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 phase of development.
Our current executive director, Eva van der Merwe, will be going on 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.
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.
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 make changes to its legislative framework in order 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 www.internationallawyersproject.org/our-impact
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.
This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join and lead ILP’s next chapter. Our new executive director will be able to leverage ILP’s strong financial position, reputation for impact, knowledgeable and expanding team and a new strategic plan. Benefitting from a supportive board of trustees, the new executive director will have plenty of scope to lead the evolution of the charity and further enhance our impact.
Our main office is in the UK and we are finalising the incorporation of a charitable registration for ILP in the USA to facilitate tax efficiency for American donations. Our globally dispersed staff team reflects our ambition to be one of the leading forces mobilising pro bono teams from around the world.
Our strategic plan builds on our existing portfolio of work to set out our reform objectives in four linked focus areas: anti-corruption and good governance; tax and fiscal reform; environment and sustainable development; and protecting civic space. Since 2005, ILP’s model is to convene specialist legal teams from across the planet to support communities in protecting and expanding their rights and campaigning for economic and environmental justice. Over 17 years our charity has built a solid reputation amongst donors and partners to continue this work into the future.
Role and responsibilities
We are seeking a lawyer or equivalent professional with significant experience and understanding of innovative applications of the law, to help us support our clients to achieve legal and policy reform in a sustainable development context. The ideal candidate will have deep expertise in rule of law, corruption and governance issues; as well as demonstrable, proven success in fundraising and programme management over many years at a senior management level.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors – chaired by Dr Bronwen Manby – and provides leadership and support across all aspects of the organisation’s work, including:
- Strategic Leadership:
- Responsible for the strategic direction and priorities for ILP in close consultation with staff and partners; ensures that we implement, learn and communicate around our strategy, adapting our approach as our understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face evolves and context shifts.
- Develop and implement ILP’s strategy and vision, building on its existing work, in collaboration with partners and staff.
- Leadership and management:
- Build a cohesive team among staff and volunteers, committed to our shared vision, and invest in their skills and development.
- Work alongside staff to develop new case requests and grow thematic pipelines; Identify new opportunities to develop ILP’s portfolio and engage new client partnerships, expand our bank of volunteers and the client-partners we assist; build on our reputation for providing high quality legal support by ensuring that goals are met and that quality of delivery is maintained.
- Take overall responsibility for team leadership, management and organisational development. Manage 3 increasing to 5 FT and 1 PT reports. The team is supported by 3-4 interns, two PT fundraising consultants and a consultant bookkeeper.
- Legal Support:
- Work alongside staff to deliver high-quality programmatic work across ILP’s strategic
- Oversee and manage the development of ILP project and programme pipeline, in line with our strategic vision, support and supervise staff working on all of ILP’s thematic priorities.
- Help seek out new partner-clients, pitch ILP’s support services and ensure relationships with existing clients are maintained.
- Recruit new legal volunteers and help maintain relationships with existing volunteers, in collaboration with other staff.
- Lead monitoring, evaluation and learning for continuous improvement of legal support.
- Lead fundraising planning, strategy and implementation, as well as identification and pursuit of fundraising opportunities, successfully attracting the investment needed to effectively implement our strategy.
- Take responsibility for all stages of the fundraising continuum, including developing grant proposals, meeting regularly with potential and current donors (foundations, law firms and governments), and reporting on activities.
- Thought leadership:
- Leverage our work to inform and influence thinking, policy and practice on rule of law, economic and environmental justice and governance issues.
- Represent ILP in high-profile fora and events, ensuring our work is communicated to key stakeholders
- Develop and maintain ILP’s website and social media presence.
- Financial management and operations:
- Supervise financial management and operations functions to ensure optimal use of resources.
- Oversee the budget process, working with the Board, Treasurer and bookkeeper to analyse and align resources.
- Draft impact case studies for annual report, oversee preparation of the ILP annual report budgets and audit process.
- Work closely with the Board to facilitate effective oversight, and steward board engagement and composition to enable effective support and oversight.
- Ensure that ILP’s policies and operational guidelines are up to date and conform to the legal requirements and best practices in the field.
- Values and culture: nurture a healthy, supportive work culture, conduct annual appraisals with staff to set professional development objectives.
We are especially interested in candidates with the following:
- A minimum of twelve years of relevant work experience, including at senior management levels, most likely in economic injustice, rule of law, corruption and governance issues and with significant non-profit experience;of global development and public policy;
- A strong understanding of the economic governance, rule of law, corruption and development agenda, and the challenges and opportunities for an organisation such as ILP that both provides support to frontline reform actors;
- A reputation as someone who contributes to reform campaigns, and the evolution of policy and practice through presentations, publications, participation in events and through active and timely engagement in conversations about key governance issues;
- The demonstrated ability to articulate an organisational vision and craft a strategy, and to inspire, lead, and engage a diverse, equitable and inclusive team to implement strategies effectively and adaptively; experience with remote or geographically dispersed teams a strong plus;
- A diverse and global network of relationships and contacts in the governance, rule of law, corruption and development space, including partners in the Global South, as well as peer organisations, funders and policy-makers;
- A strong track record of highly effective fundraising in the non-profit space, supported by a deep understanding of the funding landscape and ideally existing relationships with relevant private foundations;
- Fluency in English is required as well as excellent writing and presentation skills. Fluency in other languages, for example Spanish, would be desirable.
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
Applications should be submitted to email@example.com by the 6th October 2022.
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 in order 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 (eg. reports or blogs)
- Video (eg. event participation or presentation)
- Audio (eg. podcast or presentation)
Questions about the role can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org