Senior Counsel

Date: Jan 26, 2024

Location: CA

Company: Independent Electricity System Operator


Requisition ID:  19553
Location:  Toronto - hybrid 
Status:    Temporary up to 24 months 
Business Unit:  Market Assessment & Compliance

Why join us? 

You’ve got great skills. And you want to use them in an organization where you know what you do every day matters. We get that.
We also know that ensuring Ontarians have access to affordable and reliable power doesn’t happen by accident. So we give you the tools, flexibility and support you need to achieve your goals, and development opportunities to help you grow. You’ll thrive in a collaborative, team-based environment that values your unique skills and experiences – and recognizes that when you do better, we become even better too.  

Who we are 

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) works at the centre of the province’s power system, ensuring Ontarians have access to reliable and cost-effective electricity when and where they need it. We operate the province’s electricity grid 24/7, design, run and oversee the wholesale electricity markets, and plan and prepare to meet Ontario’s electricity needs – now and into the future.


The opportunity

Senior Counsel provides a high level of professional legal service to the Market Assessment and Compliance Division (MACD) of the IESO. Senior Counsel provides legal services on a variety of complex, significant and multi-disciplinary legal projects across the MACD, with emphasis on market rule enforcement, adjudication and market oversight matters, and plays a leading role in providing legal advice and managing legal and regulatory matters for the MACD. 

Senior Counsel provides strategic guidance and facilitates policy and business development while ensuring risks are identified and limited where possible. Senior Counsel manages key strategic matters or matters that could have a material outcome on the wholesale electricity market, market participants and/or the IESO. As requested by supervisor, Senior Counsel exercises a more active role in the management of the MACD legal group function, MACD’s external counsel and mentoring of less experienced lawyers.


Please note that we are open to considering candidates with varying levels of experience. If you do not meet the qualifications for the Senior Legal Counsel opportunity, you are invited to apply to the Legal Counsel role. Compensation will be commensurate with legal experience and other factors.


What you'll be doing


  • Supports the operations of the IESO, with emphasis on MACD, by providing legal advice and strategic guidance on a full range of legal, regulatory and other matters.
  • Manages strategically important matters for the MACD and for the organization, including investigations, requiring sophisticated legal knowledge and experience and in-depth understanding of the organization and the sector.
  • Manages high risk matters for the MACD where the outcome is strategically important and/or may result in significant liability or reputational risk to the MACD, market participants or the IESO.
  • Provides specific legal research, advice and opinions. This includes personally carrying files to completion, knowing when to seek and obtain approval to retain and strategically direct expert outside advice, when needed, and supervising the research and analysis work of these counsel and other, less experienced, counsel to ensure consistency of quality and substance with affirmed jurisprudence and approved enforcement policy. 
  • Ensures legal advice and activity is linked to MACD’s objectives and the IESO’s objectives, as applicable; acts as an integral part of internal and external project teams that work on the substance of the targeted issues.
  • Manages relationships with outside counsel on retainers, including work quality, cost control and customer service and evaluates services provided by outside counsel. Assists in the development and articulation of legal department (MACD and IESO Legal) processes and contributes to the development of knowledge management for areas of responsibility.
  • Assists in the development of enforcement policy decisions and other guidance
  • Senior Counsel will be called upon to take an active role in managing and assisting with the optimization of the functions and processes of the MACD to achieve the department’s and the IESO’s objectives. Matter-specific roles will include the responsibility to resolve conflicting issues, address unique situations, recommend new and innovative courses of action to meet goals and objectives for the MACD and for the IESO.
  • In particular respect of playing a leading role in the MACD, lead and conduct all legal processes related to enforcement of the Ontario wholesale market rules, including legal analysis and litigation services with particular emphasis on:
  • Drafting and overseeing the drafting of complex assessments recommending findings, determination and orders
  • Leading and supporting the negotiation of resolutions to enforcement matters with senior counsel and executives of market participants.
  • Supporting and advising the Vice-President of MACD in the drafting of determinations and orders at the conclusion of complex investigations, including the imposition of significant financial penalties which can reach hundreds of millions of dollars, at their limit, and other remedial directives
  • Leading and supporting litigation processes, including mediation, arbitration, Ontario Energy Board hearings and court proceedings when MACD (IESO) determinations and orders are disputed by market participants.
  • Analyzing and overseeing the analysis of events, activities and conduct in the wholesale electricity market in relation to the Ontario market rules and reliability standards, covering a wide variety of market, reliability and technical matters.
  • Provide advice and direction to be followed by MACD staff, including ongoing legal support and legal services directed to a wide variety of internal MACD matters.
  • Anticipate issues and assess risk strategically.
  • Provide proactive, preventive legal advice on potentially significant legal matters involving MACD, and mitigate risk.
  • Review and interpret case law, statute law, regulations and orders that relate to the IESO’s market oversight and enforcement mandate.
  • Prepare legal opinions on a wide variety of matters, with special emphasis on administrative and regulatory law.
  • Review letters of intent and Request for Proposals (RFPs) and assist in the review of Proposals and resulting contracts. Provide guidance, recommendations and support adherence to established policies and practices. Leading and participating in MACD and IESO committees and working groups. Interpreting policy requirements and problem-solving potential conflicts of interest and identifying appropriate safeguards.
  • Supervise and direct as required legal staff including junior counsel, students, and external counsel on MACD files, including investigations, audits, hearings and other activities
  • Provide direction to analysts, investigators and other staff in the MACD in relation to enforcement and litigation matters.


