Counsel - The World Bank

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Counsel - The World Bank

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The Counsel at The World Bank 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 LEGAM and LEG as a whole.

Duties & Accountabilities:

The Counsel position requires demonstrated ability to apply rigorous analytical skills, to work harmoniously in a team, and to exercise good judgment. 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 work under direct supervision of the Chief Counsel and day-to-day guidance will be provided by one or more Lead or Senior Counsels in headquarters or in the field (primarily the Bank office in Ghana).

The Counsel will be: Covering a broad portfolio within a functional area, providing advice to management and clients on legal and policy issues in one or more areas of concentration.



  • Responsible for the successful delivery of legal work on projects and programs and other transactions within client assignments; drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and finalizing legal documents for World Bank’s operations.
  • Handling issues within an area of concentration to enable clients to create solutions.
  • Providing legal support to ongoing projects and programs, including reviewing project and program documents for adherence to World Bank Group legal policies and procedures, and business objectives.
  • Supporting operational teams and clients on public-private partnership projects via a sound understanding of the economic and social drivers and impacts of public-private partnerships.
  • Conducting comparative legal analyses on a range of issues in a given area, identify legal and policy issues, research for relevant precedents, and propose appropriate solutions to colleagues and clients, with a particular focus on bringing knowledge of the legal systems of India and/or one more other regional countries.
  • Engaging 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.
  • Protecting and promoting World Bank Group’s interests.
  • Writing and reviewing policy papers, undertaking legal research on topics in area of concentration and -contributing to dissemination of policy and best practices in a given field.
  • Preparing legal briefs on diverse topics, as required.
  • Participating in task/project teams and operational missions; and
  • Performing ad hoc assignments as requested by the Chief Counsel or designated Lead/Senior Counsel.

The Counsel position will be based in Accra, Ghana for a duration of 3 years. The selected applicant will be expected to be willing and able to travel to all countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Selection Criteria

Preferred Education/Experience:

  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience with Law Degree (JD/LLB/LLM or equivalent) and admission to the Bar in any jurisdiction.
  • Excellent oral and written skills in English is required.
  • Additional languages (French or Portuguese preferred; Arabic a plus).



General Competencies Required:

  • 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 identify and help manage legal risk, through sound judgment, determining and escalating risk appropriately, providing risk-based advice, and guide 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.

Other Competencies Required:

  • Legal Drafting, Research and Communication
  • Proven ability to draft transactional documentation (e.g., loan agreements), briefs and variety of legal instruments and related documents, with limited supervision. Conducts research as necessary to acquire insight and information. Is aware of the need for precision and focus on quality.

Bank Legal and Policy Framework

  • Has the potential to quickly understand the Bank’s Legal framework, policies and procedures and is assessed as being able to apply them correctly and consistently. Identifies where these policies are not being applied or not being applied as intended and informs the appropriate parties.
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