United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Legal Specialist (Innovation Programme)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

  UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and Development Projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.

Diversity

With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

UNOPS has established a Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i) Office in Helsinki, Finland. The S3i Office is a dedicated and integrated subsidiary within UNOPS with a significant degree of operational independence. The S3i Office bolsters UNOPS’ current Business Model by enhancing UNOPS’ brand as an innovative player in inclusive infrastructure, providing forward-looking strategic Advisory Services to UNOPS’ existing clients, and drawing new partners from the private sector to expand UNOPS’ portfolio of initial investments while catalyzing resources to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The S3i Innovation activities focus on providing an opportunity for startups with high impact potential and great growth capacity to join our Startup Incubation program. During the program startups receive support to speed up growth and advance their solution to the marketplace. The S3i Innovation also offers the SDG Innovation Community which consists of corporations, institutions, and academia who come together to solve real problems with new insights and make a difference. The goal of the SDG Innovation Community is to give everyone the power to contribute with their unique skill set, perspective, or opportunity to build real action towards achieving the SDGs.

Under the supervision of the Head of Innovation & Technology, and with technical advice from the UNOPS Legal Group, the Legal Specialist provides timely legal advice, Counsel, and guidance to support the feasibility, development, construction, finance and management of the S3I Office’s global innovation programme.

The incumbent will act according to the S3i management framework and related annexes, as well as to the UNOPS legislative framework, including where relevant, delegations of authority applicable to the role.

Functional Responsibilities

The Responsibilities will include: Support S3i Innovation operations through advice on legal matters:

  • Drafts, reviews and supports negotiating contracts and agreements for the S3i Innovation, including but not limited to partnership, membership, project agreements;
  • Reviews new S3i Innovation engagements and provide guidance with a focus on identifying legal risks and opportunities;
  • Conducts legal review and support negotiation of project agreements with S3i Innovation funding sources and partners;
  • Drafts, edits, proofreads, finalizes and processes legal correspondence and communications with internal and external stakeholders, including senior management and external partners, for internal clearances, approval and signature; monitors requisite follow-up actions.
Contribute to business efficiency and compliance:

  • Provides support in the review and implementation of the UNOPS regulatory framework and coordinating and reviewing audit responses. Where appropriate, assist in the follow-up on the implementation of audit recommendations;
  • Advises risk mitigation strategies for the S3i Innovation;
  • Ensures compliance to regulatory and/or legal requirements relevant to the S3i Innovation operations; ensures compliance with policies and consistency across S3i Innovation Centres.
Contribute to knowledge management:

  • Provides regular feedback to partners on legal issues, risks and possible areas of improvement in Coordination with external legal advisors (as needed);
  • Contributes to legal knowledge and information management within the team and across the organisation;
  • Provides legal training to relevant personnel and partners as needed.
  1. Impact of Results
The effective and successful achievement of results by the Legal Specialist directly impacts UNOPS ability to drive progress towards the SDGs, build a strong investment portfolio and to demonstrate UNOPS’ Comparative Advantage of combining UN ethics and values with tailored solutions, consequently strengthening UNOPS competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law;
  • 2 additional years of relevant work experience, in combination with a relevant first level university (bachelor’s degree or equivalent), may substitute for the requirement of a master’s degree. Admission to practice law in any national jurisdiction is required.
Experience:

  • Holds at least five years of relevant experience either within a law firm or as in-house counsel, with experience and knowledge of the innovation sector as a strong asset.
  • Experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating partnership agreements is required.
  • Experience researching and analysing applicable laws and regulations; strong track record in compliance procedures is required.
  • Proven ability to collaborate with diverse and senior teams is required.
  • Demonstrated theoretical knowledge of law and the application of legal principles, concepts and policies to the review, examination and processing of a range of legal issues and documents; proficiency in legal drafting and ability to draft accurately, clearly and concisely under time pressure is required.
  • Demonstrated field experience in a development context is an advantage.
Language Requirements:

Excellent writing and oral skills in English. Working knowledge of French or Spanish would be an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement Contract level: IICA 2 Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance The selected candidate will be offered a highly competitive and tax-free (in Finland) remuneration package.

Competencies

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above) Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by Security Policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.
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