Skip to Job Description
Senior Counsel - Legal
World Bank
Job Expired 23 Apr 2024
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description



Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges.

The World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world's largest sources of development assistance and global expertise for developing countries. WBG consists of five institutions that specialize in different aspects of development: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), 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 the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). For additional information, please visit

With a mission of creating a world free of poverty on a livable planet, the WBG works in more than 100 developing economies to improve living standards and to fight poverty. For each of its clients, the WBG works with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to formulate assistance strategies. A network of offices worldwide delivers the programs in countries, liaises with governments and civil society, and works to increase understanding of development issues. The World Bank is owned by 189 member countries whose views and interests are represented by a Board of Governors and a Washington, DC-based Board of Directors. With more than 150 offices worldwide, the WBG works 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.

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 our client countries to 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.


Legal Vice Presidency. In the context of the World Bank's broad development agenda, the Legal Vice Presidency (LEG), under the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel (SVP-GC), is responsible for providing legal advice and support to internal and external Bank clients on operational, advisory, financial, administration, and institutional matters.

LEGIA. Lawyers in the Institutional Affairs Practice Group (LEGIA) provide legal advice and services throughout the World Bank Group, including for the Regional Vice Presidencies, the Human Resources Vice Presidency, the Information and Technology Solution Vice Presidency, the Internal Justice System Vice Presidency, the Global Corporate Solutions Department Vice Presidency, the External and Corporate Relations Vice Presidency, the Ethics and Internal Justice Vice Presidency; the Strategy, Performance, and Administration Vice Presidency, as well as to International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) regarding the institutional affairs of these institutions within the responsibility of the World Bank Group Counsel.

LEGIA invites qualified candidates to apply for a Senior Counsel position based at HQ in Washington, D.C.

Selected candidates will work under the general supervision of the Deputy General Counsel. The Senior Counsel will be a lawyer who can operate independently to handle legal and policy issues related to the Bank’s work while working collaboratively with other lawyers within LEGIA and LEG as a whole.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The Senior Counsel will work under the general supervision of the Deputy General Counsel, with day-to-day guidance provided by one or more Lead or Senior Counsels working in the same practice specialties.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Senior Counsel will be expected to perform the following tasks:

- Serve as a lawyer in the Institutional Administration Practice Group, which provides legal advice and services throughout the World Bank Group, including for the Regional Vice Presidencies, the HR Vice Presidency, the ITS Vice Presidency, the Integrity Vice Presidency, the General Services Department, the ECR Vice Presidency, the Office of Ethics and Business Conduct; the Corporate Procurement Unit as well as to IFC, MIGA and ICSID regarding institutional administration areas.
- Advise the Governing organs of the World Bank (Governors, the Boards of Executive Directors/Directors, the President) on their roles under the governing documents.
- Address membership issues with the World Bank’s member countries and prospective members.
- Advise in connection with shareholding, including general and selective capital increases.
- Advise on Voting and procedural aspects of the work at the Board of Executive. Director/Director level as well as at the level of the Board of Governors.
- Advise Executive Director’s committees and working groups on procedures and standing rules.
- Regular and interim elections of the Boards of Executive Directors/Directors of IBRD, IDA. IFC and MIGA.
- Attend and advise on issues arising from the Annual & Spring meetings of the Board of Governors.
- Support the Legal Department in advising the Development Committee, and Joint Committee on Remuneration of EDs and Alternates.
- Advise on the Interpretation and amendment of the governing documents of the World Bank.
- Advise on the Attorney-Client privilege for Board records under the Access to Information Policy.
- Training, including participation in regular on-boarding of Executive Directors/Directors and their staff.
- Draft, review, negotiate and finalize legal agreements under the Counsel’s portfolio.
- Draft and revise pleadings and submissions to the Bank’s Administrative Tribunal.
- Provide legal advice to ongoing projects and programs, including reviewing project and program documents, for adherence to World Bank Group policies, procedures and business objectives.
- Conduct comparative legal analyses on a range of issues in operations, identify legal and policy issues, research for 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.
- Perform ad hoc assignments as requested by the Deputy General Counsel.


