture

Our Global vision is to build a better McDonald’s and, in the UK, and Ireland we are working hard to be the UK & Irelands best-loved restaurant company.

McDonald’s is defined by its culture. Our culture shapes and informs everything we think and everything we do. Our culture influences the way we interact with each other, and how we interact with customers, franchisees and suppliers. Our culture motivates and inspires us to attract and retain great talent, creating positive, energising, exceptional working environment for us all.

Our values drive our culture and shape our beliefs, our priorities and our actions. They influence the decisions we make, how we treat one another and how we show up as a brand to the world.

Serve: We put our customers and our people first

Inclusion: We open our doors to everyone

Integrity: We do the right thing

Community: We are good neighbours

Family: We get better together

Job Description:

Fixed term contract until mid-January 2025

The Opportunity  

The Real Estate Legal Team is seeking a motivated, proactive and effective lawyer to join for a period of maternity cover.   This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced real estate lawyer to join a large and highly regarded inhouse legal team, as well as a rare opportunity to work as part of an established inhouse team of real estate lawyers in a fun and friendly environment. 

What will my accountabilities be? 

  • Supervising and supporting external lawyers on acquisition transactions, and working closely with acquisition surveyors and other members of the Legal team
  • Undertaking some acquisition transactional work, although the majority of this is undertaken by external counsel
  • Helping the Legal and Development teams achieve targets for new store openings and  transactional acquisition work
  • Providing day to day advice to colleagues in the Acquisitions, Estates and Construction teams on all matters connected with new restaurant acquisitions, as well as the existing restaurant estate
  • Monitoring and reviewing best practice, standard documents, policies and precedents used on acquisitions
  • Compliance advice and support, applying McDonald’s global legal policies
  • Identifying and communicating risks consistent with the both the risk appetite of the business and the legal department and advising accordingly
  • Helping to develop the legal skills of more junior members of the team
  • Proactively identifying market trends and regulatory changes to improve company policies and procedures, develop communication and training programmes and ensure awareness and compliance across the business.

What Team will I be a part? 

You will be a part of the Real Estate Legal Team, which is one of three sub-teams within the  UK & Ireland Legal Team.  Both the  UK&I Legal Team and the Real Estate sub-team are highly regarded across the business as high-performing, friendly and dynamic teams with a great reputation for influencing, challenging and leading those at all levels, across all departments.  You will report into the Head of the Real Estate Legal Practice Group, and work alongside a further four real estate lawyers and a legal assistant.   The wider UK&I Legal Department consists of around 20 team members.         

Who are my customers? 

  • The McDonald’s Development team, which comprises separate teams of Acquisitions Surveyors, Estates Surveyors and Construction Project Managers 
  • The rest of the Real Estate Legal team, as well as the wider UK&I Legal team
  • The Global Legal Team, including Global Compliance, Global Litigation, and real estate lawyers in other markets.    

What background do I need to have? 

You will be a qualified solicitor with strong academic credentials and post-qualification commercial property experience gained with a respected law firm or within an established in-house real estate department. Experience should include complex acquisition, development and landlord and tenant work, with some knowledge of planning and construction law.  In-house or secondment experience, whilst not essential, will be advantageous.

You will have the following critical skills and qualities:

  • be an effective communicator (including having strong drafting skills and the ability to clearly and concisely explain concepts to non-legal partners); a relationship builder; efficient; and able to see the big picture by providing commercially sound advice
  • adaptability to audience and ability to clearly and concisely explain concepts and to influence internal clients
  • an innovative solution-focused approach and strong problem-solving ability
  • strong commercial awareness and understanding, business judgment and ability to evaluate legal risk
  • be a team player, with an ability to mentor, develop and model skills for others
  • be positive,  self-motivated, enthusiastic, authentic, pragmatic, forward-thinking and curious


Additional Information:

At McDonald’s we are People from all Walks of Life... 

People are at the heart of everything we do, and they make the McDonald’s experience. We embrace diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive culture that means people can be their best authentic self in our restaurants and offices, which helps us to better serve our customers. We have a strong heritage of diversity and representation within our communities, which we are proud of. The diversity of our people, customers, Franchisees and suppliers gives us strength.

We do not tolerate inequality, injustice or discrimination of any kind.  These are hugely important issues and a brand with our reach and relevance means we have a very meaningful role to play.

We also recognise our responsibility as a large employer to continue being active in our communities, helping to develop skills and drive aspirations that will help people to be more aware of the world of work and more successful within it, whether with McDonald’s or elsewhere."


Application Instructions

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