Flex Legal advisor

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Médecins sans Frontières Suisse


Context & Mission

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent humanitarian organization providing medical aid to victims of man-made or natural disasters, epidemics and endemics. Its Operational Centre in Geneva is responsible for medical assistance programmes in 24 countries.

The legal environment in which MSF operates has become more and more complex due to the increased sovreignty of states, greater awareness of employment rights and the ambition of MSF to build a more inclusive and equitable workforce, to broader issues such as the evolution of counter terrorism legislation and international agreements linked to mobility and supply.

OCG Legal unit is under the hierarchical supervision of OCG Director of Operations, and under the functional supervision of the Director of the Intersectional Legal Department (ILD).  For HQ legal issues a separate reporting line will be put in place with the OCG General Direction.

Acting as a member of the ILD, the Flex Legal Advisor works in an integrated way with other legal advisors to ensure that MSF receives quality and harmonised support, whilst capitalizing specialized legal expertise and experience.

Under the hierarchical supervision of the OCG Direction of Operations and the functional supervision of ILD Unit 4 Manager, s/he will spend time between field visits (50%) and HQ presence (50%) and is responsible to provide legal support to the field on registration and operational governance, MOU, Taxes (audits + litigation), Finance (including counter-terrorisms and money laundering and international sanctions), Customs and HQ support on an ad hoc basis and when requested by ILD or OCG.


Support to Field Missions

As demands for support from missions and legal constraints continue to increase for MSF  operations, the legal advisor plays a key role in ensuring the legal integrity of MSF OCG operations at field level, notably in terms of supporting teams to mitigate risk through the establish of correct legal frameworks at mission level and to work with the Operations and other departments to ensure that the adequate legal and administrative framework is established to protect the interests of the MSF Movement as much as the interests of each individual.  This is achieved via:

  • Disseminate and train teams on legal guidelines, templates and policies
  • Support missions in the legal risk management relating to registration, operational governance, project MOUs, taxation, customs, powers of attorney, finance
  • Provide legal analysis and support of pre/litigation cases: definition of legal strategies, follow-up of cases
  • Review of field commercial contracts, MOUs and legal instruments
  • Participate in the selection and assessment of lawyers/ law firm and tax advisors in mission countries
  • Issue recommendations and ensure close follow-up with field missions
  • Ensure briefing / debriefing of HoM, HRCo, FinCo, LogCo, SupplyCo
  • Act as technical referent for intersectional field positions of ILD
  • Conduct trainings in order to build capacities of MSF teams with regards to its field of intervention

Support to HQ

  • Link HQ requests with appropriate internal or external legal expertise
  • Analyze the needs for HQ legal support (other than contractual/commercial issues)
  • Identify and evaluate external legal firms in Switzerland or elsewhere to answer the needs (other than contractual/commercial issues)

Participation in the ILD

  • Fill out the activity report of the ILD
  • Be an active member of the ILD intersectional working groups/initiatives
  • Participation in the development, implementation and follow-up of guidelines, templates, policies, tools.

Your Profile


  • An advanced university degree in law (Master’s degree or equivalent), with a focus on private or comparative law.


  • Minimum 5 year’s professional experience as lawyer or in-house legal advisor
  • Working experience in an international environment
  • MSF operational experience in the field is an asset


  • Fluent in French and English

Personal Abilities

  • Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results.
  • Communication skills: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly understand messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication
  • Ability to set priorities and organisational skills: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments
  • Adaptability to different legal systems
  • Team spirit.

Skills/ Technical competencies

  • Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents.
  • Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyse information on a wide range of legal issues.
  • Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely.
  • Ability to draft and review contractual documents
  • Ability to popularise legal information into operational language
  • IT user skills

Terms of Employment

  • Full-time position 100% (40h/week)
  • Open-ended contract
  • Working place : 50% in MSF Switzerland headquarters (Geneva), 50% in the field, with occasional travels to other OCs,
  • Ideal start date: September 1st, 2023
  • Gross annual salary: from CHF 101’172.- to CHF 115’332.- (salary commensurate with equivalent experience and internal salary grid)

How to apply

Candidates submit their application following the requirements:  CV 2 p. max. – letter of motivation 1p. max. – in French or English.

Deadline for application is July 23rd, 2023. Nevertheless, we reserve the right to close the position early if we consider the number and quality of applications received to be sufficient.


The applications will be treated confidentially.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our staff members. We strive to create workplaces where teams of people with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, perspectives, ideas and experiences work together for the social mission of MSF to create better outcomes for our patients and the communities we work with.

We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, ethnicities, background, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.