Legal Counsel

WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organisation

Geneva, Switzerland

Organizational Context

Organizational Setting

The post is located in the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC). OLC is responsible for providing legal advice and assistance to the Director General, to the bodies of WIPO Member States and to the secretariat on constitutional, administrative, contractual, and general legal matters, and in respect of the depository functions of WIPO-administered treaties, in harmony with statutory requirements and applicable law.

Purpose Statement

The Legal Counsel is responsible for directing the work of OLC and planning, coordinating and supervising the above-mentioned legal functions and activities in accordance with the Organization’s constitution and other legal and policy texts.

Reporting Lines

The incumbent works under the supervision of the Assistant Director General in charge of the Administration, Finance and Management Sector.

Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will perform the following principal duties

  • Advise the Director General and the highest organs of the Organization on complex and sensitive issues relating to the functions, structure and activities of the Organization, including on the application and interpretation of the basic constituent instrument of the Organization, the rules of procedure of governing bodies, and on public international law aspects of WIPO-administered treaties;
  • Participate in negotiations and direct the drafting of legal instruments such as agreements and contracts to be entered into by the Organization; provide expert advice on the resolution of claims arising under such agreements and contracts;
  • Provide, or oversee the provision of, advice on the legal status of the Organization in the countries in which its headquarters and external offices are located and on the legal status of staff and related privileges and immunities;
  • Oversee the provision of legal advice on personnel-related matters, including policies and procedures, and on matters and cases subject to WIPO’s administration of justice system;
  • Oversee the timely preparation of treaty notifications and other actions in the discharge of the depositary functions of the Director General;
  • Direct OLC’s portfolio of work and take overall management responsibility for its human and financial resources, determining priorities and allocating resources for the timely and quality delivery of work products in accordance with results-based management principles; ensure that key risks are identified, assessed and managed for the achievement of agreed results;
  • Represent the Director General before the WIPO Appeal Board and the Organization before the ILO Administrative Tribunal and any other judicial or quasi-judicial bodies; oversee the preparation and review of briefs and pleadings;
  • Represent the Director General or the Organization in high-level meetings, consultations and negotiations with contractors and with high-level representatives of Member States or other organizations and bodies involving constitutional and legal matters;
  • Oversee the preparation of studies and reports on specific subjects of a general legal nature and on the legislative activity of the Organization;
  • Perform other related duties as required.


Education (Essential)

  • Advanced university degree in law, preferably with a focus on public international law. A first-level university degree with two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Experience (Essential)

  • At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant legal field, including in public international law and administrative law pertaining to international organizations, of which considerable experience gained in an international organization and/or a national government;
  • Experience in a senior managerial role, including direct supervisory responsibilities over a team.

Language (Essential)

  • Excellent written and spoken knowledge of English.

Language (Desirable)

  • Good knowledge of French;
  • Knowledge of other UN official languages.

Job Related Competencies (Essential)

  • In-depth knowledge of public international law, as well as the practical application of legal principles, concepts and policy to a range of legal issues in the area of public international law;
  • Knowledge of international, regional and bilateral instruments concerning intellectual property;
  • Knowledge of the United Nations Common System;
  • Good knowledge of results-based management principles;
  • Ability to articulate technically complex and politically sensitive notions with clarity, tact and diplomacy;
  • Political acumen and excellent negotiation skills;
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills;
  • Independent judgment and capacity for critical analysis;
  • Strong leadership skills to motivate staff, promote interest and engagement and teamwork;
  • Excellent ability to communicate and interact with WIPO’s directorate, senior management, Member States and other key stakeholders;
  • Excellent communication, networking and interpersonal skills and ability to maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

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© EuroJobsites 2022

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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