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Advocacy & Enforcement Lawyer or Senior Lawyer

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location Belgium - Europe
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 13/09/2015
Company Name ClientEarth
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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Directory Entry : Environmental Jobs with ClientEarth. We work to protect the environment through advocacy, litigation and research. We use the best scientific and policy analysis when choosing strategic directions. Our legal action, whether in advocacy or in cases before courts and administrative bodies, is built on solid law and science.
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This exciting and challenging role offers an experienced lawyer the opportunity to join the ClientEarth team and advance our air quality and climate change efforts at the EU level. In this multifaceted role the candidate will support different initiatives on EU legislation, and will play a role in developing and advancing our strategies to implement and enforce EU laws to improve air quality in cities across the EU and reduce carbon emissions. This work starts immediately with the EU clean air package, in particular the revision of the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive, and will complement our high profile clean air litigation in the UK, which is now being expanded to other EU member states. 

The role is based in ClientEarth’s Brussels office and works closely with colleagues in our London and Brussels offices. 

About you

You will be able to quickly develop and implement a strategy to advance ClientEarth’s priorities and ideas in the legislative process. More generally, you will be a strategic thinker, able to apply legal skills creatively, an excellent communicator, comfortable in conveying complex ideas to a wide variety of audiences and able to facilitate ongoing co-operation with a wide range of civil society stakeholders.  

You will also be used to delivering independent self-motivated work products which are closely integrated with other related work streams on an ongoing basis. You will have a demonstrated track record in EU law, particularly the functioning of EU institutions. You will also have a good understanding and experience of EU environmental law. 

You will have an excellent academic record in a relevant subject matter (ideally to Masters level) with excellent written and verbal skills in English and, ideally one other European language. 

About us

ClientEarth is a public interest environmental law group founded in 2007. ClientEarth brings together law, science and policy to create practical solutions to key environmental challenges. Working in partnership with civil society and policy-makers, ClientEarth is committed to securing the rights of citizens and civil society to participation, information and justice in environmental matters. In Europe and beyond, ClientEarth’s 80 strong staff includes legal experts qualified in more than nine jurisdictions based in offices in London, Brussels and Warsaw. Our programmes cover biodiversity and ecosystems, climate and energy, and health and environment.  

Job description

The role will have a broad scope and encompass ClientEarth’s legislative and enforcement agenda. 

This role will have lead responsibility for advancing our priorities and ideas in open legislative and policy processes with the EU institutions. This includes ensuring that EU air quality laws set legally binding reduction commitments, embed the principles of the Aarhus Convention and good governance, ensure greater coherence between air quality legislation, and contribute to climate change mitigation through effective regulation of short-lived climate pollutants. 

The immediate priority for the role will be a robust and enforceable national emissions ceiling directive. The NEC Directive is the centre-piece of the EU’s clean air package, setting national limits on emissions of six pollutants which are harmful to human health and the environment. The proposal was first adopted by the Commission in December 2013 and is now approaching first reading in the Parliament, with a vote in plenary scheduled for the end of October 2015.

An important aspect of the role will be to work with our communications team to raise the profile of our work in this area and connect our national level media and political campaigns with the negotiations in Brussels. 

ClientEarth works on all phases of the legislative life-cycle. We will continue to engage with the NEC Directive throughout the implementation phase, by engaging in the development of delegated acts and monitoring transposition by member states, and on to the enforcement phase: working closely with our litigators to help develop an EU-wide strategy for enforcement of the NEC Directive.

This role will also have lead responsibility for liaison with EU institutions on developments related to compliance problems and enforcement of EU air quality and climate laws. This will involve maintaining a dialogue with relevant officials where there are breaches of EU standards, and connecting developments at national level and between and across different sectors and areas of legislation and ensuring that relevant EU stakeholders are aware of such connections. 

Working relationships

The post holder will have key relationships with: colleagues working on the enforcement, climate and energy and access to justice programmes. The post holder will also work closely with the communications team and more widely across ClientEarth’s programmes and functions including development staff.

Job responsibilities

  • Develop and use legal analysis and advocacy to ensure that the NEC Directive meets ClientEarth’s objectives
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues within the clean air team and in other related ClientEarth programmes
  • Maintain and develop collaborative partnerships and working relationships with key partners such as other NGOs, EU Commission officials, MEPs, national ministries and other stakeholders
  • Effective participation in formal and informal forums and groups, and representing ClientEarth’s thinking and analysis in external forums
  • Contribute to strategy development and delivery for the EU level dimensions for implementation and enforcement of EU air quality laws, and related climate and environmental laws
  • Develop and implement ClientEarth’s broader enforcement agenda at the EU level, including access to justice and good governance.

This list is not exhaustive and the selected candidate will be required to undertake other relevant tasks.

Experience & knowledge

  • At least 3 years’ experience of relevant legal practice (essential)
  • Knowledge of the EU institutional framework (essential)
  • Experience in EU environmental law and policy (essential) and specifically in air pollution and climate (desirable)
  • Experience of EU public affairs, particularly on environmental and/or international trade, (essential)
  • Experience of engaging with all levels of decision-making within EU institutions (essential) 

Competencies & skills

  • Ability to think and plan strategically, and to break complex issues and strategies into defined, outcome-oriented activities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English to give authoritative advice and influence external audiences
  • Confident working with and assimilating complex technical, scientific, political, commercial and legal material
  • Ability to engage constructively with and develop relationships with a range of external stakeholders in government, industry and civil society
  • Demonstrated ability to explain complex legal issues in lay language and ability to modify language, content, and style to address the needs of different audiences
  • Excellent legal research, analysis, writing, advisory and advocacy skills and interest in performing rigorous legal analysis in support of outcome-driven work
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative manner within a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Excellent organisational skills, able to set priorities and manage multiple tasks and react positively in light of shifting and competing timeline.
  • Energetic and dedicated to working for the environment and in the public interest


This position is based in Brussels, with regular travel to our London office.

To apply

Please send us your CV and a cover letter explaining your interest in joining ClientEarth and the contribution you believe you could make to the organisation. Please make sure you demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria and competencies of the role. 

Please include ‘EU Environmental Lawyer (Clean Air)’ in the email subject line and identify the documents you are sending by including ‘[your name] EU Environmental Lawyer cover letter’ and ‘[your name] CV’ in the file name

Please address your application to: 

Patricia Del Rio, Head of HR & Administration, 
ClientEarth, The Hothouse, 274 Richmond road, 
London E8 3QW 

or send it by email to:


Recruitment is open now and you should send your application as soon as possible. 

Applications close on 13 September 2015. 

Please note that ClientEarth will only consider candidates who have the legal right to work in the country where this post is based.

If you have any questions about the roles advertised or recruitment process, please contact Patricia Del Rio (pdelrio@clientearth.org)  

Please do not contact us to enquire about the outcome of your application. All candidates will be contacted once applications have been reviewed. 

Equal Opportunities

ClientEarth aims to be an equal opportunity employer and is determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment

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