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Legal Affairs Specialist, P-4, Office of Executive Director, Legal, PAT 111746

Apply now Job no: 547480
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-4
Location: Denmark
Categories: Legal

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, champion

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

The Legal Affairs Specialist (P-4) reports to the Senior Legal Affairs Specialist (P-5). The position is in the Office of the Executive Director, and will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

How can you make a difference?

The procurement and supply of goods and services, and in particular the procurement of vaccines and related supplies and equipment, constitutes a core function of UNICEF. Such procurement may be undertaken for and on behalf of UNICEF as well as on behalf and at the request of third parties (such as governments, including their Ministries of Health; inter-governmental organizations; or non-government organization). In addition, UNICEF conducts procurement for administrative purposes. In 2020 the value of the goods and services that UNICEF procured on behalf of countries rose to its highest in the organization’s history: $4.468 billion. Driven in part by the exponential demand for COVID-19 related supply items, this figure represented a nearly 17 per cent increase compared to 2019, and a 27 per cent increase since 2016.  Procurement by its nature is a high-risk operation that requires timely legal support and advice.

Under the overall guidance of the Chief Legal Counsel and the direct supervision of the Senior Legal Affairs Specialist, and as part of a dedicated team, the Legal Affairs Specialist will provide practical, real-time and sound legal advice on legal issues relating to all phases of supply (from the planning stage, through the solicitation, evaluation, selection and contracting stages, to transportation and delivery) including:

  1. Assisting in the negotiation, formulation and conclusion of high-quality legal instruments relating to complex and high-value procurement transactions, including special conditions of contracts for goods and services, contracts for professional services, purchase orders, long term agreements, framework agreements with third-party customers (as necessary), and other commercial contracts.
  2. Acquire and maintain an excellent, in-depth understanding of programme and procurement policy and, on that basis, develop and continuously improve UNICEF conditions of contract that achieve the delivery of UNICEF mandated activities.
  3. As required, assist in providing authoritative legal advice and assistance in management’s negotiations and other interactions with UNICEF business partners; commercial contractors, suppliers and vendors; Governments, non-government organizations, development banks; and other partners in procurement. Take the lead in working out legal solutions for complex business issues and build consensus in-house as well as with external partners around those proposals for solutions.
  4. Assist in the conduct of negotiations, conciliations, mediations and arbitrations of commercial disputes with vendors/contractors, as necessary. In particular, drive the development of options for compromise and manage the relating settlement negotiations. Assist in providing authoritative legal support and advice to UNICEF management in those alternative dispute resolution negotiations, develop suitable proposals for settlement, and draft high-quality settlement agreements disposing of legal disputes and claims against UNICEF with finality.
  5. Assist in providing authoritative legal advice on issues relating to UN privileges and immunities arising in procurement. Manage the resolution of such disputes with government agencies (often under narrow deadlines) in a manner that protects UNICEF’s financial and policy interests.
  6. Assist in advising on the legal dimensions of establishment, structure and implementation of UNICEF collaborations, particularly those related to innovation, with external partners including but not limited to other UN organisations (including international financial institutions), civil society, and the private sector.
  7. Other duties as directed, which may include assisting in contributing to the review and design of new legal instruments, promoting knowledge of legal issues and instruments with the organization.

The Legal Affairs Specialist’s role may also extend to other duties within the Office of the Director and Chief Legal Counsel as and when needed, as part of the team, and will not be exclusive to supply matters.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

    • A post-graduate university law degree is required (for example. Ll. B post-graduate; Ll.M.; J.D.) in a relevant field of law (e.g. international law, commercial law); a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
    • Should have a minimum of eight (8) years' professional experience as a lawyer practicing in a relevant field including as in-house counsel, a law firm, a government and/or an international organization’s legal office. Prior experience in the UN system is an asset.
    • Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese is highly desirable.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

Core Values

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability


Core competencies


  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)


Functional Competencies:


  • Analyzing- III
  • Leading and Supervising
  • Formulating strategies and concepts - II
  • Relating and Networking - Il
  • Persuading and Influencing- Ill
  • Creating and Innovating – II


To view our competency framework, please visit here.


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.


Advertised: Romance Standard Time
Deadline: Romance Standard Time

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