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Senior Counsel

Category: Admin / General

Job description

The Senior Counsel role provides and/or manages the delivery of legal advice and services for matters in which BMO Financial Group may be engaged in order to achieve organizational goals and/or minimize legal risk, in partnership with external counsel.

The Senior Counsel will be responsible for providing legal advice regarding the distribution of wealth management products such as mutual funds and authorized insurance products in the Bank of Montreal’s retail branches, customer contact centre and digital channels, and for monitoring regulatory developments of applicable regulators and self-regulatory organizations like the MFDA. The Senior Counsel will also provide legal and regulatory advice regarding term investments and other personal banking products and services and assist resolve escalations from our customer contact centres.

The role draws on knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of the law and knowledge of the financial services industry and its environment to implement areas of improvement, to ensure consistency with market practice, to identify risk, to ensure compliance with internal policies & procedures and to communicate appropriately with stakeholders for various functions/activities for an assigned business area and communicating appropriately with stakeholders. In addition, to respond to the changing marketplace, increasing globalization and emerging technologies, the Senior Counsel must also, together with the broader legal team, balance organizational risks and corporate objectives and strive to add value as both a legal and a business advisor, while maintaining independence yet acknowledging BMO’s strategy and vision.

Key Accountabilities

Legal Advice (60%)
  • provides and/or manages the delivery of legal advice from external and/or internal counsel
  • ensures compliance with internal policies and procedures
  • interprets legislation affecting the organization or assigned groups
Legal Oversight (20%)
  • ensures ongoing delivery of legal advice
  • implements areas of improvement to ensure consistency with market practice
  • as appropriate, contribute to and propose strategy and design of legal advice strategies
Risk Management (20%)
  • identifies risks and communicates appropriate with stakeholders, in support of functions/activities of an assigned business group
Authorities Scope & Impact
  • Information Access – has authority to access, monitor and report on sensitive Bank, customer, transaction and employee information related to the position’s duties to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements This role contributes to one or multiple LOB’s business results by providing legal advice on legal queries, managing working relationships with assigned groups, partnering with external counsel
Desired Behaviours Key Performance Indicators
    • Being BMO
    • Customer experience perspective
    • Sound interpersonal and communications skills
    • Plain language drafting and communication approach
    • Solution oriented: Ability to identify and assess legal and reputational risks in context of risk appetite and implement appropriate actions to mitigate
    • Engagement in strategic objectives of team, Group, relevant business and the bank
    • Effectiveness in addressing legal aspects of initiatives of the business
    • Expertise in relevant legal considerations and legal/regulatory developments
    • Prompt and effective issue resolution
Cross Functional Relationships

      • Relevant lines of business including personal & commercial banking, and wealth businesses
      • Relevant Corporate Functions, including Compliance, Privacy, I&SS, Operational & Credit Risk, Finance, HR
      • External counsel
      • Regulatory authorities and government agencies

Knowledge & Skills
      • Minimum requirements are a Bachelor of Laws/Juris Doctor (J.D.) or L.L.M. and licensed to practice law and admission to (and current good standing with) the bar of at least one province and a minimum of 6 years of experience (candidates with somewhat more experience preferred)
      • Strong knowledge of the regulatory requirements applicable to the distribution of mutual funds, insurance and other wealth products in bank channels
      • Knowledge of other consumer banking products and services, such as term investment products, is desirable
      • Litigation and/or regulatory background, French-English bilingual, and civil and common law training desirable
          • Advises clients on regulatory, legal and reputational risk matters related to retail banking products and services, including the distribution of wealth products in bank channels
          • Reviews marketing materials and related acquisition and usage campaigns
          • Ensures risks are properly managed in the context of the bank’s risk appetite, including in the context of conversion, product development in mobile and online spaces, and growth in digital wallets
          • Also provides support as needed with respect to mutual fund and insurance providers, reward/benefits providers, technology and other service providers
          • Skills in proactively providing ideas, advice and solutions relative to legal issues
          • Strong analytical capability and judgement
          • Strong verbal and written communication skills
          • Ability to take a customer perspective when drafting and committed to plain language
          • Above average negotiations skills
          • Collaborative and good relationship management skills/able to relate at all levels
          • Ability to work independently or in team environment
          • Strong research skills
          • Keen interest in engaging on broader strategic initiatives of the Group
          Role operates in a high stress environment, with constantly changing expectationsAt BMO we have a shared purpose; we put the customer at the centre of everything we do – helping people is in our DNA. For 200 years we have thought about the future—the future of our customers, our communities and our people. We help our customers and our communities by working together, innovating and pushing boundaries to bring them our very best every day. Together we’re changing the way people think about a bank.
              As a member of the BMO team you are valued, respected and heard, and you have more ways to grow and make an impact. We strive to help you make an impact from day one – for yourself and our customers. We’ll support you with the tools and resources you need to reach new milestones, as you help our customers reach theirs. From in-depth training and coaching, to manager support and network-building opportunities, we’ll help you gain valuable experience, and broaden your skillset.To find out more visit us at
                        BMO is committed to an inclusive, equitable and accessible workplace. By learning from each other’s differences, we gain strength through our people and our perspectives. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process
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Company Name: BMO
Employment: Full-time
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British Columbia
V2L 1C3

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Fax: 250-561-1149
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