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Senior Legal Officer

Vacancy #:   3977
Unit:   Office of the Legal Adviser
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Legal Adviser
Work percentage:   80%
Grade:   SP
Expected start date:   01 April 2019
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   10 March 2019
The Office of the Legal Adviser provides legal advice and services to all components of IUCN and in particular advises IUCN regarding (a) the interpretation of the IUCN Statutes, Regulations and Rules of Procedure of the World Congress; (b) the status and interests of IUCN under public international law; (c) the legal interests of IUCN under the laws of the nations where the Union operates, through analysis and application of comparative law and private international law; (d) the legal aspects of the relationships established through IUCN’s contracts, trademarks, licenses, human resources agreements and other such undertakings. This position could be between 80-90% depending on budget availability.
With a substantial degree of autonomy and responsibility, the Senior Legal Officer provides general legal support on a broad range of legal issues so that IUCN’s activities are carried out efficiently, effectively and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations and with internal policies and procedures, including the following:

• Advise and support corporate and programmatic units across the organization on any legal issues that may arise and in particular on the legal, policy and risk-management aspects of IUCN’s contractual relationships, intellectual property, trademarks and data protection issues;
• Conduct legal research, obtain relevant facts and information and write briefing note, legal opinions and position papers on a variety of legal matters (e.g., issues relating to IUCN legal status, data protection, intellectual property and contractual issues),
• When required, provide legal advice regarding disputes and challenges from third parties;
• Manage external counsels/law firms in his/her area of work;
• Follow the evolution of the Swiss and European legal framework to ensure the legal and regulatory compliance of the organization’s activities
• Fill-in for the Legal Officer as necessary;
• Oversee the work of legal interns and other temporary legal staff, when necessary; and
• Handle ad-hoc legal issues which may arise from time to time.

C. Key Responsibilities:

1. Contractual matters
• Is responsible to coordinate, monitor all contracts reaching OLA for review and is accountable for the quality and accuracy of the contracts under his/her responsibility. This implies prioritising, and if appropriate delegating and supervising the work of interns or other temporary staff as well as making confident decisions on steps to be taken in specific cases;
• Draft, review and negotiate all types of contracts (e.g., donor and project implementation agreements, consultancy agreements and service agreements) with other organizations and private sector entities proposing solutions and proper course of action in the interest of IUCN and in compliance with relevant laws and policies, making confident decisions with autonomy, seeking support from the Legal Adviser only if necessary;
• Participate in and provide legal advice at Concept and Project Decision meetings on legal aspects of the projects presented, including legal risks identified, to ensure that they are well understood and properly addressed;
• Exercise with diligence the sign-off authority on contracts involving amounts up to CHF 500’000, subject to identification and assessment of any critical or political issues to be raised with and addressed by Legal Adviser;
• Take all the necessary decisions on contractual matters and sign-off on all contracts in case of absence of the Legal Adviser (e.g. annual leave) and subject to any critical or political issues to be raised directly with him/her.
• Filing of contracts and other legal documents in paper and electronic form (including the registry of contracts);

2. Data protection
• Is in charge of advising on Data protection issues and providing guidance on compliance with GDPR and similar legislation;
• Act as focal point on any questions that may come on this topic and provide timely and adequate responses, coordinating such responses with other functions (e.g. Information Systems and Human Resources) when required;
• Takes the lead on measures to be taken by the organization to pursue the implementation of the GDPR and other data protection principles and policies, including by proposing further assessments of internal processes and procedures, preparing enhanced processes and procedures and organizing adequate trainings in coordination with business leaders and relevant functions including Information Systems and Human Resources (through the GDPR Working Group)

3. Intellectual property and trademarks
• Provide legal advice on intellectual property and trademark related issues (incl. trademark infringements) and act as legal focal point for questions relating to those areas.
• Be a thought leader on Intellectual Property issues and initiate discussions on this topic with business leaders and other relevant functions to identify needs for improvement and ways to address those needs (including planning, guidelines, training and raising awareness around those issues)
• Monitor the registration of trademarks, interface between IUCN internal clients and outside legal counsel on the registration and protection of IUCN trademarks and keep records up to date
• Lead the discussions on trademark related issues in order to establish the needs for the organization in term of trademark protection in coordination with business leaders and other relevant functions such as Global Communication and propose ways to address them (timely planning and budgeting regarding renewal of trademarks, opportunity to register new trademarks).

4. Policies and procedures
• Draft and review internal policies and procedures;
• Act as representative of the Legal Adviser in Procurement Panel meetings, and as appropriate, discuss with and report to the Legal Adviser specific issues;
• Inform, educate and follow up on implementation of internal policies and procedures under his/her responsibility as necessary and appropriate;
• Continuously aims to improve internal processes and workflows by evaluating the needs and proposing possible improvements.
In particular, 1) prepare tools for IUCN staff’s use related to drafting contracts (e.g., contract templates and guidance documents) and keep them updated as necessary; and (2) as required, prepare and deliver training or workshops to different type of audiences. •

5. Governance and World Conservation Congress
• Draft and review of contracts, MoUs, requests for proposals, policies and any other document required for the organization and management of the World Conservation Congress.
• If required to attend, assist the Legal Adviser during the World Conservation Congress, the General Assembly floor and other meetings and research of legal, governance and procedural issues as they arise.
• Clarify the interpretation and application of provisions of IUCN’s Statutes and Regulations in connection with governance related issues and proposed statutory revisions.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organisation such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee's responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.
  • A university degree in law (Masters of Law).

• A specialization (major/post graduate certificate) in intellectual property law and at least 3 years proven work experience in advising complex issues in this area of law.

• A specialization (post graduate certificate) in data protection law and at least 2 years proven work experience in providing legal advice in this area of law

• Proven working experience in drafting, reviewing and negotiating all types of contracts, including complex ones

• Overall a minimum of 10 years of proven professional experience in relevant areas of law, preferably acquired in a multinational/multicultural environment

• Experience with the statutory and other governance processes of an international organization

• Excellent command of English and French with demonstrated ability to read and write. Good working knowledge of Spanish would be an asset

• An interest in and commitment to IUCN’s work in nature conservation and sustainable development

• Ability to operate effectively, with tact and diplomacy, in a multi-cultural, interdisciplinary environment

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to contribute to a constructive and collaborative working environment, to develop sustainable and effective networks both inside and outside the organisation and to proactively and efficiently collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders at different hierarchy level

• Excellent knowledge of standard MS Office applications

• Self-motivated and result-oriented

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.