Head of Dispute Settlement/Managing Lead Lawyer

Head of Dispute Settlement/Managing Lead Lawyer

WTO - World Trade Organisation

Geneva, Switzerland

General Functions:

The Rules Division provides support to panels for disputes in the areas of trade remedies, subsidies and state trading enterprises, which collectively account for roughly half of all WTO disputes. Under the supervision of the Director of the Division, the Head of Dispute Settlement/Managing Lead Lawyer will be responsible for managing the team of approximately 15 lawyers plus support staff in all dispute settlement activities within the Rules Division, with a view to ensuring the provision of consistent, timely and high-quality advice to panels. The specific duties include but are not limited to:

  • Plan and organize the work of the Division's dispute settlement team by assigning dispute settlement lawyers and other staff to assist and support dispute settlement panels;
  • Lead and motivate the Division's dispute settlement staff, providing legal and substantive guidance and mentoring to staff in carrying out their duties, setting objectives required, reviewing output (e.g. legal and other work) and performance of the staff, supporting the development of the knowledge and skills of staff, and ensuring that appropriate staff training plans are in place and executed;
  • Build and maintain relationships with adjudicators and the Members in order to serve the WTO as appropriate, while scrupulously maintaining neutrality and observing ethical obligations including the WTO's Dispute Settlement Rules of Conduct;
  • Coordinate closely with other Divisions of the Secretariat on issues relating to the WTO's dispute settlement functions;
  • Oversee the Division's functions in assisting the parties to disputes and, as required, the Director-General in the panel composition process;
  • Represent the WTO Secretariat in various public and academic activities in Geneva and abroad that address WTO dispute settlement matters and legal issues of relevance to the WTO;
  • Undertake other tasks that may be assigned by the Division Director.


  • Advanced university degree in law, including studies in international trade law. Should be licensed or be eligible to be licensed to practice law in at least one municipal jurisdiction.

Knowledge and skills:

  • The Head of Dispute Settlement/Managing Lead Lawyer must have the skills and ability to guide, empower and motivate a team of approximately 15 lawyers, as well as support staff, to excel in their jobs. He/she must be able to build a team culture that consistently delivers high-quality results;
  • The successful candidate must possess and demonstrate significant management and organizational skills and experience (planning and organizing work, managing people and performance, managing resources);
  • The successful candidate must demonstrate an expert level of knowledge in international trade law and litigation. He/she must have an excellent knowledge of economic and legal issues relating to the WTO, and an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of trade remedies. He/she must also possess an expert level of drafting skills in English;
  • Proven ability to interact and work with others in a diverse international setting in a harmonious and effective way is a must;
  • The successful candidate must have good presentation and communication skills as well as a high level of political awareness and sensitivity;
  • Intellectual flexibility and the ability to find solutions are essential;
  • High ethical standards and the ability to ensure adherence by others to established rules of conduct are also required.

Work Experience:

  • A minimum of 15 years relevant experience, including extensive management experience and proven success with broad supervisory responsibilities in a legal environment. Experience as a legal practitioner in either the public or private sectors, including considerable practical experience in trade law, trade litigation and dispute settlement mechanisms. Significant practical experience in the conduct of or participation in national trade remedies proceedings also is required.


  • Fluent knowledge of English and an expert level of drafting skills in English is essential (at a level corresponding or equivalent to C2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)), including a demonstrated ability to write accurately, concisely and quickly, and to review and edit efficiently and effectively the written work of other lawyers. A good knowledge of French and/or Spanish would be an asset;
  • The English language skills of all candidates being considered for short-listing will be assessed. To this end, candidates may be requested to provide language proficiency certification (e.g. CEFR, IELTS, etc.) and/or undergo remote testing or other assessment procedures.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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