Legal Adviser -- IUCN, Switzerland

Vacancy #: 838
Unit: Office of the Legal Adviser
Organization: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location: Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to: Director General
Work percentage: 100%
Function group: M2
Expected start date: 01 January 2015
Type of contract: Max-term (24 months, renewable)
Closing date: 15 September 2014


As per the IUCN Statutes:

85. The Legal Adviser shall provide legal advice to the World Congress, the Council and the Secretariat, and to such other components of IUCN as may be prescribed in the Regulations.13

86. The Legal Adviser shall have the right to participate in, and speak at, sessions of the World Congress, meetings of the Council or any committees thereof and such other components of IUCN as the Regulations may prescribe14, but without the right to vote.

According to the IUCN Regulations:

The Legal Adviser shall be responsible for the provision of legal advice and services to all components of IUCN, and in particular shall advise IUCN regarding (a) the interpretation of the IUCN Statutes, Regulations and Rules of Procedure of the World Congress, as lex specialis; (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, service agreements, and other such undertakings.

86. The Director General shall establish the office of the Legal Adviser, and recruit one or more legal counsel to serve in this office, to assist the Legal Adviser in the provision of such legal services as may be required.

87. The Director General shall recommend to the Council, an individual to be appointed the Union’s Legal Adviser, and Council shall ensure that the Legal Adviser is duly appointed.

Term of appointment: Initial contract of two years with the possibility of renewal into an indefinite contract starting on the third year.

• Advise and support the Director General, senior management and the worldwide Secretariat staff on the legal, strategic and policy aspects of IUCN’s contractual relationships, particularly in reference to trademark and branding protection, intellectual property licenses, service agreements, donor and project implementation agreements and other such undertakings, including their negotiation, drafting, review, clearance and performance follow-up.

• Research and evaluate the substantive and legal grounds for claims or legal proceedings brought against/by IUCN on a worldwide basis, managing all necessary actions with the objective of achieving the best possible outcome for IUCN.

• Provide rulings and legal opinions on the interpretation, application and/or amendment of IUCN’s statutory instruments, resolutions, policies and guidelines.

• Provide legal advice and support in all phases of the preparation and running of the IUCN World Conservation Congress and of meetings of Council, including its Bureau and Committees.

• Provide advice and support to the Commissions and the National/Regional Committees of IUCN in the establishment and interpretation of their by-laws and other operational documents, and in their interaction with the Secretariat and other statutory components.

• Ensure that all statutory components and individual Members of IUCN adhere to their statutory functions and institutional roles, avoiding undue encroachment on other functions and roles that could erode the integrity and effectiveness of IUCN governance processes.

• Provide advice and support in the negotiation of the best possible conditions for IUCN in the establishment, renewal or amendment of host country agreements with governments of States where IUCN seeks to establish or has established a physical presence.

• Determine the need for, manage and supervise external legal counsel in various jurisdictions around the world, with the objective of preventing, avoiding or limiting IUCN’s risks in connection with contractual and other legal issues.

• Supervise the work of all members of the Office of the Legal Adviser, train and motivate them to acquire new skills and expertise in legal research, analysis and writing, and enable them to handle legal matters with autonomy.


• Advanced university degree in law. A postgraduate diploma as well as a research and publications record would be an asset  

• Excellent working knowledge of private and public international law, and familiarity with Community law as well as with financial and labour laws and practices.  

• A minimum of eight years’ professional experience, preferably acquired in a multinational/multicultural environment.  

• Excellent command of English and French with proven drafting ability. Good working knowledge of Spanish would be an asset.  

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

• Substantial experience in the negotiation, drafting and management of complex contracts.  

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

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

• Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to motivate and manage staff and to collaborate with senior leadership and strategic partners.  

• Excellent knowledge of standard MS Office applications.  

• Self-motivated and results-oriented.  
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 148'000 to CHF 185'000, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax.



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Legal Adviser -- IUCN, Switzerland
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