Legal Specialist – Commercial Law

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Legal Affairs
  • Deadline:



The UNOPS Integrated Practice Advice and Support (IPAS) unit is part of the Shared Services Centre (SSC) which provides policy advice, operational support and transactional services to UNOPS offices worldwide. SSC is also responsible for the administrative support to HQ and Copenhagen-based personnel.

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, IPAS was established for the purpose of serving the operations of entities under its coverage, primarily with advice and solutions to everyday implementation challenges. IPAS consists of a diverse team with over sixty colleagues who are subject experts in the six practice areas of HR, Administration, Legal, Finance, Project Management and Infrastructure, and Procurement.

IPAS has three main roles:

Support to operations in country offices: IPAS provides timely advice and actively supports finding solutions to everyday implementation challenges based on policy and best practices. IPAS also provides operational support in specific areas.

Business efficiency: IPAS recommends changes to policies, processes and operating standards to policy owners, based on the feedback and experience of country offices. IPAS also ensures transparent and efficient project implementation, in line with policy and business needs.

Body of Knowledge: IPAS contributes to research and coordination within the UNOPS practice groups and project practitioners. It is striving to be a body of knowledge that works across practice areas to provide coherent and tailored advice to the requesting offices.

*****This recruitment aims to fill 2 positions, one based in Copenhagen, Denmark and one home-based.*****



The IPAS Legal Specialist reports to the IPAS Team Lead and is responsible for delivering on the three areas of supporting operations, business efficiency and knowledge management. For IPAS Legal this translates into daily interactions with country offices and regional offices to provide sound and accurate legal advice and support on projects and contractual matters. In addition, IPAS Legal team works closely with other IPAS units, in particular Finance and Project Management/Infrastructure, to review all engagements with funding sources, as well as provide advice on procurement contracts or grant agreements, with a focus on identifying potential risks and to ensure they are in line with corporate policy and compliance framework.

Under the supervision and guidance of the IPAS Team Lead, the Legal Specialist is responsible for ensuring that timely legal advice is provided, which focuses on providing solutions to IPAS Legal’s clients. This requires close interactions not only with country offices but also with other IPAS practice teams, policy groups, and regional offices. It also requires a good understanding of the diverse environment in which UNOPS operates.

In order to exercise his/her legal responsibilities, the incumbent acts with designated authority provided by the General Counsel. The incumbent will work in accordance with the instructions established by the General Counsel.

The incumbent will be expected to identify and escalate complex and high-risk matters to the IPAS Legal Team Lead. The incumbent will be expected to travel from time to time.

Under the overall guidance of the IPAS Legal Team Lead the incumbent shall:

Support UNOPS operations through advice on institutional and commercial legal matters such as:

● Reviewing legal agreements and amendments, with a focus on identifying legal risks and opportunities in

close collaboration with other IPAS reviewers and the IPAS Legal Team Lead;

● Conducting legal review and supporting the negotiation of legal agreements with UNOPS funding sources;

● Drafting, reviewing, and supporting negotiating contracts and grant agreements;

● Advising on risk mitigation strategies for the Organisation;

● Providing holistic legal advice in coordination with the IPAS Legal Team and other IPAS legal advisors and

assist with the application, interpretation, and adoption of corporate policy, guidance, and best practices to

the field offices;

Contribute to business efficiency:

● Work closely with other IPAS teams and policy units to address country and project challenges aiming at

finding suitable and timely solutions;

● Work closely with other IPAS units on system enhancements, outlining legal requirements;

● Support the development and improvement of the UNOPS regulatory framework;

● Support corporate and cross-functional initiatives and contribute to ensure that internal policies,

processes and systems are aligned with the overall regulatory framework, and are practical, relevant and

add value to organisational operations.

Build and maintain an active body of legal knowledge:

● Contribute to legal knowledge and information management within the team and across the Organisation;

● Keep abreast of external legal developments and best practices;

● Provide regular feedback to internal clients on legal issues, risks, and possible areas of improvement.




● Advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) in law, or a closely related area is required.

● Admission to practice law in any national jurisdiction is required.


● Minimum five years of post-graduate experience analyzing legal issues and conducting legal research, preferably in a legal office, government agency and/or international organization is required.

● Demonstrated knowledge of contract law, and the application of legal principles, concepts and policies to the review, examination, and processing of a range of legal issues and documents is required;

● At least one year of experience in the application of regulations and rules, policies, procedures and decision-making processes of an international organization would be a strong asset.

● Demonstrated field experience in a development or humanitarian context is an advantage.

Language requirements:

● Fluency in English (read, write, and speak) is required.

● Fluency in a minimum of one of the following languages is required (read, write, and speak): French, Spanish, Arabic



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.
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.



Contract type: ICA
Contract level: I-ICA 2, ICS 10
Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.
Duty Station: This recruitment aims to fill 2 positions, one based in Copenhagen, Denmark and one home-based.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:


  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process. If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

Terms and Conditions

  • 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 (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.