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Clean Air Lawyer

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors CSR & Sustainability
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 09/10/2014
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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Clean Air Lawyer

This exciting and challenging role is designed for a lawyer to make a key contribution to developing and delivering our clean air work.  The focus of the role will be to utilise EU air pollution law in order to protect human health, the environment and the climate. This will involve both implementation and enforcement of existing EU air pollution legislation together with work on the development of new EU air pollution directives which are currently being negotiated in Brussels. The work will build on ClientEarth’s existing air pollution work, including  our ongoing judicial review case against the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The successful candidate will be required to analyse the relevant legal, policy, and political terrain and identify opportunities for developing and implementing strategic legal interventions to uphold the right to clean air in the UK and other EU member states.

Funding for this position is initially for three years. The role is based in ClientEarth’s London or Brussels office.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record in law and will be ready to contribute to strategic legal thinking, advocacy and creative problem solving in a public interest law setting. You will also have a demonstrated track record in litigation and ideally an understanding of EU environmental law. More generally, you will be a strategic thinker, able to apply legal skills creatively, and an excellent communicator, comfortable in conveying complex ideas to a wide variety of audiences.   You are also committed to environmental issues and social justice.

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 60 strong staff includes legal experts qualified in more than ten jurisdictions based in offices in London, Brussels and Warsaw and with lawyers in Ghana, Gabon and Congo Brazzaville. Our programmes cover environmental justice, biodiversity, climate and forests, climate and energy, and health and environment.
The formation of a litigation team is a new initiative at ClientEarth. Over the past year we have been working on developing a strategy to use litigation and similar legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. This team will build on the work of the Climate & Energy programme as well as extend our current clean air litigation work.
ClientEarth´s existing Climate and Energy Programme focuses primarily on advancing the development of law and policy to drive Europe´s transition to a low carbon, efficient and affordable energy system. This work includes extensive litigation work in Poland.
ClientEarth´s CleanAir campaign focuses on improving air quality in the UK and EU, including our recent air quality case in the UK Supreme Court and the ECJ regarding the UK´s breaches of EU air pollution legislation.

The new litigation team will build on our existing climate, energy and clean air work by developing and implementing strategies for using litigation and other legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and cleaner air. The litigation strategies are likely to include use of company and financial laws to improve corporate and investment transparency and decision-making in relation to climate change, EU energy and climate laws to enhance the viability of renewables in Europe and EU air pollution legislation to improve air quality across Europe.


Working relationships
The post holder will work with our small clean air team alongside our current clean air lawyer and two campaigners and report to the Clean Air Project Leader. The post holder will also have key relationships across the litigation and Climate and Energy teams and will work closely with a pan-European network of lawyers and campaigners and external counsel.

Job responsibilities

  • Researching and evaluating the potential for using legal interventions to enforce EU air pollution laws
  • Selecting and developing cases for targeted legal intervention and preparing them for legal action such as litigation or complaints to the European Commission
  • Evaluating the risks of such legal action to ClientEarth and others potential litigants, and the potential strategic benefits to clean air and climate mitigation objectives
  • Preparation of high quality written work as part of legal interventions, for example writing complaints
  • Collaboration with colleagues within the litigation team and the Clean Air team and in other related ClientEarth programmes
  • Initiating and maintaining collaborative partnerships and working relationships with key partners such as other NGOs, lawyers, science and policy experts, journalists and politicians
  • Producing high quality written work products tailored to communicate our thinking on this project to a wide variety of legal, policy, political, and civil society audiences
  • Effective participation in formal and informal forums and groups, and representing ClientEarth’s thinking and analysis in external forums
  • Where required, engaging in fundraising including developing concepts and proposals for submission to funders and producing activity reports
  • Developing and engaging in communications associated with the programme including website communications and press relations
  • Contributing to the strategic development of the litigation work

Experience & knowledge

  • At least 3 years experience of relevant legal practice in an EU Member State/at EU level
  • Knowledge of one or more of the following practice areas: EU, environment, planning, energy,climate,air pollution, public/administrative, human rights law
  • Litigation experience (essential)
  • Working knowledge of EU legislative processes (desirable)

Competencies & skills

  • Excellent creative, critical and lateral thinking and analytical skills and ability to grasp quickly new concepts and areas of law with an openness to learning and new ideas
  • Excellent legal research, analysis, writing, advisory and advocacy skills
  • Fluent in English and ideally another European language
  • A practical, out-come focused approach to the law
  • Ability to think and plan strategically, and to break complex issues and strategies into defined, outcome-oriented activities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to give authoritative advice and influence external audiences, to adapt language, content and style to make communications relevant to policy-makers, funders, press
  • Able to represent ClientEarth confidently in a range of forums
  • Confident working with and assimilating complex technical, scientific, political and legal material
  • Ability to engage constructively with and develop relationships with a range of external stakeholders in government, industry and civil society
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative manner within a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environmental
  • Excellent organisational skills, able to set priorities and manage multiple tasks and react positively in light of shifting and competing timelines
  • Excellent commercial, political and practical judgement and diplomacy
  • Motivated to achieve results and ability to spot and take advantage of opportunities to achieve change


  • Law degree or equivalent
  • Relevant legal professional qualification in an EU jurisdiction

This position will be based in London or Brussels and will involve extensive travel between the two offices and within Europe.

The salary will be dependent on experience. Package includes the option to join our 4% contributory pension scheme after 3 months of employment.

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 include ‘Clean Air Litigation Lawyer’ in the email subject line, and identify the documents you are sending by including ‘[your name] - Clean Air Litigation Lawyer cover letter’ and ‘[your name] CV’ in the file name.

Please address your application to Patricia del Rio, Administration and Human Resources Manager, ClientEarth, The Hothouse, 274 Richmond Road, London E8 3QW or send it by email to jobs@clientearth.org.

Recruitment is open now and you should send your application as soon as possible. Applications close on 9 October 2014.

Please note that ClientEarth will only consider candidates who have the legal right to work in the EU.

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

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