Legal Advisor, Copenhagen, Denmark 263 views

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UNOPS Integrated Practice Advice and Support (IPAS) serves all the regions and headquarters, primarily with advice and solutions to everyday implementation challenges. IPAS consists of a diverse team of subject matter experts in the six practice areas of HR, Administration, Legal, Finance, Procurement, Project Management and Infrastructure. IPAS has three main roles:

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

Business efficiency: IPAS recommends changes to policies, processes and operating standards based on the feedback and experience of the field 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 policy groups and project practitioners. It provides structured knowledge and subject matter expertise which is used across practice areas to provide coherent and tailored advice to the requesting offices.

The IPAS Legal Advisor reports to the IPAS Legal 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.

Under the supervision and guidance of the IPAS Legal Team Lead, the Legal Advisor 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 within the team, but also with other IPAS practice teams, policy groups and country/ 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 under the supervision of the Legal Team Lead.

He/she will be expected to work independently and drive several initiatives with limited supervision. 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.

Specific Job Functions:

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

Advice on operational matters:

  • Review new engagements and engagement amendments, with a focus on identifying risks and opportunities in close collaboration with other IPAS reviewers;
  • Review of project agreements with various funding sources; as well as in the review and negotiation of contracts and grant agreements with recipients of UNOPS funds;
  • Support the implementation of UNOPS standards and coordinate and review audit responses. Follow-up on the implementation of audit recommendations;
  • Advise on risk mitigation strategies for the organisation;
  • Provide holistic advice in coordination with other IPAS teams;
  • Interact and collaborate actively between the IPAS Legal team and the other IPAS teams and other stakeholders such as policy groups, implementing units and external parties.

Cross-functional integration and process efficiency improvements

  • Contribute to cross-functional initiatives through the provision of high quality advice to ensure that internal policies, processes and systems are aligned with the overall regulatory framework, practical, relevant and add value to organizational operations;
  • Support the development and improvement of UNOPS regulatory framework.
  • Work closely with other units on utilizing and enhancing systems and tools.
  • Contribute with specialist and practical knowledge to the short-term plans and long-term strategies of IPAS towards business efficiencies.

Product/Process-Efficiency Improvement

  • Address client feedback/suggestions, as well as recurrent challenges and make suggestions for long-term solutions through policy/process change;
  • Contribute to the enhancement of policy developments;
  • Recommend solutions and process efficiency initiatives;
  • Contribute as a practice specialist to the development and maintenance of corporate systems and tools;
  • Contribute as practice specialist to resolving corporate-wide challenges by coordinating and developing long-term strategies towards innovative solutions.

Team Management

  • Facilitate the engagement and provision of high quality results and services of the team supervised through effective recruitment, work planning, performance management, coaching, and promotion of learning and development;
  • Provide oversight, ensuring compliance by team members with existing policies and best practices.

Build and maintain an active body of legal knowledge

  • Contribute actively to legal knowledge and information management within the team and across the organisation, packaged in appropriate formats that can be easily communicated with the implementation offices;
  • Keep abreast of external legal developments and best practices;
  • Provide regular feedback to internal clients on legal issues, risks and possible areas of improvement;
  • Develop and provide legal training to relevant field personnel and other internal clients on corporate and institutional legal issues.


  • Advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) in law, or a closely related area is required.
  • A first-level university degree in law (Bachelor’s or equivalent) from an accredited university in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Admission to practice law in any national jurisdiction is required.


  • Minimum 8 years of professional experience in law is required (with an advanced university degree);
  • At least one year experience in the application of regulations and rules, policies, procedures and decision-making processes of an international organization is required;
  • Experience analysing legal issues and conducting legal research in support of a legal office/government agency/international organization is required;
  • Experience in working with the status and the privileges and immunities of international organizations is desirable;
  • Experience in negotiation and dispute resolution is desirable;
  • Field experience is highly desirable;
  • Strong knowledge of operational processes is essential;
  • Experience with more than one management practice is desirable;
  • Supervisory experience is an advantage.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and is required, French fluency is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of another UN language is desirable.

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.

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.

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.

Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

  • Contract type: ICA
  • Contract level: I-ICA 3
  • Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance

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

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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