The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


This position is located in the Legal Office (LEG) of the World Food Programme’s Headquarters in Rome, Italy*, and the position will primarily focus on matters relating to:
• relations and agreements with external parties, such as public -sector donors, other UN agencies and international organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, and cooperating partners;
• legal aspects of the governance of WFP and the interpretation of WFP’s institutional legal framework, such as WFP General Regulations, General Rules, Financial Regulations and Financial Rules and other administrative issuances; and

• International law, including WFP’s institutional privileges and immunities and humanitarian law.

The Legal Consultant may, however, work on assignments in other areas of activity within LEG based on business needs and expressed personal interests. The Legal Consultant will be assigned to the Contractual and Constitutional Law Branch (LEGC).

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

Under the general supervision of a Legal Officer, the Legal Consultant will be responsible for the following key duties:

Undertake extensive legal research and analysis; handle a range of multi-disciplinary complex legal matters including interpretation and application of various legal instruments in the relevant area of concentration to facilitate the provision of quality legal services.
Review legal documents, identify and analyze important issues, presenting findings and recommendations for internal review to contribute to the decision-making process.
Prepare or assist in preparation of legal opinions or advice on a wide range of legal issues background papers, studies, memoranda, reports and other legal documents.
Negotiate and prepare agreements and contracts with public and private entities including governments, other UN organisations and NGOs, , and assisting with contractual interpretation and disputes to meet unique client needs.
Identify potential liabilities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties, and assist in the management of risks in WFP’s activities to facilitate well-informed decisions.
Participate in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes with public and private entities. Prepare and assess briefs of evidence to contribute to legal analysis and solutions.
Advise on all aspects in public international law as well as international humanitarian law.
Advise on a full range of issues regarding WFP’s various internal Regulations, Rules and Policies, including the General Regulations, Financial Regulations, Rules of Procedure of the Executive Board and other basic texts.
Service and/or assist senior Legal Officers in servicing committees, task forces, expert working groups and other bodies with legal advice and preparation/review of legal documents to contribute to the formulation of WFP’s position.
Take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives in all areas of work, to ensure equal participation of women and men.
Perform other related duties, as required.


Articulate and concise thinking and drafting.
Comprehensive research.
Timely preparation of sound written analysis of a variety of legal issues pertaining to commercial international, contract and constitutional law.
Application of specialised expertise in preparing legal advice, which is easily understandable to staff members not trained in the field of law.
Development of new methods or improvements for self and immediate team to address work challenges within own work area.
Demonstrated ability to adapt engagement approach in the context of evolving partner circumstances and expectations.


Advanced University degree in Law, or First University degree in Law in Law with additional relevant experience and training.
At least three years of relevant professional experience as a lawyer in a law firm, or in the legal office of an international organization.


Technical knowledge of, and experience in public international law, governance issues, and relations with public entitiesand demonstrated ability to draft contracts ad-hoc that are appropriate to contractual counterparty and context.
Solution oriented and proactive with excellent communication skills and commercial acumen. Adaptability and ability to work on a wide range of legal issues.
Strong time management and priorities management skills.
General knowledge of UN system policies, rules, regulations and procedures is an asset.


Fluency (level C) in oral and written English is required and in oral and written French and/or Spanish is an advantage. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, and Russian) is an asset.


The deadline for applications is 17 May 2021.

  • Due to existing COVID-19 circumstances, teleworking from country of origin/residence may be needed.

Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply.
WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.
No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.