Lead Counsel & Advisor To the General Counsel, PGCL, Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire 216 views

Position title: Lead Counsel & Advisor To the General Counsel, PGCL

Grade: PL2

Position N°: 50069159

Reference: ADB/19/222

Publication date: 20-Nov-2019

Closing date: 19-Dec-2019

Duty station: Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire



Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. The membership of the Bank is comprised of 80 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries). The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.


The President plans, supervises and manages the business of the Bank Group. Under the direction of the Boards of Directors, the President conducts the business of the Bank and the African Development Fund and manages operations and activities in accordance with the Agreements establishing the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund. The President supervises several Departments and Units including the Office of the President (PRST0); the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Office (PIAC); the Office of the Auditor General (PAGL); the Group Chief Risk Officer and Risk Management Department ; the Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services Department (PGCL);the Communications and External Relations Department; the Ethics Office (PETH) and the Office of the Secretary General & General Secretariat


The role of the Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services Department (PGCL) is to deliver legal advice and services to the statutory organs of the Bank Group, comprising the Boards of Governors and the Boards Directors of the Bank Group (the Bank), to Senior Management, to Directorate General Hubs and more generally to the Bank Group as a whole. PGCL’s role is also to protect the interests of the Bank from legal liability and, as necessary, to provide legal defence in cases filed against or brought by the Bank.


The job of Lead Counsel & Advisor to the General Counsel is established to achieve the following objectives:

  • Support the General Counsel as a direct report to the President in his/her duties as the principal legal adviser to the Boards of Governors, the Boards of Directors, their subsidiary organs and the President.
  • Assist the General Counsel in his/her duties in representing the Bank in all litigation before internal adjudicatory machinery, as well as in cases of outside arbitral and judicial proceedings.
  • Ensure the mentoring of staff under his/her supervision.
  • Ensure the correct interpretation of, and compliance with, the various Policies, Procurement and Administrative Rules and Regulations of the Bank, as well as carry out the day-to-day administrative management of the Front Office of the General Counsel.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the supervision and guidance of the General Counsel -PGCL, the Lead Counsel & Advisor to the General Counsel will:

  • Assist the General Counsel in his/her role as the principal legal advisor of the governing bodies of the Bank and its Management, in providing legal support and services to the Boards of Governors, Boards of Directors, their subsidiary organs and Management of the Bank.
  • Prepare drafts of all legal instruments for the governance of the Bank for clearance by the General Counsel, ensuring conformity with constitutive agreements, rules and regulations of the Bank.
  • Assist the General Counsel in ensuring that the policies of the Bank conform to sound legal principles in line with the practices of other international financial institutions.
  • Support the General Counsel in representing the Bank in negotiations with member states, other international organizations, as well as representing and defending the Bank in arbitral and judicial proceedings.
  • Support the General Counsel in leading, planning, directing, managing and coordinating the work of the Legal Services Department to ensure responsiveness, effectiveness and high-level delivery on all legal matters, and also advance strategic directions of the Bank.
  • Assist the General Counsel in driving a performance-based system in the Department to ensure accountability and high-level productivity.
  • Support the General Counsel in directing and managing all activities related to providing advice and assistance to all organizational units of the Bank on legal aspects of institutional, financial, operational and administrative matters.
  • Assist the General Counsel in preparing all legal instruments necessary for all Bank Capital Increases, ADF Replenishment Negotiations, as well as ensuring that all resource mobilization activities of the Bank Group are carried out in conformity with the provisions of the constitutive instruments of the Bank Group.
  • Assist the General Counsel in eensuring quality control as well as compliance with the Bank’s policies and procedures with respect to the provision of legal services in all aspects of the sovereign and non-sovereign operations of the Bank Group.
  • In consultation with the General Counsel, conceive and prepare the budget framework document of the Department, as well as control the general administrative, strategic policy directions and orientations of the Department.
  • Suggest solutions to legal issues of a complex and confidential nature in accordance with instructions from the General Counsel and other Senior Management Staff of the Bank.
  • Provide legal advice and briefs to the General Counsel on matters to be addressed at Senior Management Coordination Committee Meetings, as well as Board Meetings as directed by the General Counsel.
  • Participate as requested, in meetings of the Credit Risk Committee and issue pertinent legal advice as maybe required for the smooth conduct of the activities of the Committee, on behalf of the General Counsel.
  • Support the General Counsel in establishing and maintaining contacts with the legal profession outside the Bank and arranging for the Bank Group to obtain the best legal advice and services

Selection Criteria

  • A Master’s degree in Law, and admission to the Bar of one of the African Development Bank member countries; or A Bachelor’s degree with a relevant combination of academic qualification in law, e.g. Juris Doctor (JD), along with admission to the Bar of one of the African Development Bank member countries.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant experience in similar jobs, preferably in a Multilateral Development Bank.
  • Demonstrated leadership, communication, team building, inter-personal, writing and analytical skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple, simultaneous and shifting demands, priorities and tight deadlines.
  • High-level skills in communication and negotiation, as well as the ability to build partnerships with a broad range of clients and deliver results that meet the needs of the General Counsel and Legal Services Department’s work program.
  • Combined specialization and expertise in the knowledge of the administrative set-up, organization and texts of the Bank.
  • Seasoned knowledge in current trends in development and familiarity with international law, and related matters within the Bank and other international organizations.
  • Strong skills in the preparation of complex legal documents, including briefs and confidential legal opinions, preparing certificates, leading the negotiation of complex projects and programs, and other transactions of a similar nature.
  • Capacity to conceive and supervise the negotiation of complex legal documents of all manners and form that balance the standards and norms of outside parties with the unique requirements of the Bank.
  • Solid experience in applying legal knowledge to deliver the full scope of strategic legal services in line with the Bank’s strategy requirements.
  • Client and results oriented individual.
  • Effective consulting and advisory skills that enable clients and help resolve their legal questions.
  • Ability to deal with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment and to build effective working relations with colleagues.
  • Ability to lead independently and supervise a multicultural team.
  • Ability to drive and manage change.
  • Ability to be flexible and open minded.
  • Ability to work and deal with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment, as well as to build effective working relations with colleagues.
  • Ability to communicate effectively (written and oral) in English and/or French, preferably with a working knowledge of the other language.


Should you encounter technical difficulties in submitting your application, please send an email with a precise description of the issue and/or a screenshot showing the problem to: HR Direct [email protected]

Apply for this position

To apply for this position, you need to be national of one of AfDB member countries.

Applicants who fully meet the Bank’s requirements and are considered for interview will be contacted. Only online applications submitted with a comprehensive Curriculum Vitae (CV) and copies of the required degrees will be considered. The President, AfDB, reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level. The African Development Bank is an equal opportunities employer. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) does not ask for payments of any kind from applicants throughout the recruitment process (job application, CV review, interview meeting, and final processing of applications). In addition, the Bank does not request information on applicants’ bank accounts. The African Development Bank Group declines all responsibility for the fraudulent publications of job offers in its name or, in general, for the fraudulent use of its name in any way whatsoever.

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