Legal Adviser





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Flexi Time Job



International Rescue Committee

Job Title: Legal Adviser
Sector: Legal
Employment Category: Regular
Employment Type: Part-Time
Open to Expatriates: Yes
Location: London, UK


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee UK (IRC-UK) is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

IRC Europe

Europe is one of the fastest growing regions for the IRC and currently consists of offices in the UK, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany (IRC-DE). In addition, the IRC has a partnership with Stichting Vluchteling (SV) in the Netherlands. The work across our external facing offices in Berlin, Brussels, London and Bonn, is led and coordinated by a Europe SMT.

IRC-UK was established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. IRC-UK comprises approximately 120 staff.

IRC-DE has grown rapidly since its inception in 2015, a direction that is expected to continue. As well as running domestic programmes and investing to raise new funds from German donors, the office is now also responsible for holding IRC’s relationship with ECHO. IRC-DE comprises approx. 40 staff across 2 offices in Berlin and Bonn.

Smaller offices exist in Brussels and Geneva, focused on advocacy with European institutions and technical support to programmes. An office is also due to be opened shortly in Sweden, focused on investing in private fundraising and holding IRC’s relationship with SIDA.

In addition to the management line to the Senior Director of Finance Europe, the role also has a technical reporting line into the Office of General Counsel in New York.

The Purpose of the Role

As Legal Adviser you will provide front line legal advice and guidance to Europe SMT, entity Boards and staff teams based in Europe as IRC in Europe grows and develops. You will provide advice on a diverse range of legal issues including contracts, employment issues, governance, requests for information, policy making and compliance, donor compliance and compliance with applicable laws and regulations – as well as providing staff training with respect to these areas. The role will act as the ‘informed client’ in matters that require external legal support and/or advice from General Counsel in IRC NY. As such, you will be interested in the detailed legal work but also enjoy working on broader strategic questions with a level of creativity.

You will serve as a resource for informed decision-making providing independent, timely and thoughtful advice on the broad range of legal issues that our departments, boards and legal entities face. You look to prevent legal problems and solve those that occur, to facilitate transactions, and to build structures that consider the longer-term impacts of a transaction, litigation, governance issue or other corporate matter.

You will have strong academic credentials, with international experience and demonstrated expertise in the non-profit/public sector. This in-house counsel must be capable of working independently in a fast paced environment, while effectively handling multiple projects and competing priorities. You will be expected to identify developments, issues and situations that require internal collaboration with other in-house counsel, compliance professionals and/or representatives of business units or other corporate functions, or consultation with outside counsel. The position will involve extensive contact with senior management and with representatives of the business units and corporate functions across the organization in multiple offices.

Key Working Relationships

- Report to the Senior Director of Finance & Ops Europe, with a technical reporting line to General Counsel in New York
- Work in close coordination with all members of the Europe SMT and entity Boards
- Provide excellent legal service to staff across Europe offices
- Coordinate closely with Compliance Pillar of Awards Management Unit on questions of compliance on donor requirements for activities under government grants
- Work closely with Operations colleagues (eg Head of Workspace) on procurement/health and safety matters
- Build and maintain relationships with key counterparts in IRC’s New York HQ and Europe

- Hold IRC Europe’s relationships with external legal firms where specific matters require additional expertise
- Act as first point of call in the UK for the UK Charity Commission and other regulatory bodies as Company Secretary.
- Maintain networks with in-house legal advisers and relevant focal points in the NGO sector


Working with Europe office Executive Directors to ensure compliance with local legal requirements

- Supporting the SVP for Europe and local Boards/Executive Directors with legal and governance matters
- Acting to integrate the perspectives of NY General counsel, external German & UK counsel and different functions in Europe, who need legal advice (esp. Finance, Award Management, Governance etc) and may have competing goals
- Drafting, negotiating and reviewing major contracts to manage and mitigate organizational risk; providing suggested wording amendments to third party contracts.
- Advising on fundraising laws and regulation, including compliance with tax laws and regulations applicable to private fundraising
- Providing legal support with respect to European and international grant making, and compliance on donor requirements for activities under government grants
- Managing and advising on the development and implementation of organizational policies
- Take the lead for Europe on developing risk management processes in the context of IRC’s Enterprise Risk Management framework
- Ensure European office activities are GDPR compliant and operating in line with local data privacy regulations
- Providing general nonprofit corporate advice and advising on charity law, including creation, governance, and administration of legal entities across Europe in co-ordination with US colleagues
- Providing first line generalist employment law advise to HR colleagues, working closely with external lawyers on specific cases as required
- Providing training on legal issues and compliance to staff at all levels
- Occasional international and domestic travel



- Significant demonstrable law firm and/or in-house experience (or equivalent) with general corporate and/or not-for-profit experience, who is interested in becoming an all-purpose in-house legal generalist
- A qualified lawyer, with experience of working on a broad range of legal matters both locally in either the UK or Germany, and cross-border
- Pragmatic problem-solver, committed to understanding what people are trying to achieve and finding legally compliant solutions that meet business needs
- Experience of operating in a complex international environment and providing advice across multiple countries
- Excellent contract drafting and negotiating skills, detail oriented with excellent follow-through
- Integrity, professional discretion and ability to handle sensitive/confidential matters
- Proactive, creative thinker, with strong judgment and analytical skills
- Strong, credible communicator, with the ability to listen effectively and make complex legal matters simple enough for non-legal staff to work with
- Experience of managing multiple stakeholders internally and externally in a complex international environment
- Excellent time management to manage competing priorities, meet deadlines and maintain quality standards
- Fluent in English, a second European language such as French or German would be a distinct advantage, as would an existing network of law firms in Europe to go to for external advice

The deadline for applications is midnight Friday 26th April 2019. Interviews will take place week commencing 6th May 2019.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination for all applicants and employees. IRC-UK seeks to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious belief, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability. IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including refugees who have the right to work in the UK.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the online recruitment process, please contact the UK HR team at [email protected]

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