Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the General Legal Division of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) in the Substantial Contracts and Procurement Cluster. The Legal Officer reports to the Senior Legal Officer, Principal Legal Officer and the Director of the General Legal Division.
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties.
- Serves as a lead officer in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handles a wide range of multi-discipline and complex legal matters involving issues of international, public, private and administrative law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration;
- Provides advice on all legal aspects of the investments and related investment activities of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF), in consultation with its Office of Investment Management (OIM), where required, including the negotiation of a wide range of agreements and documents relating to the investment of multiple classes of assets in global public and private markets, as well as associated custody, advisory and other related arrangements;
- Provides advice on all legal aspects of the investments and related investment activities of the United Nations Secretariat, in consultation with UN Treasury, where required, including the negotiation of a wide range of agreements and documents relating to investments and banking, as well as associated custody, advisory and other related arrangements;
- Provides legal advice on the interpretation of legal instruments and legislation (as applicable) as well as UN and UNJSPF regulations, rules, and policies;
- Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to administration and management, institutions support, procurement and contracts, peacekeeping and other operational matters, separately administered programmes and funds, etc.;
- Provides legal advice on a diverse range of highly complex or novel substantive and procedural questions of law relating to the investment activities of the UNJSPF and/or UN Treasury;
- Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence; provides legal advice to the unit/division;
- Services committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.;
- Reviews, advises on, drafts and negotiates complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances;
- Provides advice and support on the Organization’s procurement activities, both at Headquarters and Offices away from Headquarters and the field, including on procurement relating to logistical support requirements for United Nations peacekeeping and other missions;
- Advises on and participates in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes, to include establishing strategy and approach, deciding on the legal text for terms and conditions of contracts, on the recommendations on the merit of claims, etc.;
- Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of financial regulations and rules, and staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions; prepares draft amendments to the financial regulations and rules and staff regulations and rules; reviews draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto and verifies their consistency with the existing financial regulations and rules and/or staff regulation and rules; prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources and other policies and practices;
- Represents the organization on more complex cases before arbitral and other tribunal or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals;
- Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of the United Nations and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.;
- Coordinates and direct teams of other legal officers dealing with significant problems as required, and/or mentors and supervises the work of junior officers on specific projects;
- Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, etc.;
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of international law, including the privileges and immunities of international organizations, in particular the United Nations. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
- Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
- Advanced university degree in law is required. A first level university degree in law in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Admission to the practice of law in the Member State of the candidate’s nationality or in another Member State of the United Nations is required.
- A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in commercial law, including legal analysis, research and writing, to be obtained either in the legal office of an international intergovernmental organization, a law firm or the legal office of a Government is required;
- Experience providing comprehensive general legal services on commercial matters to an international organization is desirable;
- Experience in legal aspects of private markets investment transactions (private equity, real estate, infrastructure) through closed-end funds, co-investments, and/or direct investment structures is desirable;
- Experience in working with the status and the privileges and immunities of international organizations is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.
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