Environmental Lawyer (Coal / Infrastructure)

Job Category

Job Experience

Job Location

Expiration Date

23 Feb 2020

Job purpose 

ClientEarth uses the power of the law to protect the planet and the people who live on it.   We are lawyers and environmental experts who are fighting against climate change and to protect nature and the environment.

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced environmental lawyer to make a key contribution towards accelerating the phase-out of coal and transition to a clean energy system in Europe, and contribute to a broader ‘industrial emissions’ strategy. The goal is to reduce the negative effects of coal plants and other large industrial installations infrastructure on human health and the environment.

The key focus of the work will be, at least initially, on coal plants in Central, East and South-East Europe, as well as on improving the EU level regulation of emissions from large combustion plants. Depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate and the manner in which the project develops, the Lawyer’s work may extend to other jurisdictions and industrial projects.

Working relationships

The position sits within ClientEarth’s Energy Programme and reports to the Coal Lead (based in London), and will work closely with existing lawyers in the Coal and Energy Markets Initiatives (which collectively make up the Energy Programme). The position also has key relationships with the Climate and Environmental Democracy Programmes.

Key responsibilities

The role responsibilities include (in cooperation with other members of the Energy, Programme and other teams, as appropriate):

  • Further developing and deepening existing legal advocacy and litigation strategies with respect to coal and other industrial infrastructure, including litigation, legal strategy, partnerships and network-building.
  • Developing and managing external partnerships to deliver coal and other infrastructure-related legal strategies in priority jurisdictions and supporting such partners in line with the organisation’s goals.
  • There will be a particular focus on environmental permits and compliance, EIAs, SEAs etc with respect to new / existing industrial installations. The work will be of a highly technical nature.
  • Effective participation in and representing ClientEarth’s thinking and analysis at formal and informal forums and groups internally and externally.
  • Effective communication of the programme in support of the strategic goals to stakeholders and the media (with the support of the Communications department).
  • The successful candidate should be willing and able to take on the direct line management of other ClientEarth lawyers as the project continues to grow.
  • The Lawyer is expected to be intellectually curious and comfortable with dealing with complex legal and technical arguments and facts, as well as being confident in a litigious context


This position is based in a European office of ClientEarth, with a preference for London, Berlin or Brussels (we are willing to consider Madrid or Warsaw for appropriate candidates). There will be a need to travel occasionally to other ClientEarth offices and / or jurisdictions.

Person Specification

Education and training

  • Law degree (highly desirable) or equivalent professional experience
  • Relevant legal professional qualification (highly desirable)  or equivalent professional experience

Experience & knowledge

  • Fluent in English (essential); other European languages (especially Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian and / or Romanian) highly desirable (German, Turkish or Polish could also be useful)
  • Considerable relevant professional experience of environmental law and litigation (essential)
  • An interest and understanding of climate, energy and / or industrial pollution issues, and a passion for using the law to protect the environment (essential)

Key competencies

  • A practical, outcome focused approach to the law
  • Ability to perform a management and supervisory role, to build and manage a team and to lead by directing, motivating and enabling others
  • Excellent creative, critical and lateral thinking and analytical skills and ability to grasp quickly new concepts and areas of law with an openness to learning and new ideas
  • Excellent organisational skills and capable of setting priorities in area of responsibility for self and team
  • Responsive and positive towards shifting and competing circumstances
  • Excellent legal research, analysis, writing, advisory and advocacy skills
  • Confident working with and assimilating complex technical (scientific, energy systems and technologies, economic, carbon and energy markets and policy), commercial, political and legal material as the basis for a big picture understanding of problems, intervention points and possible solutions
  • Demonstrated track record of network and relationship development and engaging with wide variety of external stakeholders
  • Ability to interact with people in a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Excellent commercial, political and practical judgement and diplomacy

Apply via this link


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