In the context of the World Bank’s broad development agenda, the Legal Vice-Presidency (LEG VPU) is responsible for providing professional and operational support to internal and external World Bank clients to help develop the legal and regulatory frameworks for healthy economic and financial market activities and promote private sector and infrastructure reform.
Organizationally, the LEG VPU includes geographically-based Practice Groups devoted to the legal aspects of the World Bank’s lending operations as well as cross-regional Practice Groups that provide specialized sectoral advice and services. The areas covered by the Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure Practice Group (LEGPS) encompass (i) banking and financial sector regulation, restructuring and development (including capital markets, government bond markets and non-bank financial institutions); (ii) private sector development, privatization, investment climate and corporate sector reform and governance, (iii) legal infrastructure for finance, with a particular emphasis on insolvency, secured transactions and creditor/debtor regimes; and (iv) infrastructure regulation and development, including telecommunications, water and sanitation, power, and transportation.
The recent global financial crisis has refocused attention on the key legal and regulatory components of financial systems and on articulating and applying standards and assessment methodologies for core system elements. The World Bank’s Principles and Guidelines for Effective Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes Creditor/Debtor Regimes contribute to that effort and represent an important milestone in promoting international consensus on a uniform framework to assess the effectiveness of insolvency and creditor/debtor Regimes Creditor/Debtor Regimes and offering guidance to policymakers on the policy choices needed to strengthen them. Assessments of the Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes Creditor/Debtor Regimes in developing and transition countries known as the Insolvency and Creditor Rights Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ICR ROSCs) are also being undertaken. In addition, technical assistance is being provided to the participating countries, based on the findings and recommendations of the ICR ROSCs.
Duties and Accountabilities:
LEGPS is seeking to recruit as Senior Counsel, an internationally recognized expert in the legal regimes relating to insolvency and debtor-creditor relations, who will be capable of playing a major role in contributing to the design and implementation of World Bank policies on insolvency and creditor rights. This is a two year term assignment and the Senior Counsel will be expected to play a key role in updating the Principles and related methodology as well as in carrying out assessments and providing technical assistance.
The Senior Counsel will report to the Chief Counsel, Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure Practice Group, LEGPS.
The Senior Counsel will be expected to:
1. Jointly lead the Bank’s Initiative on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes:
In close collaboration with the Chief Counsel, LEGPS, the Senior Counsel, together with other senior LEGPS lawyers, would help lead the Initiative, including the review, updating and dissemination of the revised ICR principles and methodology for the ICR ROSC assessments; the integration of the ICR work into the business plan and strategic goals of LEGPS and ensuring that the work of the Insolvency Initiative coheres with and furthers the strategic aspirations of the LEG VPU and the Bank.
2. Serve as a Legal Expert on Insolvency Law:
Under the supervision of the Chief Counsel, LEGPS, the Senior Counsel, together with other senior LEGPS lawyers would help to establish a business flow of projects that focuses on insolvency law and creditor rights, in collaboration with Regional Chief Counsel and other lawyers within the VPU. The Senior Counsel will be responsible for front line contact with a wide range of senior staff in the FPD and PREM networks. This work will include; helping to establish areas where the Bank can support insolvency and creditor rights capacity building and advising the Bank on programs that provide this support in Bank borrower countries; providing technical assistance on draft insolvency laws and assisting with stakeholders discussions; providing advice on the legal aspects of the restructuring of state-owned entities; and advising on the linkages between the financial and non-financial sectors in respect of such matters as secured transactions, insolvency, and corporate governance, as well as on the capacity of the judicial system to enforce relevant laws and contractual obligations.
3. Collaborate with other international institutions
Under the supervision of the Chief Counsel, the Senior Counsel will work in collaboration with other international institutions and international experts on insolvency and creditor/debtor initiatives and issues: In this regard, the Senior Counsel will, amongst other things, continue the collaboration with UNCITRAL to ensure consistency between the Bank’s Principles and UNCITRAL s Legislative Guide on Insolvency and Secured Transactions, the preparation of a Unified Standard on Insolvency and Creditors Rights as agreed between the Bank, IMF and UNCITRAL, lead international dialogue on insolvency and creditor/debtor systems and maintain an active outreach and partnership program.
4. Play an active role in the knowledge management aspects of insolvency and creditor rights:
In close collaboration with the Chief Counsel, LEGPS, Regional Chief Counsel and other lawyers within the VPU, the Senior Counsel is expected to design and lead annual forums as well as seminars and other conferences to further the work in the insolvency and creditor/debtor regimes area; contribute effectively to knowledge sharing and management, in particular of the insolvency initiatives of LEGPS and the VPU and assist in the development of training materials and, as needed, delivery of training programs to staff of the World Bank, the IMF and other international financial institutions, as well as officials of client countries.
5. Work and interact as required with:
• Counterparts within LEGPS, the Legal VPU, the various regional units, the Financial and Private Sector Development Network and related Thematic Groups.
• Board and Board Committees, and
• Executive and senior management at HQ and in the field.
• A law degree (JD, LLB, LLM, or equivalent) and admission to the Bar (or equivalent) in at least one jurisdiction); a PhD in the relevant field would be an advantage.
• At least eight years of academic and hands-on experience in the area of insolvency and creditor rights
• Internationally recognized expertise in insolvency and creditor rights law and corporate law, including the administration of insolvency systems;
• In-depth understanding of the economic and social underpinnings of insolvency systems and the relationship of creditor rights issues to investment climate, access to finance, and efficiency;
• In-depth experience in working with these legal issues in a variety of contexts, including civil and common law jurisdictions; and
• 4. Experience in working on aforesaid legal issues in applied, interdisciplinary team contexts, including consulting for international donor organizations;
• A sound knowledge of relevant guidelines and international best practices accepted by the international community on insolvency and creditor/debtor systems
• An ability to work collaboratively, to build trust among peers and colleagues and to respond quickly and consistently to key issues
• Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic and policy objectives
• A high degree of persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus, especially on divisive legal issues, and
• The ability and willingness to travel frequently
• An ability to work in English; a second language would be an advantage
• An ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, difficult and complex issues and positions to senior Bank management, government officials and other stakeholders
• Legal Research and Writing - Reviews research findings and contributes to the writing and dissemination of policy. Is recognized as an expert in one or more complex legal fields based in part on writing and dissemination of pivotal policy documents and papers.
• Independence - Able to recognize potential conflicts of interest and take steps to maintain independence in both fact and appearance.
• Mentoring - Provides junior staff with guidance and feedback on both routine and new tasks. Identifies others in the organization or from other parts of the Bank to provide guidance and support.
• Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
• Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.
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