Background & General Description:

Innovation and partnership bind the five institutions of the World Bank Group (WBG): the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and 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 Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). 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.

The Legal Vice Presidency (LEGVP), under the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, is responsible for providing legal support to internal and external World Bank clients on operational, advisory and corporate matters. LEGVP provides legal services required by the World Bank and plays an active role in all the World Bank's activities. In addition, LEGVP helps to ensure that all World Bank activities comply with the institution's Articles of Agreement, as well as its operational policies and procedures. Organizationally, LEGVP includes geographically based regional Operational Practice Groups devoted to the legal and policy aspects of the World Bank's lending operations, Policy and Advisory Practice Groups which provide advice on operations policy, environmental and international law, development finance and structured finance and guarantees and Corporate Practice Groups, which provide advice on corporate finance, administrative and institutional matters for the World Bank.

LEGAM provides operational legal support to three regions: (i) Africa East and Southern (AFE), (ii) Africa West and Central (AFW); and (iii) Middle East and North Africa (MENA). AFE, AFW and MENA include a mix of low-income, lower- middle-income, and upper-middle income countries, and several fragile states. The World Bank work program across Africa is the largest among all the Regions. The Africa and MENA Regions together represent about 38% of the World Bank’s net commitments and about 41% of its number of projects in addition to a robust and complex trust fund portfolio.

LEGAM invites qualified candidates to apply for its Counsel position.

The Selected candidate will join the Accra, Ghana World Bank office and work on the extensive Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leon portfolios (with the possibility of additional assignments in East Africa, West and Central Africa and North Africa and Middle East countries supported by LEGAM). The selected lawyer will be expected to travel to all countries in the areas covered by LEGAM. The Selected Candidate will be expected, at some point during his/her tenure, to move to a decentralized position in one of the Bank’s Country Offices, as business needs of LEG VPU might require.

Selected candidate will work under the general supervision of the LEGAM Chief Counsels, with day-to-day guidance provided by one or more Lead or Senior Counsels. Work will primarily support IBRD, IDA and donor trust fund financing of projects, focusing on analysis of project proposals, drafting of necessary documents and agreements, negotiating those agreements, and participating in the supervision of their implementation, all in support of investments in all sectors. Work will also include advising country management on operational, institutional and other matters that arise from time to time in the country office.

The Counsel 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.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current World Bank Group Staff Member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. If the selected candidate is a current World Bank Group Staff Member with a Term appointment that expires later than the end date of this appointment, s/he will retain the duration of his/her current Term appointment.

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 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.


- Carries out work with due care, preparing accurate documents and reports, ensuring that pertinent facts are fairly presented without seeking to obfuscate (either through too much information or withholding relevant information). Interprets information in an objective manner, exercising professional skepticism when required. Does not divulge or exploit confidential information.

Professional Maturity

- Understands others and the reasons for their behaviors. Takes the time to clarifying others' points of view so that progress can be made particularly in situations of stress or conflict. Is never condescending. Proven ability to deal sensitively and effectively across organizational boundaries, as a team member, in multi-cultural environments and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues.

Legal Reasoning

- Breaks down problems into their component parts. Articulates the implications of situations in a step-by-step way. Remains objective when reviewing problems or situations to understand the issues. Makes sure he/she possesses all the facts.

Legal Expertise

- Has in-depth knowledge and experience in Ghanian law and legal system in one or more of the following substantive areas of law: constitutional law, public/private partnerships, legal and judicial reform, project finance, project development, corporate law, banking law, financial law, general business law or other transactional work within and/or outside of Ghana.

Deliver Results for Clients

- Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Demonstrates accountability for achieving results that have a development impact and financial, environmental, and social sustainability. Identifies and proposes solutions to mitigate and manage risks. Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, and works to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.

Make Smart Decisions

- Seeks diversity of information and inputs, research possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis, makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders.

Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries

- Appropriately involves others in decision making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work.

Lead and Innovate

- Contributes new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact of own behavior on others in context of WBG’s values and mission. Identifies and pursues innovative approaches to resolve issues.

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge

- Leverages department’s expertise and body of knowledge across WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions. Seeks to learn from more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and helps others to learn. Builds personal and professional networks inside and outside the department.

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 vacancy is archived.

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