Executive Director

Job Details:

An opportunity to lead our team

The International Lawyers Project is seeking a new executive director. This is an exciting opportunity to take over leadership of a thriving organisation making a real impact in the world and lead its next development phase.

Our current Executive Director, Eva van der Merwe, will be taking maternity leave in January and then re-joining ILP in a new, part-time role. We have begun the search for our new leader to ensure a smooth transition. Eva will stay in her current role as our search moves forward and facilitate the handover.

About ILP

ILP is a network of talented and passionate pro bono lawyers drawn from diverse countries and cultures across the globe. We mobilise teams of legal experts to support the policy and legal needs of poor communities and reform movements. Our client-partners are civil society organisations, parliamentarians, community groups and investigative journalists.

Founded in the UK in 2005, we are staffed by a group of lawyers dedicated to using the law to achieve economic and environmental justice through strategic pro bono legal support. Since then we have supported partner clients in more than 100 countries.

We are proud to have a diverse staff and volunteer team reflective of the communities we support, from Africa, Asia, Europe, the UK, and the USA, with extensive expertise in our focus areas as well as law and international development. We work primarily in the Global South, with active projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia. As a charity, our ultimate aim is to help our clients to create long-lasting change in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Our vision is a just and sustainable world in which the law serves as a tool for those who need it most.

How we use the law

Law is essential to challenging injustice and creating socially and environmentally just societies. Conversely, failing or imbalanced legal systems maintain and expand privilege, sustain impunity of powerful and malign actors, and, through corruption, illicit financial flows and environmental degradation, rob the world’s poorest of democratic accountability and the resources they need to lead flourishing lives. Through supporting strategic litigation, policy development, legislative reform, capacity training and measures for enforcement of the law, we help civic actors and movements to secure positive changes for communities and the environment.

Our Impact

For every £1 donated, we provide £15 worth of pro bono legal support. This is expert advice which would otherwise be beyond the financial reach of our clients. By mobilising our global pro bono support networks we’re able to achieve an impressive impact with a relatively small but highly nimble team.

Particular highlights of our 2021 impact include:

Helping a Congolese civil society compile a formal submission to the U.S. Department of State and Treasury recommending sanctions against high-ranking Congolese officials for grave corruption and human rights abuses.
Providing legal strategy advice to Kenya’s “Okoa Uchumi Coalition,” a platform committed to pursuing redress for Kenya’s unsustainable debt crisis through advocating for political responsibility and accountability.
Helping Ugandan forestry officials and civil society to seek an emergency injunction from the East Africa Court of Justice to prevent deforestation of the ancient Bugoma Forest, home to thousands of critically endangered species.

Supporting a coalition of NGOs and the UK’s Foreign and Cabinet Office officials to successfully enact into UK legislation ‘Magnitsky’ style anti-corruption sanctions laws against kleptocrats.
Providing a legislative review of marine regulations between mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar for TRAFFIC International to identify gaps and discrepancies that provide loopholes for illegal wildlife trade of threatened marine species. The findings were shared with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and with the Republic of Tanzania to change its legislative framework to promote sustainable and legal harvesting of such marine species.
Organising workshops for the UK Foreign Office and anti-corruption activists in South and Central America on the UK’s new anti-corruption sanctions regime and compilation of enforcement dossiers.
Providing training to prosecutors in the Northern Nigerian state of Kaduna on corruption and rule of law issues.

For additional summaries of our recent impact please visit the About Us – Our Impact part of our website.

Our next chapter

We are keen to find a new Executive Director with the passion, technical legal knowledge, relevant experience and determination required to broaden our partnerships, strengthen our legal support implementation, support our learning, and enhance our reform impact.

Key details about the position

A compensation package competitive to experience and location. An indicative range that the board would consider can be shared with interested candidates.
Location: We have a strong preference for candidates who are based in the UK. We will also consider the USA or English-speaking sub-Saharan Africa.
Visa sponsorship: We are open to sponsoring a UK visa application for an extraordinary candidate.
Candidates must be willing and able to travel internationally, including fulfilling vaccination and other requirements.
Applications for full-time or 80% of FT are welcome.
Our genuine support for diversity and disabilities is illustrated by our current team.

Process and timeline

The application should be submitted directly to ILP by the 29th of September 2022. Please see the email address in the attachment.

We hope to appoint a new Executive Director very quickly to allow for an overlap and handoff period in December with our current ED. We will review applications on a rolling basis and may start early screening and interview rounds to seize windows of opportunity with outstanding candidates. Early applications are encouraged.

How to apply to be considered, applications must include the following:

An updated CV of no more than three pages.
A cover letter of no more than two pages which concisely explains why you are interested in the role, and why you are particularly well-placed to lead ILP at this moment, including reflections on key opportunities and challenges ahead. Please speak to all of the requirements in the Candidate Profile.
2 examples of public-facing work related to one of the thematic issues that ILP focuses on (anti-corruption and good governance; tax and fiscal reform; environment and sustainable development; and protecting civic space) and the sorts of approaches we take. Example formats may include: Writing (e.g. reports or blogs)
Video (e.g. event participation or presentation)
Audio (e.g. podcast or presentation)

Job Category: Legal
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: London

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