What you need to succeed


  • Has mastered legal skills with significant experience in one or more “specialty” areas (such as: administrative law, litigation and litigation management, freedom of information and privacy law, adjudication, compliance, governance, energy regulation, laws of evidence, dispute resolution).
  • Ability to serve as a resource and trusted advisor in one or more “specialty” areas and in one or more areas of business of MACD and/or the organization.
  • Excellent drafting skills, with an attention to detail, accuracy, exposition, analytical coherence and grammatical correctness.
  • Superior negotiation and communication skills including the ability to articulate legal issues clearly and concisely and advocate positions effectively.
  • Strong organizational, responsiveness and time management skills, work ethic and ability to manage a portfolio of larger files (which may include multiple internal and external stakeholders) and smaller files effectively. As directed, ability to also take on and effectively execute administrative functions of MACD to support strategic MACD and IESO objectives.
  • Ability to work autonomously as well as with a team
  • Strong file management skills and proven ability to effectively manage teams, including outside counsel.
  • Proven ability to identify risks and potential solutions, and think strategically when providing legal and business-related advice.
  • A member in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, with 10 or more years of legal experience in relevant subject matters.


What’s in it for you

  • A comprehensive total rewards program, including best-in-class benefits and a flexible workplace 
  • A challenging, fast-paced and collaborative team environment, where your perspectives and experiences matter 
  • Leaders who support your growth and success through regular feedback and coaching 
  • The opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry 

Deadline: February 29, 2024

For future reference, please ensure to save a copy of the job description as it will no longer be available once the posting closes.

At the IESO, we know that achieving great results depends on embracing diversity by attracting, developing and retaining people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We do this by ensuring our recruitment and advancement policies are fair and equitable, and by creating an accessible and inclusive environment – one that values every team member’s unique skills and experiences and ensures they have the support they need to achieve their potential. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process, please let us know. 

We thank you for your interest in a career at the IESO, but we will only contact those candidates selected for an interview. 

Note: The successful candidate must be eligible to work in Canada and will be subject to a background check.

The IESO offers a hybrid work model program to most of our employees, based on business needs. Individuals participating in the program can work an average of three days per week remotely within Ontario. It also offers three flex weeks when individuals can work remotely within Ontario . When working in the office, you will be located at our Mississauga, Toronto, or Oakville location.

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