Legal Officer Jobs at United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide. We are seeking to fill aLegal Officer position at the P4 level, based at our Headquarters in Rome, Italy.
Job Title: Legal Officer,

Legal officers operate with a high level of operational independence for issuing legal advice and dealing client’s legal issues. They perform a high degree of specialized legal work and deal with complex and sensitive legal issues. In addition, particularly in larger legal groups, it is common for the P-4 job holder to be a team leader providing guidance, leadership and mentoring for other Legal Officers. At this level, job holders originate new policies or programs in a specific subject area or field of work. Work involves specialist expertise that goes beyond established procedures or models. Job holders work with minimal supervision and are expected to pursue new areas of activities within a broad program framework combining credible capacity with independent responsibility for developing specific program initiatives and creates opportunities for developing new client relationships.
Under the general supervision and guidance of the Senior Legal Officer theLegal Officer, P4 will be responsible for the following key duties:
  • Serve as a lead officer in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handle a wide range of multi-discipline and highly complex legal matters including interpretation and application of various legal instruments in the relevant area of concentration to ensure the provision of comprehensive legal services;
  • Contribute to determination of strategy and approach to legal matters, to ensure provision of solid recommendations and cohesive legal services;
  • Develop policies, directives, guidelines, procedures and other internal or corporate documents to provide organization with appropriate regulatory framework;
  • Provide legal advice on diverse and complex procedural questions, draft and negotiate complex contracts, develop new legal modalities within the framework of WFP’s normative guidelines to meet unique client requirements; in particular, the incumbent will participate, in a multi-disciplinary context, in the development of cash-based solutions, an expanding component of WFP’s food-assistance response;
  • Provide advice and participate in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes with public and private entities to ensure WFP’s position is explained and defended;
  • Undertake extensive legal research and analysis and prepare legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports and complex correspondence to enable the provision of comprehensive legal services;
  • Provide efficient legal services on various standing boards, committees, working groups and task forces and represent organization at meetings, conferences and other events including complex cases in tribunals or administrative proceedings to ensure the efficient exchange of technical discussions and that WFP’s interests are protected;
  • Facilitate increased awareness of potential liability exposure and proactive minimization of risk to enable well-informed decisions;
  • Build productive partnerships with other Legal Offices across UN system to ensure consistency in legal information and to complement WFP provided legal services;
  • Supervise, coach and build capacity of other staff;
  • Take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives in all areas of work, to ensure equal participation of women and men;
  • Other as required.
Qualifications & Experience Required
  • Advanced University degree in Law, or First University degree in Law with additional relevant experience and training;
  • Must be qualified to practice law or admitted to practice law by a recognized national or state bar or law society.
  • At least eight years (three of which are international) of relevant progressively responsible experience as a lawyer in a law firm or in a private-sector institution or in an international organisation in the area of contract and commercial law;
  • Experience in financial transactions, public and/or private international law would be an asset.
Technical Skills & Knowledge:
  • Demonstrated ability to draft contracts ad-hoc that are appropriate to contractual counterparty and context;
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills; demonstrated  ability  to  take  independent decisions;
  • Strong business acumen and ability to think strategically;
  • Solid communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong time management and priorities management skills;
  • Adaptability and ability to work on a wide range of legal issues.
  • General knowledge of UN system policies, rules, regulations and procedures, desirable.
  • Fluency in oral and written English with an intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages).
Non-Rotational Nature
Mobility is and continues to be a core contractual requirement in WFP. This position is however classified as “non-rotational” which means the incumbent shall not be subject to the regular reassignment process unless the position is reclassified as rotational.
Terms and Conditions
Selected candidate will be employed on a fixed-term contract with a probationary period of one year. He/she will be required to travel abroad sometime to remote and difficult locations.
WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance. For more details please visit
How to Apply

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