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Senior Legal Officer - P5, LEGC, Rome, Italy


  • Organization: WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2022-10-10


WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status or disability.


Are you an experienced Legal professional interested in further developing your professional experience while contributing to ending global hunger? Are you passionate about helping those in need? Would you like to join a global organization investing in its people?
If so, an exciting & fulfilling career awaits you! Join our diverse and passionate team that works on varied and international projects directly contributing to saving & changing millions of lives around the globe.




Applications must be submitted by Sunday, October 9, 2022 (10:59 PM CET)




The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), a highly prestigious, reputable & world’s largest humanitarian organization, operating in more than 120 countries and territories, bringing life-saving assistance in emergencies, building pathways to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change and supporting sustainable and resilient livelihoods for a world with zero hunger.


At WFP, people are at the heart of everything we do and the vision of the future WFP workforce is one of diverse, committed, skilled, and high performing teams, selected on merit, operating in a healthy and inclusive work environment, living WFP's values (Integrity, Collaboration, Commitment, Humanity, and Inclusion) and working with partners to save and change the lives of those WFP serves.  


To learn more about WFP, visit our website: UN World Food Programme (WFP) and follow us on social media to keep up with our latest news: YouTubeLinkedInInstagramFacebookTwitter.




  • WFP is a 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 
  • WFP offers a highly inclusive, diverse, and multicultural working environment 
  • WFP invests in the personal & professional development of its employees through a range of training, accreditation, coaching, mentorship, and other programs as well as through internal mobility opportunities 
  • A career path in WFP provides an exciting opportunity to work across the various country, regional and global offices around the world, and with passionate colleagues who work tirelessly to ensure that effective humanitarian assistance reaches millions of people across the globe
  • We offer an attractive compensation package (please refer to the Terms and Conditions section)




The Legal Contractual and Constitutional Law Branch (LEGC) provides legal advice to WFP organisational units at Headquarters, Regional Bureaux, and Country Offices on WFP’s governance, international public law, financial and commercial activities, contributions, intellectual property and communications.


In particular, LEGC:

  • advises on agreements with external parties, such as donors (government and private), other UN agencies and international organizations, NGOs, cooperating partners, and service providers;
  • advises on legal aspects of the governance of WFP and the interpretation of WFP’s institutional legal framework, such as WFP General Regulations, General Rules, Financial Regulations and Financial Rules and other administrative issuances;
  • advises on WFP’s institutional privileges and immunities, such as in relation to a violation of WFP premises, import/export restrictions, taxes and duties levied against WFP, and international humanitarian law;
  • advises on legal aspects of WFP’s corporate operations (including activities concerning procurement, intellectual property, communication, data protection, treasury functions, facilities management, IT).


KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)


This position will report directly to the Deputy General Counsel/Deputy Director of the Legal Office as the first line supervisor, and to the General Counsel/Director of the Legal Office as the second level supervisor. The incumbent will perform the following duties:


  • Serve as a recognized expert in the relevant areas of concentration, and independently handle a wide range of corporate, multi-disciplinary and complex legal matters to ensure WFP interests are protected and legal risks are minimized.
  • Supervise, coordinate, direct and coach a team of professional staff, including staff from other branches under a pooled service arrangement, to ensure appropriate capacity development and enable high performance.
  • Determine strategies and approach to complex legal matters, to ensure innovative solutions to legal issues and provision of cohesive legal services, including development and deployment of standards, processes and templates, ensuring effective quality control.
  • Identify gaps and take a lead in the development of the Organization’s regulatory framework, including policies, directives, guidelines, procedures and other internal or corporate documents to promote operational effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Provide authoritative legal advice and recommendations to senior managers, assuming direct responsibility for especially complex and sensitive matters as necessary, on a wide range of policies, regulations and rules, and coordinate the preparation or amendment of those ensuring consistency across the organization.
  • Provide authoritative legal advice, support and recommendations in connection with WFP's legal status; privileges & immunities; governance and compliance with internal norms and applicable laws; public international law and international humanitarian law, public sector resource mobilization, national legislation, and asset management.
  • Lead negotiation and drafting of major contracts, agreements and other legal documents including development of new legal modalities to meet unique client requirements.
  • Oversee research studies, including coordination of extensive legal research and analysis and providing direction to other staff to formulate comprehensive legal advice or opinions to ensure the provision of comprehensive legal services.
  • Lead and provide advice on negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes with public and private entities to ensure WFP’s position is explained and defended.
  • Provide legal advice and services on various standing boards, committees, working groups and task forces and represent organization at meetings, conferences and other events including complex major cases in tribunals or administrative proceedings to ensure WFP’s agenda is put forward and interests are protected.
  • Provide advice and promote increased awareness of potential liability exposure and proactive minimization of risk to ensure well-informed decisions.
  • Lead and coordinate productive partnerships with other Legal Offices across UN system to ensure consistency in legal information, enable sharing experience, development of good practice and to complement WFP provided legal service.
  • Organize advice and training for clients with emphasis on areas identified as recurring legislative issues.
  • Take responsibility for an equitable and inclusive workplace which incorporates all dimensions of the WFP diversity and inclusion framework.
  • Other as required.






