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1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN21-12
Department: Administration
Grade: A3
Section: Legal Services Team
Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/21-12
Reports to: Head of Legal Services
Closing Date: 13 April 2021

2. About ECMWF

ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 by a group of European nations and is today supported by 34 Member and Co-operating States, mostly in Europe. The Centre’s mission is to serve and support its Member and Co-operating States and the wider community by developing and providing world-leading global numerical weather prediction. ECMWF functions as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions and holds one of the largest meteorological archives in the world. The success of its activities relies primarily on the talent of its scientists, strong partnerships with its Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies such as machine learning across its operations.

Over the years, ECMWF has also developed a strong partnership with the European Union, and for the past seven years has been an entrusted entity for the implementation and operation of the Climate and the Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the EU Copernicus Programme, as well as a contributor to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The collaboration does not stop there and include other areas of work, including High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools. It is enabling ECMWF to now provide data and products covering weather, climate, ait quality, fire and flood prediction and monitoring.

ECMWF has recently become a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters based since its creation in Reading, UK, its new data centre opening in 2021 in Bologna, Italy, and new offices, also opening in 2021 in Bonn, Germany.

It is foreseen that ECMWF will be a major partner in the implementation of the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative starting later in 2021, together with ESA and EUMETSAT as partners. The objective of the European Commission DestinE initiative is to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called Digital Twins, to monitor and predict natural and human activities as well as their interactions, to develop and test scenarios that would enable more sustainable developments and support corresponding European policies for the Green Deal.

For additional details, see

3. Summary of the role

The Legal Services Team is responsible for safeguarding and promoting ECMWF’s legal interests and advising the organisation on all legal implications of its various activities and proposed actions, as well as providing guidance on all legal issues to key-decision makers as required.

It provides advice and guidance to ensure that ECMWF meets its obligations under its Convention, regulations, Council decisions, and international law whilst ensuring the legal framework adequately supports the organisation in achieving its mission.

The Legal Services Team comprises Head of Legal Services (General Counsel) and a Senior Legal Officer but can also call upon the services of several external legal firms as required. The new position will further strengthen the team to address and deal with the current and anticipated future workload as the organisation enters a period of transition to become a multi-site organization. The Legal Officer will report to the Head of Legal Services (General Counsel) and may receive instructions from the Senior Legal Officer, as necessary.

Team working and working collaboratively will be essential in this role within a small, effective legal team, which will be based at two different sites. Ideally, the candidate will bring complementary skills, experience and areas of expertise to the legal function.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Establishing all ECMWF legal operations concerning the implementation of Destination Earth, including intellectual property rights, privacy, and commercial law aspects;
  • Independently negotiating contracts with third party providers for Destination Earth;
  • Supporting the Senior Legal Officer in coordinating all legal matters in relation to Destination Earth with the Copernicus and Administration Departments;
  • Independently negotiating commercial, licensing and scientific agreements with third parties;
  • Supporting procurements and acting as legal expert on Tender Evaluation Boards;
  • Supporting institutional matters particularly in relation to ECMWF’s new site in Bonn;
  • Leading revisions of specific ECMWF policy documents as required;
  • Taking the lead in relation to legal issues related to HR matters particularly in relation to the Bonn duty station;
  • Advising on intellectual property matters;
  • Representing the legal function on specific projects as required;
  • Working on other tasks as required.

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent verbal, written communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively and confidently communicate and work with individuals from all levels, backgrounds and cultures;
  • Solution-orientated with the ability to balance the legal, commercial, and strategic requirements of the role;
  • Ability and willingness to work as a legal generalist, applying experience and knowledge to changing and complex requirements;
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently, sharing expertise and lessons learnt with colleagues, in person and virtually;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to apply these to working within and across teams with stakeholders at all levels;
  • Excellent attention to detail.

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • Advanced university degree (EQF Level 7, Master's degree or equivalent) in law. Candidates must also be qualified to practise as a lawyer in one of the ECMWF Member States or Co-operating States;
  • Additional qualifications in relevant areas and particularly in European Union law or public international law would be an advantage.


  • A good working knowledge of German law is essential;
  • Relevant to considerable experience as an attorney or as in-house legal counsel, preferably in an international environment;
  • Proven experience of independently drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts, commercial and information technology contracts;
  • Proven experience with Intellectual Property Rights;
  • Experience of working in a multinational, multi-site organisation and in virtual teams (highly desirable);
  • Experience with personal data protection/privacy and European Union law (desirable);
  • Experience with working in a multijurisdictional setting and with public international law (desirable);
  • Experience of working with or for a scientific or technical organisation or for an international organisation (desirable).

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Excellent legal drafting and negotiation skills;
  • Very good working knowledge of MS Office with considerable experience of working with Microsoft Word;
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English;
  • A good knowledge of German is required. A good knowledge of the Centre’s third working language, French, would be an advantage.

7. Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A3 grade according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be EUR 92,770.32 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: The total contract duration (with the possibility of further extension) is expected to be four years. However, please note that the DestinE Contribution Agreement is likely to be divided in phases, the first of which will last for two and a half years. The Centre is therefore required to contract initially for the same period. Extensions to complete the four-year period (which could be subsequently extended even further) will be offered to the successful candidate as soon as funding beyond the initial phase is confirmed.
Location: The position will be based at ECMWF’s duty station in Bonn, Germany, which is currently expected to open in the second half of 2021.

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their household will be exempt from immigration restrictions.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email

Please refer to the ECMWF Privacy Statement. For details of how we will handle your personal data for this purpose, see:

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensuring a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.

Applications are invited from nationals from ECMWF Member States and Co-operating States, listed below, and all EU Member States:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

this job offer is not open for applications

The Company

ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

About The Job

Bonn , Germany
Contract type:
Full Time
2-5 Years

this job offer is not open for applications