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.
* Expertise or familiarity in public international law.
* Legal transactional or litigation experience.
* Ability to work collaboratively, to build trust among peers and colleagues, to respond quickly and consistently to key issues.
* Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives.
* High degree of persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus, especially on divisive legal issues.
* Language skills. Fluency in English, both written and oral, is required, with additional fluency in French, Spanish, Arabic, and/or Portuguese desirable.


Carries out complex work with due care without close supervision, preparing accurate documents and reports, ensuring that pertinent facts and arguments are fairly presented. Interprets information in an objective manner, exercising professional skepticism when required. Respects confidentiality of information and work.  

Professional Maturity
Understands the institutional context of assignments, and respects others and the reasons for their behavior. Takes the time to clarify others' points of view so that progress can be made particularly in situations of stress or conflict. Respects different points of view, especially in a multicultural environment, is never condescending or arrogant.

Legal Reasoning
Demonstrated skill in legal reasoning, including breaking down problems into their component parts, and issue spotting. 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 collects and verifies facts before reaching a conclusion.Can simplify complex fact patterns and explain well.

Legal Research, Drafting, and Communication
Independently drafts documents (e.g., legal agreements, contracts, policy documents, but also novel documents and instruments) as assigned with limited supervision. Conducts research as necessary. Is aware of the need for precision and focus on accuracy and quality. Demonstrates a writing style that is clear and precise.

Legal Negotiation
Is able to negotiate independently. Is aware of the need to be diplomatic when working with others particularly when the issues are complex; uses good judgment in interactions with clients. Makes sure s/he has all the necessary information and data available to enter meaningful negotiations. Works effectively with some supervision on straightforward negotiations.

Adversarial Proceedings
Possesses demonstrated ability to engage in adversarial proceedings, including drafting of written advocacy before courts or other adjudicatory bodies, and cross examination; review of commercial contract provisions.  Some litigation experience is highly desirable.  Experience managing external litigation also a plus.

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.

Effective Time Management
Manages competing demands effectively, prioritizes work demands, manages multiple competing demands on a consistent basis, without becoming frustrated or overwhelmed.

Delivery of Results for Clients
Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to achieve more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals.Maximizes client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Does not limit her/himself to identifying problems, but proposes constructive solutions to mitigate and manage foreseeable risks. Thinks outside the box.

For Inclusion in any non-Supervisory Job:

- Values, Leadership Potential

Demonstrated commitment to the World Bank Core Values for WBG and a proven track record of fostering a strong and healthy culture of diversity, inclusion, teamwork, honesty, trust, openness, integrity, and accountability.

- Demonstrated ability to be sensitive to issues around race, gender, ethnicity, inclusion, and intersectionality.
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and foster a positive working environment.
- Demonstrated commitment to the Bank’s mission, and ability to work towards WBG's corporate targets for successful outcomes.
- A strong results-oriented mindset.

Employment Value Proposition

The World Bank Group (WBG) offers comprehensive benefits including a retirement plan; health (medical dental, pharmacy, vision), life and disability insurance; generous annual leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Please note that certain benefits may vary based on appointment type (Term or Extended-Term Consultant/Temporary; HQ or Country Office appointment). 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.

The WBG aspires to remain competitive in all markets by providing compensation that attracts and retains top talent to deliver on the WBG mission of reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development.

WBG entry salaries are determined based on the grade, years of relevant experience and internal comparators. Consistent with our entry salary methodology, new hires are likely to be offered a salary between the minimum and midpoint of the salary scale for the advertised grade. In addition to the base-line salary, international staff posted to a field assignment receive generous field benefits and those at HQ receive expatriate benefits for five years, provided they are not US citizens or permanent residents.

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.

This position is no longer open.