You have:


  • Advanced University degree in Law, or First University degree in Law with additional relevant experience and training in private, commercial or public international law.
  • Admitted to practice by a recognized national or state bar or law society or equivalent experience of professional legal practice




You have:


  • Typically at least eleven years (four of which are gained in an international context) of relevant progressively responsible experience in law and provision of a wide range of legal services including to senior managers or important clients. Significant experience leading multicultural teams and/or a function within a Legal Division.




You have:


  • Working knowledge (written and oral proficiency/Level C) of English is required.
  • Knowledge (intermediate/Level B) of another UN official language - Spanish, Arabic, French, Chinese, Russian or  Portuguese, (a WFP working language).




You have:


  • In depth expertise in international legal principles, concepts, procedures and terminology for review, examination and processing of a range of legal documents, evidence gathering. 
  • Knowledge of various legal research sources, techniques and ability to interpret and apply complex legislative instruments and draft legal papers. 
  • Practical knowledge of tribunal processes and procedures. 
  • Demonstrated ability to design new concepts, policies and applications. 
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong initiative-taker and demonstrated ability to take independent decisions. 
  • Strong business acumen and strategic thinking. 
  • Solid communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills. 
  • Strong time management and priorities management skills. 
  • Proven leadership and performance management experience.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with persons of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • General knowledge of UN system policies, rules, regulations and procedures.




These are the common standards of behaviour that guide HOW we work together to accomplish our mission.


Leads by Example with Integrity Drives Results and Delivers on Commitments Fosters Inclusive and Collaborative Teamwork Applies Strategic Thinking Builds and Maintains Sustainable Partnerships

Lives the WFP values and shows humanity and integrity by role modelling care for others

Delivers on commitments and adapts readily to change

Is inclusive and collaborative, and contributes to a culture of learning and personal growth

Demonstrates commitment to gather perspectives, analyse options and risks, and propose new ways of doing things

Builds and nurtures  external partnerships and collaborates with partners to deliver common objectives


Different expectations of behaviour are defined depending on your grade and role/responsibilities within WFP.



Mobility is and continues to be a core contractual requirement in WFP. This position is however classified as “non-rotational” which means the incumbent shall not be subject to the regular reassignment process unless the position is reclassified as rotational. Click on: “Where we work” and “Our work” to learn more about WFP’s operations. Click on: Quick Links > Salary Scales > by date Learn more about countries where the UN operates.



  • We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete, and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, language skills and UN Grade (if applicable).
  • Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application.
  • Please make sure you upload your professional CV in the English language
  • Kindly note the only documents you will need to submit at this time are your CV and Cover Letter
  • Additional documents such as passport, recommendation letters, academic certificates, etc. may potentially be requested at a future time
  • Please contact us at [email protected] in case you face any challenges with submitting your application
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be notified



All employment decisions are made on the basis of organizational needs, job requirements, merit, and individual qualifications. WFP is committed to providing an inclusive work environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, all forms of discrimination, any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. Therefore, all selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.