Head of Commercial Services

Harwell, United Kingdom (UK), Satellite Applications Catapult [100162]

Field(s) of expertise
Procurement and Legal Business Administration and Finance
Job type

About this job

We have an open vacancy for a Head of Commercial Services within our senior manager group. This is a brand new position with scope to shape and influence our commercial and procurement contracts and grant funding agreements. Our ideal candidate would be commercially minded with expertise in legal, compliance and procurement and have the ability to build strong networks with strategic partners.

This role encompasses a wide breadth of procurement, commercial and legal experience, and we are seeking an individual who brings an awareness of the commercial and procurement requirements of both the private and public sectors.

Consequently, we are not necessarily seeking someone who is a specialist in any of these areas, but rather we are looking for an individual who is able to demonstrate a depth of relevant experience, in a similar-sized organisation. The ability to negotiate and influence, someone with outstanding commercial awareness and a strong ability to collaborate both internally and externally.


  • collaborating with business and project managers across the Catapult to maximise efficiency in handling procurement contracts, grant-funding agreements, and commercial contracts from initial instruction to completion, taking a risk-based approach
  • providing general commercial advice to the business across areas such as contract law, intellectual property, ownership of licensing, and commercial leases
  • training Steering and advising colleagues in areas such as procurement regulations and contract management
  • implementing effective control measures and efficient policies, processes, templates, and business systems
  • developing long-term procurement strategy and associated delivery plan

The Head of Commercial Services will lead a small team and provide the focus for engaging with the Catapult’s external legal advisors.

The Commercial Services team is responsible for providing professional advice and support to all teams within the Catapult related to inbound and outbound commercial and procurement contracts and grant-funding agreements

The team will provide this by providing:

  • early engagement with business and project managers to support them with the development of their collaborative & commercial opportunities by providing clarity of information, legal scrutiny, risk evaluation and compliance advice allowing the Catapult to leverage its position, outputs, and impact.
  • strategic definition of budget holder procurement requirements to support their objectives – delivering best value, compliance & timely contract award. The team will facilitate compliant market & supplier engagement within relevant procurement regulations & internal control mechanisms.
  • commercial support to internal contract owners – supporting on pre-contract review including management of both ’selling’ & ‘buying’ contracts, from customer defined outcomes, requirements & deliverables, to SME support in negotiating commercial terms to supplier relationship management.


Desired experience and skills:

  • Background in commercial, procurement-based roles, with excellent knowledge of contract law
  • Experience of working within a grant-funded business model
  • Experience in advising management on all commercial and contractual issues and risk
  • Knowledge and experience of public and private procurement regulations, such as the OJEU procurement framework
  • Experienced in drafting tender specifications and evaluation criteria and knowledge of contract clauses, and terms and conditions
  • Developing strategic relationships with relevant supply-chain organisations
  • Experience and ability to influence and persuade key stakeholders, and senior counterparties
  • Experience in disseminating information to the business
  • Demonstrable project-management skills and experience of driving process improvements through the business
  • Ability to manage external advisors including instructing counsel, where appropriate
  • Educated to ‘A’ Level or equivalent, with either a commercial law background and/or CIPS Diploma in Procurement & Supply (L5)
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills

Behaviours expected:

  • Curiosity
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Decisive Thinking
  • Skilled Influencer
  • Credibility
  • Collaborative
  • Driven to deliver
  • Courage to challenge
  • Role Model
  • Passion

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