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Lawyer (French- or German-speaking)

  • ClientEarth
Brussels, Belgium
  • ClientEarth
Brussels, Belgium


The Lawyer, Cities, Transport and Value Chains will carry out a dual function, joining ClientEarth’s European Transport & Materials Systems team to assist with developing and implementing our Transport and Materials strategy, while working as part of the Value Chains, Trade and Investment team on substantive projects from a value chains perspective.

The post-holder will support the European Transport & Materials Systems team to define, evolve and implement ClientEarth’s cities strategy to empower local and/or regional actors to achieve systemic change using the power of the law. The post holder will also be responsible for having knowledge of the transport sector in Europe and of the mix of projects ClientEarth is implementing as part of that initiative.

The post-holder will work with colleagues to ensure the dynamic evolution of our strategy and our implementation of it through the right mix of projects.

The Lawyer, Cities, Transport and Value Chains will also provide expertise on legal tools relating to sustainable due diligence and value chains, including routes for legal interventions, such as regulatory complaints and litigation, and work as part of the Value Chains, Trade and Investment team, within ClientEarth’s Purposeful Market legal group. This team focuses on the environmental and social impacts of the European market and seeks to fast-track the transition to more sustainable business practices using value chain, trade and investment legal tools and interventions (including the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act and the French Law on the duty of vigilance). The post holder will work with different project teams, as needed, to carry out interventions relying on legal tools (including for contentious legal interventions) relevant to holding corporates accountable for the negative environmental impacts of their global value chains.

We anticipate that the time split between the work within the European Transport & Materials Systems team and the work on substantive legal work as part of the Value Chains, Trade and Investment team will be broadly 50:50, although this will not be a strict split and work demands may lead to this changing through time. We are aware that the demands of this role are broad and challenging particularly given the proposed dual function.

The successful candidate’s final title will be agreed prior to a formal offer, and will depend on their professional qualifications and the applicable regulated titled allowed to be used in the relevant jurisdiction.


You will work collaboratively with stakeholders across the organisation to create transformational change against ClientEarth’s strategy to ensure a healthy planet where nature and all people can thrive together.

Key relationships are with the:

  • Head of Transport & Materials Systems, Europe: you will report directly to the Head of Transport & Materials Systems, Europe, who is based in Brussels. You will work closely with the Head to develop and revise strategies and monitor the mix of projects ClientEarth is executing in order to implement those strategies. You will work collaboratively to ensure that legal experts working on projects in the relevant initiative have strategic guidance, oversight and resources to carry out those projects;

  • European Transport & Materials Systems team: you will be a key member of the European Transport & Materials Systems team that consists of the Head and another lawyer (the Lead of Materials Systems, who is based in London);

  • Value Chains, Trade and Investment team: you will have a dotted line to the Lead of Value Chains, Trade and Investment (who is based in Brussels) and will work closely with other lawyers in the team and, depending on the specific project, with lawyers in the wider Purposeful Markets Legal Group, based across our European offices. You will also have regular interactions and opportunities to share learning and development with the Value Chains, Trade and Investment team and colleagues in the broader Purposeful Markets Legal Group;

  • European programmes team: you will have regular interactions with colleagues from other European programmes teams (including the Regional Director and relevant Heads and Leads), providing input into regional-level programme strategy and resource-allocation decisions;

  • Programme Management Group: you will have regular interactions with the Programme Management Group and, in particular, will be supported by a Programme Manager (based in Madrid) and a Senior Programme Officer (based in Warsaw);

  • Individual Project Teams: you will provide relevant legal expertise to project teams, as needed.



  • In close collaboration with all relevant colleagues (including other members of the European programmatic area), contributes to setting and adapting ClientEarth’s strategy for engagement with cities and provides strategic steer to achieve systemic change as part of the wider European Transport & Materials System strategy, to bring Europe into the safe and just space where no one falls short of life's essentials, and where we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth's life supporting systems;

  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge of the cities and transport context in Europe, including legal, political and factual developments and strategic thinking;

  • Keeps up to date and applies advanced knowledge on corporate sustainability due diligence and laws and regulations relevant to holding corporates and corporate groups to account for the adverse human rights, health and environmental impact of their global value chains;

  • Provides inputs in discussions on possible changes to the mix of projects and works with colleagues to change that mix (adding new projects, eliminating projects, or changing them).


  • Maintains a deep knowledge of the mix of projects ClientEarth is carrying out that contribute to the delivery of impact in European cities and in the transport sector;

  • Actively participates in planning, coordination and decision-making at moments in the lifecycle of relevant projects, in close cooperation with programme officers;

  • In agreement with the Lead of Value Chains, Trade and Investment and other colleagues as appropriate, actively takes part in the delivery of certain projects, including by:

  1. Designing, coordinating and executing legal interventions to address environmental and human rights violations in transport value chains;

  2. Drafting legal and policy submissions targeted at a wide variety of audiences, both internal and external (courts, regulators, political decision-makers etc.);

  3. Leading and/or supporting policy advocacy and public communication on topics related to transport value chains, both in writing and in person; and

  4. providing legal expertise on laws in Europe relating to corporate due diligence and accountability of corporates for the adverse human rights, health and environmental impacts in their value chains.

  • Supports the Head of Transport & Materials Systems, Europe, to gather input and make decisions to start new projects and allocate resources across the mix of projects in the programme area;

  • In close collaboration with programme officers, supports the Head of Transport & Materials Systems, Europe, to oversee expenditure and proper budget management;

  • Actively participates in monitoring, learning, and evaluation activities related to the programme area;

  • When needed, contributes to Development activities, drafting parts of funding proposals and reports to funders as well as stewarding funders in relation to own area of work.


  • The position can be located in ClientEarth’s Berlin or Brussels offices.


Education and training

  • Law degree or equivalent (essential);

  • A professional legal practice qualification (desirable).

Experience and knowledge

  • Sector specific experience in a legal or non-legal role either working with cities or on transport and mobility affairs (essential) or both (desirable);

  • Significant knowledge of corporate law in the EU and either in Germany or France, including in relation to sustainability due diligence and accountability of corporates for the environmental and other harms caused by their global value chains (essential);

  • Experience of corporate/commercial litigation in the EU and either in Germany or France (essential);

  • Understanding of the relevant social and political context in the EU and professional experience working on EU law and policy (desirable);

  • Professional experience working for environmental protection (desirable);

  • Demonstrated ability to manage or oversee a diverse programmatic portfolio (desirable).


  • Fluent (CEFR level C2) in English (essential);

  • Upper intermediate (CEFR level B2) in either German or French (essential);

  • Expert legal research, analytical and advocacy skills and ability in performing rigorous and creative legal analysis in support of impactful work (essential);

  • Practical, creative, and solutions-focused problem solver (essential);

  • Strategic thinker with the ability to look at issues holistically and see the big picture (essential);

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build and maintain strong trusting relationships (internally and externally) (essential);

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (essential);

  • Strong alignment with ClientEarth’s values and commitment to our vision, and mission and equity, diversity and inclusion strategy objectives (essential) Comfortable with remote or matrix management and working in a global organisation (essential);

  • Experience working independently within an assigned area of work with limited supervision (essential);

  • Able to take initiative and proactively identify and recommend activities for area of work (essential);

  • Experience with fundraising , project management and management of funds (desirable).

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