Legal Officer

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    $139,805 - $182,393 / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    6 months ago
  • Category:
    Legal Affairs
  • Deadline:



Unitaid is a global development agency engaged in finding global health solutions, including new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases more quickly, cheaply and effectively, in low and middle-income countries. Its mission is to maximize the effectiveness of the global health response by catalyzing equitable access to better health products. This includes providing funding to facilitate or accelerate the development or market entry of new health products or create sustainable markets for existing health products that are needed to expand or optimize prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Unitaid is hosted by WHO.


  1. Providing recommendations and high-quality legal services as the legal advisor on a wide range of legal issues designated by the Senior Legal Officer, including in relation to Unitaid’s grant arrangements/agreements and other contractual matters, product development and access, IP licensing and technology transfer arrangements, patents, donor relations, inter-institutional partnerships, communication initiatives, and internal and external policies.
  2. Proactively identifying legal, commercial or ethical risks, together with any opportunities associated with Unitaid’s work and investments.
  3. Providing clear and timely advice, together with pragmatic recommendations on the management and mitigation risks; and following up as necessary.
  4. Leading on the drafting, negotiating and/or advising on legal documentation, including funding award contracts, grant and R&D agreements, IP and technology transfer licenses, legal correspondence, reports, policies and any other documentation or agreements required to support the implementation of Unitaid’s projects, initiatives, investments and inter-institutional arrangements.
  5. Advising on data privacy issues and ethical requirements for clinical trials or other human subject research funded by Unitaid.
  6. Designing and negotiating legal requirements to ensure high standards of compliance within Unitaid-funded projects.
  7. Participating and supporting Unitaid’s Secretariat in high level negotiations with partners, donors and governmental agencies on a wide range of issues relating to Unitaid’s mandate.
  8. Advising on governance matters and drafting governance documentation, including governance policies, codes of practice and Board decisions.
  9. Supporting Unitaid’s Board Governance Working Group as requested, including through presentations or preparing meeting materials.
  10. Advising on and managing ethical issues, including the risks of conflict of interest across all levels of Unitaid’s activities and the need to ensure an effective approach to safeguarding.
  11. Other duties as required by the Senior Legal Officer.



Essential: A master’s level degree in law, with an emphasis in commercial law subjects.

  • Studies with respect to more than one legal system.
  • Studies with an emphasis in intellectual property law.



  • At least 7 years varied experience as a lawyer practicing commercial, and/or public international law, whether within a law firm or legal department of a company or international organization.
  • Experience in dealing with complex commercial legal issues and in negotiating and drafting complicated agreements.


  • Experience drafting and/or negotiating grant agreements.
  • Knowledge of IP and patent matters, together with experience drafting and negotiating technology transfer and other IP driven agreements.
  • Experience dealing with equitable access to health products.
  • Experience in advising on governance matters and Executive Board related issues, in either the public or private sector.
  • Experience in advising on ethical issues and conflict of interest management.


  • Excellent analytical and legal drafting skills, involving the ability to think strategically to identify key issues and draft clear, legal contracts and agreements, together with reports, policies or other legal and governance documentation in English (often in areas where precedents do not exist).
  • Ability to negotiate and represent Unitaid’s position, as well as to present legally authoritative and well-reasoned opinions on complex legal, governance and ethical issues, both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work effectively as a cross-functional team member and with minimal supervision.
  • Full command of written and spoken English.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Setting an example

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 77,326 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5464 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test and/or an asynchronous video assessment may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and E-Manual.
  • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits and employs staff regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics.
  • The WHO is committed to achieving gender parity and geographical diversity in its workforce. Women, persons with disabilities, and nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States ( are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email to
  • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of short-listed candidates.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO also offers wide range of benefits to staff, including parental leave and attractive flexible work arrangements to help promote a healthy work-life balance and to allow all staff members to express and develop their talents fully.
  • The statutory retirement age for staff appointments is 65 years. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete the term of appointment will normally be considered.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit:
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • Please note that WHO’s contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at
  • As a WHO staff member assigned solely and exclusively to support this Partnership, selected staff will have no right of reassignment or transfer outside the Partnership either during or at the end of his/her appointment, including pursuant to WHO Staff Rule 1050. This does not apply to WHO fixed-term staff members reassigned from a non-Partnership position.
  • UNITAID is a partnership hosted and administered by WHO, located outside WHO premises in Le Pommier, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex.
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