Legal Counsel - Shipping

Legal Counsel - Shipping


Geneva, Switzerland

Candidate Profile

This is a rare opportunity for the right candidate. The ideal candidate would probably have 5–10-year post-qualification experience, preferably as a solicitor in England and Wales. Previous experience of shipping law is required; previous experience in the energy and/or trading area would be a considerable advantage.

You must be proficient in legal drafting under English law (and fluently speak, read and write in English). Legal knowledge of another European jurisdiction (or US law) is an advantage, as is a command of French and/or another major European language.

You should thrive working both as a team player and autonomously, and demonstrate effective communication skills with all levels of the organisation. You also should have solid negotiation skills, a solution-oriented attitude, a collaborative mind-set, and be proactive.


We are looking for an experienced shipping lawyer to join our Legal Team based in Geneva, which provides legal support to Trading & Shipping and Gas & Power divisions at TotalEnergies.

What you will do

As Legal Counsel, you will be closely working with Chartering and Shipping teams, Trading teams, and support functions, ensuring that the company is able to achieve its commercial objectives in compliance with laws and regulations, properly managing and minimising legal risks, and providing solution-oriented legal services: practical, commercial, timely and cost effective.

Your missions would typically include the following:

  • Provide legal advice on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious shipping and trading matters;
  • Review and advise on time/voyage charterparties, contracts of affreightment, and bills of lading for crude oil, oil products, LNG, dry bulk, biofuels etc…and related documentation;
  • Handle cargo contamination and cargo shortage claims against shipowners; advise on marine incidents and off-spec bunker issues, and liaise with internal shipping and trading clients and relevant P&I Club and insurers;
  • Participate in crisis cells following any major incident/emergency situation and advising thereon;
  • Provide shipping legal support, if required, to other TotalEnergies Group entities outside T&S and Gas divisions;
  • Advise on related trading issues, in particular in connection with bills of lading and sale contracts;
  • Assist the demurrage department with claims against shipowners and commercial counterparties.

More generally:

  • Negotiation - assist internal clients in commercial and contractual negotiations with third parties;
  • Risk – advise on legal risks and minimise the impact of legal risks for the business;
  • Disputes – assist in the management of legal disputes for the Company and advise on the risks and outcomes (litigation, arbitration, mediation);
  • Laws and regulations - monitor and advise on applicable shipping laws and international conventions;
  • Assist in the instruction of external counsel and actively monitor and minimise external legal costs.

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Switzerland      Compliance and Regulatory Law      Disputes and Litigation      Environment and Energy Law      In House Lawyer      Trade Law      TotalEnergies     

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