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Litigation Team Leader – Lawyer (Climate Litigation) - London

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location England (London & Greater) - UK
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 09/10/2014
Company Name ClientEarth
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
ClientEarth logo
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.
Also Listing:

This is an exciting and challenging role for an experienced litigator to lead and manage our new climate litigation team, which will use litigation and similar legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world. The successful candidate will be required to master the relevant legal, commercial, policy and political terrain; they will also be required to evaluate the opportunities for developing strategic litigation and other legal interventions that would shift perceptions amongst a range of actors affecting decision making within the corporate community (regulators, governments, investors, company directors and boards, etc.) as to the need to realign their actions to take account of scientific realities concerning the risk of dangerous climate change and the global public interest in averting this outcome. The role will require the delivery of cutting edge litigation in the courts of the UK and the management of such litigation in other countries.

Funding for this position is initially for three years, the role is based in ClientEarth’s London office.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record of success in litigation with at least six years full time litigation experience. You will be ready to lead a high level group in strategic legal thinking, advocacy and creative problem solving in a public interest law setting. You will ideally have a strong understanding of UK company law and/or financial and investment law and the wider legal frameworks governing the regulation of, decision making by, and legal liabilities affecting companies and those who invest in companies based in the UK. Other relevant areas are EU climate, energy and air quality law, competition law, judicial review and tort law. You should also have an understanding of, or interest in, the evolving field of climate litigation. More generally, the successful candidate will be adept in the art and science of litigation, adaptable, resilient and able to take initiative to collaborate with others to develop relationships and strategies. You are also committed to environmental issues and to urgent action on climate change.

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 position reports to the Programme Director and line manages three project leaders within the new and still to be developed litigation team.
The post holder will also have key relationships across ClientEarth’s programmes with colleagues based in London, Brussels and Warsaw and across ClientEarth’s functions including development and communications. 

 Job responsibilities
The role will focus primarily on identifying and developing strategic opportunities for initiating litigation and other legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world and, where appropriate, establish legal liability for failures to address climate change. More specifically, the role responsibilities will involve:

  • Delivering high impact litigation and other interventions against or involving a range of actors including regulators, governments, investors (such as pensions funds), companies and company directors
  • Managing the litigation team
  • Evaluating the risks of such litigation to ClientEarth and others potential litigants, and the potential strategic benefits to climate mitigation objectives
  • Collaboration with colleagues within the Climate and Energy Programme and in other related ClientEarth Programmes with experience of or connection to strategic litigation and/or climate risks
  • Ensuring the production of high quality written work products tailored to communicate our thinking on this project to a wide variety of legal, policy, political, civil society and interdisciplinary audiences
  • Effective participation in formal and informal forums and groups, and representing ClientEarth’s thinking and analysis in external forums
  • Identifying and establishing relationships with key contacts within the field
  • Initiating and maintaining collaborative partnerships and working relationships with key organisations
  • Engaging in fundraising including developing concepts and proposals for submission to funders, and producing activity reports
  • Developing and engaging in communications associated with the litigation team including website communications and press relations
  • Contributing to the strategic development of the litigation team

Experience & knowledge

  • Fluent in English and ideally another European language;
  • At least 6 years of relevant professional full time litigation experience;
  • Sound knowledge of relevant legal frameworks including UK company law and the wider legal frameworks affecting the activities of companies based in the UK, finance and investment law, tort and common law liability, litigation practice;
  • Ideally experience of corporate law practice either within a UK regulator, as in-house legal counsel to UK companies or as a legal adviser to UK companies, commercial law firm or chambers;
  • Ideally an interest in or an understanding of climate law.

 Competencies and skills

  • Demonstrated success in litigation
  • A practical, out-come focused approach to the law
  • Ability to perform a supervisory role, to build and manage a team and be a team player while also being able to work independently
  • 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
  • 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
  • Confident working with and assimilating complex technical (scientific, energy systems and technologies, economic, carbon and energy markets and policy), commercial, political and legal material as the basis for a big picture understanding of problems, intervention points and possible solutions
  • Ability to engage constructively with and develop relationships with a range of external stakeholders in government, industry and civil society and represent ClientEarth confidently
  • Ability to interact with people in a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Excellent organisational skills and able to set priorities and manage multiple tasks
  • Ability to react positively in the 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
  • Organised, reliable, flexible, poised, dynamic, self-motivated


  • Law degree or equivalent
  • Relevant legal professional qualification (preferably England & Wales);

This position will be based in London and will involve some travel within Europe and the US.

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 ‘Litigation Program Team Leader’ in the email subject line, and identify the documents you are sending by including ‘[your name] Litigation Program Team Leader 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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