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Legal Counsel


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent, medical, emergency relief organisation that provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical care to victims of disasters, wars and epidemics. Working together with local staff, we give direct support to the population. MSF also appeals to those in power, including governments and international organisations, and speaks out about the abuses we encounter in the course of our work.

MSF coordinates operations through collaborations between global offices. ‘Artsen zonder Grenzen Nederland’ (MSF-Holland) has a partnership with offices in the UK and Germany. This partnership, known as ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (MSF-OCA), operates medical humanitarian interventions in about 25 countries. Annually, MSF-OCA deploys approximately 1,100 international staff and employs 7,000 national staff.

The office of MSF-Holland located in Amsterdam hosts more than 200 employees, offering direct support to MSF-OCA operations.

We are looking for a:

Legal Counsel (100%)
Based in Amsterdam

The size of our missions has grown significantly following an increase in complexity and volume of our interventions. The increased complexity also reflects in increased demand for support on the legal status and registration of MSF missions, cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with medical authorities and statutory requirements mainly related to taxation issues. In view of this supporting the drafting and negotiating of Host Country Agreements is a key responsibility for the legal Counsel position.

The Legal Counsel is expected to:

  • Provide legal assistance to MSF (OCA) missions on the registration, negotiation of MoUs and field cooperation agreements;
  • Provide legal assistance to MSF OCA missions related to tax and administrative issues;
  • Support the operations and general management on general legal issues mainly concerning liability, data protection and commercial contracting, both in MSF OCA missions and in the HQ.

The Legal Counsel will have its hierarchical reporting line to the OCA Controller which is a Director’s Office staff function. Next to that the Legal Counsel is expected to actively liaise with the MSF international network of legal advisors and may have a functional line towards the Director Legal based in Paris (MSF France)

The Legal Counsel will be based in Amsterdam


  • Ensure timely and quality legal assistance to the MSF OCA operations (in the field as well as the HQ);
  • Guide and maintain a network of external legal advisors both in the project countries and at the HQ level;
  • Liaise with the MSF international network of legal advisors;
  • Facilitate executive decision making;
  • Keep track of legal risks;
  • Maintain solid administration and filing of all legal cases;
  • Advocate and demonstrate a ‘can do’ attitude geared at offering implementable solutions to legal questions arising.


  • At least 5 years of experience in private law in international organizations. Experience with international taxation preferred;
  • “Getting things done” mentality, persistent, persuasive and convincing;
  • Strong in building bridges between different disciplines and organizational levels;
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills;
  • You must be willing to travel (on short notice if required) and spend time at our projects in the field;
  • Fluency in English required, French strongly preferred;
  • Excellent communication skills, oral as well as written and at ease with cultural and language nuances;
  • Ability to get acquainted with different legal systems, local laws and interpretation in their context swiftly;
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure;
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver in an international and multi-cultural environment;
  • Previous experience in a non-western country is definitely advantageous.


  • A challenging and exciting position in an international environment;
  • Opportunity to travel and experience the dynamics of a globally operating, leading humanitarian healthcare organisation;
  • A fixed-term contract for 1 year on a full-time appointment with option for renewal;
  • A gross monthly salary in grade 8 between € 3,518 and € 5,024; depending on relevant work experience, based on a full-time appointment (40 hours per week);
  • A premium free pension.

If you are interested in this position and would like any additional information, please contact Thijs van Buuren (Controller) on phone number + 31 20 520 8998

If you recognize yourself in the profile, please click here to apply directly via our website.

The closing date for application is 9 August 2015.

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Naritaweg 10, 1043 BX Amsterdam, Nederland
Legal Counsel
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