Senior Legal Advisor, Strategic Communications

Organization: European Climate Foundation
Closing date: 13 Jun 2021

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) was founded in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to help tackle climate change by fostering the development of a low-carbon society at the national, European and global level.

We support over 350 partner organisations to carry out activities that contribute to the public debate on climate action, drive urgent and ambitious policy in support of the objectives of the Paris Agreement and help deliver a socially responsible transition to a net-zero emissions economy and sustainable society in Europe and around the world.

As towns, cities and countries around the world declare climate emergencies, seas rise, forests burn, glaciers melt, increasing numbers of people take to the streets demanding urgent action and our societies begin to wake up to what the science has been saying for many years, there has never been a more important time to be working on climate change.

The ECF brings together diverse perspectives and backgrounds to find the best innovative solutions to tackle climate change. We are focusing on engaging and hiring great people from a wide diversity of backgrounds to strengthen the cause. If you share our values of respect, innovation, and collaboration, join us.

About the role

The ECF’s strategic communications team is the outreach unit of the foundation. Its role is to act as a centre of expertise for communication on climate change and to play an active role in helping create more political, media and public endorsement for action on climate change at an international, national and sectoral level. Team members deliver strategic advice, communications and outreach support to ECF’s programmes and its grantees, and work as part of a global network of communications experts to enhance the public debate on climate change and its solutions.

As Senior Legal Advisor, Strategic Communications, you will provide confident counsel and efficient support to leadership and colleagues across the team, on all legal matters regarding the strategic communications team’s activities internationally. This will include areas such as governance, corporate/restructuring, contracting, risk/regulatory, charitable compliance, and data protection. Joining a growing team, you will play a key role in designing and implementing a new operating structure for the unit, aiming for an optimal balance of facilitating operations while managing risk.

Reporting to the Operations Director, Strategic Communications, you will collaborate closely with ECF’s Senior Legal & Governance Officer, the Operations Team including Finance, Human Resources and Grant Administration, as well as governance bodies and external stakeholders. This is an exciting opportunity for a versatile, strategic and experienced legal professional who enjoys working in dynamic international settings.

Key responsibilities

  • Advise the leadership and internal teams more broadly, providing clear analysis and recommendations;
  • Lead on legal and governance aspects of the organisational change process in collaboration with the wider project management and operations teams;
  • First point of contact for legal affairs and responsible for the legal strategy and function of the strategic communications team, including:
    • designing, implementing and upholding sound governance practices;
    • supporting the charitable compliance of the unit, in line with regulatory and funder requirements e.g. Dutch charity law and U.S. 501(c)(3) vs 501(c)(4) compliance;
    • advising on appropriate contracting/regranting/procurement procedures, and reviewing contracts, MoUs, NDAs as required;
    • in collaboration with HR / Finance teams and specialist counsel, ensure employment and tax related legal issues are managed effectively;
    • advising on data protection compliance in line with GDPR and/or other applicable rules and regulations;
    • feeding into organisational risk management and managing insurance policies.
  • Monitor and advise on relevant legal and regulatory evolution so that legal opportunities and needs are effectively identified, anticipated, assessed and managed in line with local laws, regulations and best professional practices;
  • In collaboration with the operations team, design and implement guidelines, policies, processes and information sessions/training for team members on relevant legal matters;
  • Manage a budget and select, retain and manage outside counsel as needed;
  • Represent the team to funders and external stakeholders as needed.

Experience and competencies

  • A university degree in law, or an equivalent professional qualification, preference for familiarity with the Dutch legal system and experience working internationally;
  • At least 8 years of professional experience in relevant fields of law (e.g. corporate law, non-profit law, contract law, international law); experience in restructuring, M&A, or philanthropy a plus;
  • Sound judgement, being able to properly analyse complex issues and make considered recommendations even with imperfect information;
  • Strong problem-solving skills and a hands-on approach, balancing pragmatic solutions and risks in line with strategic objectives;
  • The ability to adapt communications both to simplify complex legal matters for non-experts and to help distill and translate strategic objectives to other legal experts;
  • The interpersonal skills to quickly build trust with partners and colleagues and to collaborate in an international team;
  • Diplomacy, tact and discretion, upholding ethics and integrity;
  • Gravitas sufficient to work directly with individuals from diverse backgrounds at all levels;
  • A high level of independence, time and priority management and a keen eye for detail;
  • An excellent command of the English language; Dutch and other languages a plus;
  • The versatile and adaptable skills necessary to flourish in a fast-paced and wide-ranging work environment and across phone/video conferencing, time zones, Slack, email, etc.;
  • A significant interest in climate and the environment;
  • A passion for excellence.

What we offer

  • The unique opportunity to work as part of a highly dynamic, international group of individuals who combine their passion to make a difference with a rigorous and results-oriented approach to professional activities;
  • A flexible work environment and a space to develop and challenge yourself;
  • A full-time position with a consultant or employment contract, subject to location.

Location

Flexible with occasional travel (COVID permitting). Candidates must be located in Europe. We may be able to provide co-working spaces in some locations.

Only candidates with the right to work in their location will be considered.

How to apply:

To apply for this role, kindly send through a Microsoft Word version of your CV and a cover letter detailing why you are suited to this role. Please mark it for the attention of Gareth Griffiths, email address: applications@redseasearch.com. Please subject your email with the following reference: ECF_SLA.

Please note that the interview dates for this role will be confirmed with you should your application be successful.

Red Sea is committed to meeting the standards set out in their Equality and Diversity recruitment policy; this includes not discriminating under the Equality Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of the make-up of the workforce in encouraging equality and diversity.



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