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Lawyer – Tax & Fisheries

  • ClientEarth
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: July 15, 2024
  • ClientEarth
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: July 15, 2024


This is an excellent opportunity for a lawyer or legal professional to contribute to ClientEarth’s Fisheries Project which aims to improve fisheries management in Europe and end overfishing and to develop our work to promote a fairer tax system that better reflects the “polluter pays” principle across different sectors.

The EU heavily subsidizes its fishing industry, notably through tax exemptions on fossil fuels for large fishing fleets. Many of these subsidies are not only harmful to marine biodiversity, but also contribute to climate change. Reforming tax systems is a key component in the fight for a healthier planet.

In this role, you will address issues relating to the elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies in the EU and at the global level. You will promote, through advocacy, a vision to decarbonize the fisheries sector, develop and promote coherent, effective and transparent legal frameworks in the sector, and through legal interventions improve the implementation and enforcement of fisheries legislation and the subsidies framework. You will also develop our work across sectors on environmental fiscal reform.

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.


The successful applicant will be line managed by the Public Finance, Energy Markets and Competition Lead (based in Brussels) and will work collaboratively across other teams in the organisation including the Marine and Mediterranean team, the Food Systems, Oceans & Land Use team and other groups within the Purposeful Markets team.


  • Work on the advocacy efforts of ClientEarth and work with its partners to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies in the EU (through the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive, the implementation of the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, and other relevant pieces of EU legislation). Ensure alignment of this work with the overall objectives of ClientEarth;

  • Contribute to developing and expanding our strategy for using tax laws and a fairer tax system to achieve systemic change as part of ClientEarth’s global strategy to promote a healthy planet where nature and all people can thrive together;

  • Draft legal briefings, proposed amendments to legislation, research notes, policy analysis, press releases and other relevant materials;

  • Represent ClientEarth, participate in external meetings and undertake advocacy with relevant stakeholders, including politicians at the highest political level (Commissioners, MEPs, members of cabinets), government representatives, private sector actors and NGOs;

  • Critically analyse laws, legislative proposals and policy proposals relevant to ClientEarth’s Fisheries Project and our development of a fairer tax system;

  • Contribute to the development of funding proposals and reports to donors;

  • Work with our communications team and external consultants to raise public awareness about relevant issues through, for example, social media or media interviews;

  • In cooperation with other team members, develop strategies and programmes of work that contribute to ClientEarth’s global impact strategy;

  • Contribute consistently and meaningfully to team’s monitoring, evaluation and learning activities to support a culture of continuous learning and innovation within ClientEarth.

This list is not exhaustive and the selected candidate will be required to undertake other relevant tasks.


This position will be based in ClientEarth’s Brussels office and may involve infrequent travel within Europe in line with our travel and environmental policies.


Education and training

  • Degree in law (essential);

  • A professional legal practice qualification in an EU jurisdiction (desirable).

Experience and knowledge

  • Experience in law or policy development and relevant decision making processes, at national or EU levels preferably in an NGO, national government or EU institution (essential);

  • Experience in legal and policy analysis and strategic thinking in advocacy or legal analysis (essential);

  • Significant knowledge of EU law, fisheries, tax and subsidies (essential);

  • Professional experience in media communication (desirable).


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

  • Upper intermediate (CEFR level B2) in another European language (essential);

  • Ability to advocate for important legislative files(essential);

  • Excellent drafting, editing and oral communication skills (essential);

  • Excellent critical and lateral thinking, and legal research and analytical skills (essential);

  • Ability to chair meetings and coordinate the work of several organisations (essential);

  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills with the ability to foster positive working relationships with diverse external and internal individuals (essential);

  • Ability to represent ClientEarth in meetings and public events (essential);

  • Ability to adapt communication and language to influence non-expert audiences (essential);

  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to manage competing work priorities effectively (desirable);

  • Strong core IT skills (Microsoft suite - Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) (desirable);

  • Comfortable with remote or matrix management and working in a global organisation (essential);

  • Strong alignment with ClientEarth’s values and commitment to our vision and mission and equity, diversity and inclusion strategy objectives and a working style that reflects these (essential).

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