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Senior Counsel
World Bank
Grade: GG, Mid-level Professional
Occupations: Legal Affairs
Job Expired 23 Sep 2021
Added 1 month ago
Job Description


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group (WBG) provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

VPU Background:

The Legal Vice Presidency (LEGVP), under the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, is responsible for providing legal support to internal and external World Bank clients on operational, advisory and corporate matters. LEGVP provides legal services required by the World Bank and plays an active role in all the World Bank's activities. In addition, LEGVP helps to ensure that all World Bank activities comply with the institution's Articles of Agreement, as well as its operational policies and procedures. Organizationally, LEGVP includes geographically-based regional Operational Practice Groups devoted to the legal and policy aspects of the World Bank's lending operations, Policy and Advisory Practice Groups which provide advice on operations policy, environmental and international law, development finance, and Corporate Practice Groups, which provide advice on corporate finance, administrative and institutional matters for the World Bank.

The Legal South Asia Structured Finance and Guarantees unit (LEGAS SG) is a cross-regional unit at the LEGVPU handling complex World Bank transactional operations, including World Bank guarantees to mobilize private capital for infrastructure development, and other transformational projects.

LEGAS SG works very closely with the Infrastructure Finance and Guarantees (IFG) unit of the World Bank. IFG is a specialized unit which develops and structures financing packages across all World Bank member countries. IFG is responsible for developing innovative financial solutions in support of the World Bank’s investment and development policy operations, with a particular focus on raising private and public financing for infrastructure and fiscal needs in emerging markets. Mobilization of private capital is typically undertaken through private participation in infrastructure and/or raising commercial financing from loan or capital markets for the World Bank’s member countries. IFG also has institutional responsibility for the World Bank’s Guarantee Program. LEGAS SG also works closely with the World Bank Treasury on some World Bank guarantee operations.

LEGAS SG provides specialized expertise in project finance, structured finance, credit enhancement and public-private financing arrangements for World Bank operations, in concert with colleagues from the IFG unit, as well as regional and global practice staff of the World Bank and World Bank Treasury staff. Members of LEGAS SG are active at all stages of the project cycle: from upstream conception, design and structuring through approval by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, as well as reviewing, drafting and negotiating legal documentation (regularly interacting with leading international law firms acting on behalf of private sector sponsors and lenders) to financial close and beyond. In addition, LEGAS SG provides legal operational policy advice to World Bank departments and staff on matters related to its areas of involvement.

Job Description


The Senior Counsel position will be based in Washington, DC for a duration of 2 years. The selected applicant will be expected to be willing and able to travel to countries around the world based on the needs of given transactions.

The Senior Counsel position requires demonstrated technical depth, ability to apply rigorous analytical skills, to work harmoniously in a team, and to exercise good judgment within a broad range of contexts on increasingly complex projects.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 function as a principal legal advisor to one or more assigned internal World Bank clients. The Senior Counsel will be expected to handle at least some of the following areas of responsibility:

* Cover a broad portfolio within a functional area, providing risk-based advice to management and staff on legal and policy issues in one or more areas of concentration.

* Draft, review, negotiate and finalize legal documents for transactions in the Senior Counsel’s portfolio.

* Successfully deliver legal work on projects and programs and other transactions within client assignments by giving advice on higher risk profile issues with increasing areas of complexity.

* Supervise and guide Counsels, Associate Counsels, Legal Analysts and Paralegals and provide training and advice to them to ensure effective transfer of knowledge and skills.


* Conduct negotiations with public sector officials.

* Interpret and advise Bank staff on internal operational policies and procedures.

* Develop innovative approaches and share best practices with colleagues.

* Develop knowledge products and manage tasks independently and as a leader of a team of colleagues.

* Handle issues within an area of specialization to enable clients to create solutions.

* Provide legal advice for adherence to World Bank 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 the World Bank’s interests and promote its goals and values.

* 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.

* Serve in an acting capacity for supervisor.

* Work to advance the LEG VPU’s knowledge management agenda and use of technology; and

* Perform ad hoc assignments as requested by the manager.

Selection Criteria

* An LLM 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.


* Excellent oral and written English skills required. Additional languages (French or Spanish strongly preferred; Arabic or Portuguese a plus).

* Continuous experience in a reputable private sector law firm and/ or with an international financial organization or Government agency is a strong plus.

General Competencies Required

* Demonstrated expertise in project finance, corporate finance and structured finance with reference to an established track record of the successful structuring, drafting, negotiating and delivery of transactions in support of long-term infrastructure investment in emerging markets is essential. Preferred areas of experience include energy and extractive industries, as well as transport (rail/ports/airports), water and wastewater sectors.

* Experience in closing project finance operations with or for multilateral development banks and international financial institutions would be considered a strength.

* Excellent legal research, writing, analytical and communications skills.

* Excellent interpersonal skills.

* Experience in international, commercial or contract law, in transactional legal work and/or preparation and negotiation of legal agreements.

* Excellent legal drafting skills, including of transactional documentation such as agreements, legal memos and/or other instruments and work product as relevant where applicable, based on appropriate research and delivered in clear, precise writing.


* 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 as well as the ability to work independently and under own initiative; must collaborate well with others; ability to exercise sound judgment in recognizing what issues to bring to the attention of the Chief Counsel and/or another supervising 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.

Other Competencies Required

- Independence: Carries out work with due care, preparing accurate documents and reports, ensuring that pertinent facts are fairly presented without seeking to obfuscate (either through too much information or withholding relevant information).Interprets information in an objective manner, exercising professional skepticism when required. Does not divulge or exploit confidential information.

- Professional Maturity: Understands others and the reasons for their behavior. Takes the time to clarifying others' points of view so that progress can be made particularly in situations of stress or conflict. Proven ability to deal sensitively and effectively across organizational boundaries, as a team member, in multi-cultural environments and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues.

- Legal Reasoning: Breaks down problem into their component parts. Articulates the implications of situations in a step-by-step way. Remains objective when reviewing problems or situations to understand the issues. Makes sure he/she possesses all the facts.

- Recommends and takes decisive action: Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long-term implications of decisions. Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.

- Client Orientation: Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.

- Flexibility: Able to adapt strategy, and objectives, making corresponding structural or organizational changes as needed, to move the work forward and meet the needs of the situation.

- Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making: Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others' work.

- Create, Apply, Share Knowledge: Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside the WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions: Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners. Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others. Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge.

- Mentoring: Provides junior staff with guidance and feedback on both routine and new tasks. Identifies others in the organization or from other parts of the Bank to provide guidance and support.

- Deliver Results for Clients: Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Demonstrates accountability for achieving results that have a development impact and financial, environmental and social sustainability. Identifies and proposes solutions to mitigate and manage risks. Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, and works to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.

- Makes Smart Decisions: Seeks diversity of information and inputs, researches possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders.

- Lead and Innovate: Contributes new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact of own behavior on others in context of WBG’s values and mission.

- Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries: Appropriately involves others in decision making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

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