JOB POST AT The World Bank : Senior Counsel
Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 16,000 staff located globally.
Innovation and partnership bond the five institutions of the World Bank Group (WBG): The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help its client countries reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data.
In the context of the World Bank’s broad development agenda, the Legal Vice Presidency (LEG VPU) provides legal services required by the World Bank and plays an active role in all the World Bank’s activities. In addition, the LEG VPU helps to ensure that all World Bank’s activities comply with the institution’s Articles of Agreement, as well as its operational policies and procedures.
Organizationally, the LEG VPU includes geographically-based regional operational practice groups devoted to the legal and policy aspects of the World Bank’s lending operations, and corporate practice groups, which provide advice on corporate finance, administrative and institutional matters for the World Bank. LEGES provides operational legal support to two regions: (a) East Asia and the Pacific comprising seven country management units: Papua New Guinea & Pacific Islands; Indonesia and Timor Leste; China, Mongolia & Korea; Vietnam; Cambodia, Lao PDR & Myanmar; Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand & Brunei; as well as Singapore; and (b) South Asia, which covers eight diverse countries which are grouped into five country management units: Afghanistan; Bangladesh & Bhutan; India; Pakistan; and Sri Lanka, Nepal & Maldives. The legal support by LEGES is characterized by both real-time presence of lawyers in the field in select country offices and support from lawyers, legal analysts and other staff in Washington, DC.
The selected lawyer will join the New Delhi office for the duration of the 3-year term, and work on the extensive India portfolio plus other countries to be determined by the Chief Counsel. The selected lawyer will be expected to be willing to travel to all countries in the areas covered by LEGES.
The selected lawyer will work under the immediate supervision of the assigned LEGES Senior or Lead Counsel and report to the Chief Counsel, LEGES, based in Washington, DC. The work program will primarily be project finance-based, supporting World Bank investments in all sectors and all countries and will also include advising country management on operational, institutional and other matters that arise from time to time in the country offices. The selected lawyer will also be involved in a broader array of World Bank interventions, including management of key relationships with other development partners and members of civil society, and will be expected to develop relationships with members of the legal profession and lawyers working in development partner agencies in his or her assigned countries.
The Senior Counsel position requires demonstrated ability to apply rigorous analytical skills, to work harmoniously in a team, and to exercise good judgment within a broad range of contexts. The level and quality of these skills will be a determining factor in the selection for the position, and references will be given consideration in this determination.
The Senior Counsel will work under the immediate supervision of the assigned LEGES Senior or Lead Counsel, and will function as the principal legal advisor to the India country management unit during the assignment to the New Delhi office. The Senior Counsel will be expected to:
•Cover a broad portfolio within a functional area, providing advice to management and clients on legal and policy issues in one or more areas of concentration;
•Draft, review, negotiate and finalize all legal documents for the World Bank’s operations under the Senior Counsel’s portfolio;
•Take part, and actively participate, as representative of LEGES, in India’s Portfolio Quality Management Team and/or Country Leadership Team;
•Supervise and guide Counsel(s)/Associate Counsel(s) and provide training/advice to them to ensure effective transfer of knowledge and skills;
•Successfully deliver legal work on projects and programs and other transactions within client assignments;
•Develop innovative approaches and share best practices with colleagues;
•Participate in identification, preparation, appraisal and supervision missions with project teams and attend any other operational meetings, as required;
•Handle issues within an area of concentration to enable clients to create solutions;
•Provide legal support to ongoing projects and programs, including reviewing project and program documents for adherence to World Bank Group legal policies and procedures, and business objectives;
•Conduct comparative legal analyses on a range of issues in a given area, identify legal and policy issues, research relevant precedents, and propose appropriate solutions to colleagues and clients;
•Engage in policy discussions and negotiations with officials internally and externally, developing relationships with members of the legal profession and lawyers working in development partner agencies;
•Protect World Bank Group’s interests and promote its goals;
•Create, apply and share knowledge from across and outside the WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions;
•Ensure systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners;
•Be known across WBG in their subject area and sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others;
•Seek mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentor junior staff;
•Build networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks;
•Have an extensive knowledge of the World Bank’s legal framework, policies and procedures and be able to apply them correctly and consistently, and identify where these policies are not being applied or not being applied as intended and informs the appropriate parties;
•Write and review policy papers, undertake legal research on topics in area of concentration and contribute to dissemination of policy and best practices in a given field;
•Prepare legal briefs on diverse topics, as required;
•Participate in task/project teams and operational missions; and
•Perform ad hoc assignments as requested by the Chief Counsel.
•An LL.B. degree, J.D. or equivalent, with a minimum of eight (8) years of relevant experience, and admission to the Bar (or equivalent) in at least one jurisdiction is required.
•A Masters Degree in law (LL.M.) is required.
•Continuous experience in a reputable private sector law firm (especially transactional work) and/ or with an international financial organization is a strong plus.
•Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Applicants will be asked to undertake a drafting exercise as part of the selection process.
•Additional languages (French, Spanish or Portuguese) are a strong plus.
General competencies required:
•Excellent legal research, writing, drafting, analytical and communications skills;
•Excellent interpersonal skills;
•Experience in administrative and contract law, in transactional legal work and/or preparation and negotiation of legal agreements;
•Familiarity in the use of varied legal research sources (including electronic sources on the internet) and other databases;
•Proven ability to operate effectively as a member of one or more teams; must be a self-starter and collaborate well with others; ability to exercise sound judgment in recognizing what issues to bring to the attention of the Chief Counsel and/or the supervising Lead or Senior Counsel, and which to handle autonomously;
•Proven ability to deal sensitively in multicultural and multi-ethnic environments and build effective working relationships with clients and colleagues;
•Ability to supervise and work with local counsel in a collaborative and collegial way; and
•Ability to work under time pressure and to juggle multiple tasks within tight deadlines.
The World Bank Group values diversity and encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of World Bank Group member countries to apply, regardless of gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. Sub-Saharan African nationals, Caribbean nationals, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.