Legal Officer

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

About ECMWF

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states. It carries out scientific and technical research, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data on a 24/7 operational basis.

For details, see www.ecmwf.int/.

ECMWF has been entrusted to operate the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on behalf of the European Commission until the end of 2020. Copernicus is the European Union (EU) flagship Earth-observation programme. The programme ensures operational monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated information services for a range of environmental and security applications.

Summary of the role

The Legal team is responsible for safeguarding and promoting ECMWF’s legal interests and advising the organisation on all legal implications of its various activities and proposed actions, as well as providing guidance on all legal issues to key-decision makers as required.

It provides advice and guidance to ensure that ECMWF meets its obligations under its Convention, regulations, Council decisions, and international law whilst ensuring the legal framework adequately supports the organisation in achieving its mission.

The Legal team is made up of a Head of Legal Services (General Counsel) and a Legal Officer and can draw upon the services of external legal firms as required. A vacancy has arisen for a qualified lawyer to bring the team back to full strength. As a small team it is essential that both lawyers work closely together and bring complementary skills, experiences and areas of expertise to the role. ECMWF is therefore interested in hearing from qualified lawyers interested in both of these roles and will appoint the successful candidate at either A3 or A4, depending on their level of experience.

Main duties and key responsibilities (both roles)

  • Advising and assisting with the legal aspects of ECMWF’s operational and research activities (including interpreting its rules for dissemination of data and software, and drafting and negotiating licences, supply agreements, and agreements for research, collaboration and cooperation)
  • Supporting ECMWF’s procurement and contracting processes by ensuring that they are carried out in compliance with its own regulations and that these regulations are consistent with best practice and meet the stipulations of any funding bodies to which ECMWF has made commitments
  • Supporting the distribution of ECMWF products and outputs to external customers, paying particular attention to any risks and liability exposure and to the protection of its intellectual property rights (IPR)
  • Supporting all legal aspects of contracts for externally funded projects
  • Maintaining a record of ECMWF’s contracts, licences and agreements with details of contractual obligations
  • Ensuring that legal questions in relation to membership to ECMWF are dealt with and effectively managed
  • Providing advice and guidance with respect to the ECMWF staff regulations and the development of HR policies, in relation to all types of contracts of staff engaged by ECMWF
  • Case management of legal disputes, including staff appeals

Additional responsibilities for the A4 position:

  • Participating in Senior Meetings as applicable
  • Guiding and supervising other members of the Legal team

Personal attributes

  • Candidates should be solution-orientated with the ability to balance the legal, commercial, and strategic requirements of the role
  • Ability to work collaboratively, sharing expertise and lessons learnt with colleagues
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to effectively and confidently communicate with individuals from other backgrounds and cultures
  • Ability to work with others as well as independently
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines and under time pressure
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to apply these to working within and across teams with staff at all levels, preferably in a scientific or technical environment
  • Excellent attention to detail

Education

  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in international law or a related discipline. Candidates must also be qualified to practise as a lawyer in one of the ECMWF Member States or Co-operating States.

Experience

  • Considerable years of demonstrated progressive experience in international law, including Civil Service law and its practical application, ideally within international organisations.
  • A good working knowledge of EU law is essential and experience in UK commercial law is highly desirable. Knowledge of Italian commercial law would be an advantage
  • Proven experience of drafting procurement documentation such as invitations to tender, evaluation reports and communications with tenderers.
  • Experience of working with or for a scientific or technical organisation or for an international organisation (desirable)
  • Proven experience in team leadership is essential for the A4 position.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Good working knowledge of MS Office with considerable experience of working with Microsoft Word.
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.
  • A good knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

Other information

Principal Legal Officer: Grade A4

A minimum annual basic salary of £80,977 net of tax, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations. This position will be assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Starting date: 1 December 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Length of contract: Four years.

Senior Legal Officer: Grade A3,

A minimum annual basic salary of £69,700 net of tax, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations. This position will be assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations

Starting date: 1 December 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Length of contract: Four years.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Location: The role will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs.

ECMWF has an Equal Opportunities Policy and applications from all suitably qualified candidates are welcome.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, the former Yugoslav, Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.