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Counsel - Legal
World Bank
Job Expired 30 May 2024
Posted 4 weeks 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 twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, 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.

Department Context

The Development Finance (LEGDF) Practice Group in LEG is responsible for the legal work on major aspects of the Bank’s external funds, including with respect to the International Development Association (IDA), trust funds and global partnerships and financial intermediary funds (FIFs). Its principal client is the Development Finance Vice Presidency (DFi), the Bank’s vice presidency responsible for managing and monitoring policies and procedures for World Bank development financing vehicles. DFi engages in strategic resource mobilization, playing an intermediation role to help align the needs of recipients, World Bank Group institutional priorities, and priorities of funding partners through a variety of funding instruments. LEGDF also provides support to other departments in the Finance Partners (namely TRE, WFA, CRO) as well as to OPCS and the Regions on trust fund related issues.

The selected candidate will be a lawyer who can operate independently to handle complex legal, operational and policy issues related to the Bank’s development financing business - with a focus on trust funds, programs and partnerships and FIFs - while working collaboratively with other lawyers within the Practice Group and LEG as a whole.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The 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 Counsel will function as a principal legal advisor to one or more assigned internal World Bank clients. The selected candidate will work under general supervision of the Chief Counsel, with day-to-day guidance provided by one or more Lead or Senior Counsels working in the same practice specialties. The Counsel will be expected to handle at least some of the following areas of responsibility:

Key Opportunities

• Develop a comprehensive understanding of the legal and policy issues related to trust funds, programs and partnerships, financial intermediary funds, IDA and the mobilization of private investment in general, particularly in financing responses to various natural and man-made crises.

• Work on the implementation of recommendations on trust fund reforms that have been endorsed and approved by the Executive Directors.

• Work on the replenishment of IDA resources.

• Have a positive and tangible impact on WBG collaboration and best practices with respect to trust funds, programs and partnerships, FIFs and IDA, as well as broaden your exposure to key thought leaders regarding this topic within the institution.

• Develop an in-depth understanding of creating and successfully implementing culture change, including facilitation, communication, and governance practices.

Core Responsibilities

Specifically, the selected candidate will be expected to:

• Serve as a lawyer in LEGDF, which provides legal advice and services to the following Vice Presidencies within the World Bank: Development Finance, Treasury, Chief Risk Officer, Controllers, Regions, as well as to the Global Practices.

• Address all trust fund issues from a legal perspective in support of DFi, including assistance on trust fund policy and procedural issues, development (in conjunction with LEGOP) of model forms of trust fund documentation, review of trust fund proposals, and drafting and negotiating of agreements with donors.

• Provide legal support with respect to global partnerships and programs (GPPs), including business process development for GPP review, assistance on policy and procedural issues, review of GPP proposals, and drafting agreements for GPP implementation.

• Provide legal support with respect to IDA matters.

• Handle a wide variety of other projects relating to transactional, operational and policy issues as requested by the Chief Counsel.

The work program will involve frequent interaction with the following:

• Trust Fund and Partner Relations Department (DFTPR) and Corporate IBRD IDA (DFCII) financial and operational officers and managers.

• Other Treasury, Chief Risk Officer, Controllers, and Development Finance staff, including management.

• Staff in the Regions and Global Practices, including management.

• Counterpart officials with development partners and other stakeholders, in particular government, supranational organizations, bilateral agencies, regional and other multilateral agencies, foundations and other corporations and clients.

• Outside counsel for the World Bank, regarding highly specialized matters.

• Colleagues within the Legal Vice-Presidency. 

Selection Criteria

- An LLM degree, J.D. or equivalent, with a minimum of five (5) 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.


Excellent legal research, writing, drafting, 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 agreements, legal memos and/or well-reasoned litigation pleadings and ability to deliver cogent oral arguments, where applicable.
• 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 another supervising Counsel, and which to handle autonomously.
• Proven ability to lead initiatives, programs and portfolios.
• Proven ability to manage legal risk, through sound judgment, determining and escalating risk appropriately, providing risk-based advice, and guiding more junior staff on the same.
• 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.

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.

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

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.