Lawyer, Agriculture

Clientearth Published: March 14, 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Job Type
Legal /

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~ ClientEarth is a charity that 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. ~

We are Europe’s pioneering environmental law charity. We take governments to court and win. We force polluting industries to shut down. We protect irreplaceable habitats and vulnerable species.

Now more than ever the planet needs protection. By choosing to support us you are changing the system – for good.

Position Overview

The Lawyer will lead ClientEarth’s work on ensuring that the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), through adoption of the CAP and post-adoption implementation, will be reformed with a view of avoiding harm to the environment (e.g., pollution of soil, water and air, loss of biodiversity and wildlife).

Working with other NGOs and organizations, our goals are to integrate legally enforceable and science-based environmental protection and advancement into the CAP and its subsidies. The Lawyer will interface with EU institutions and the European Parliament, build and maintain networks with key partners, and represent our work to external audiences.

Working Relationships:

The Lawyer will initially work directly with the General Counsel and also will work closely with ClientEarth’s existing programmes in climate, forests, energy, oceans, wildlife, and human health, to identify cross-programmatic dependencies, synergies and legal opportunities. Over time, we expect that this post will supervise other attorneys working on agricultural policy, implementation and potentially enforcement, and – depending on skills and qualifications – may also be asked to undertake a broader advocacy role for ClientEarth with EU institutions. The post-holder will work closely with the Development team to maintain and build donor relationships, and with the Finance team to coordinate and manage budget.


  • Delivery of a strategic, science-based, environmentally sound and legallyenforceable approach to the design, implementation and enforcement of the post-2020 CAP, with emphasis on redirecting subsidies toward environmentally beneficial activities
  • Developing and maintaining a robust knowledge of and experience with the CAP, EU agricultural policy and the institutions and processes involved in the design, implementation and enforcement of an environmentally-effective post-2020 CAP
  • Analysing legislative proposals and identifying key strategic opportunities
    to support the objectives of CientEarth’s agricultural work
  • Developing collaborative relationships with partner organisations, and links with partners in the EU and Member States, to share knowledge and build engagement with the post 2020 CAP
  • Developing analysis of interaction of the post-2020 CAP with related legal frameworks and Member-State implementation
  • Interfacing with ClientEarth’s UK team and with UK agricultural policy to capture synergies and best practices


Education and Training:

  • Law degree (essential)
  • Qualification to practice in an EU Member State (highly desirable)
  • Fluent in English (essential), French (essential) and an additional EU language (highly desirable)

Experience & Knowledge:

  • Significant experience of relevant legal practice/advocacy at EU level and/or in an EU Member State (essential)
  • Some, preferably significant, knowledge of the CAP and agricultural policy (essential)
  • Significant experience with EU institutions and the European Parliament (highly desirable)
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with strategic planning (essential)
  • Experience working with civil society organisations in and beyond the EU (highly desirable)
  • Deep working knowledge of one or more of the following areas: agriculture, agricultural subsidies, environment, climate change (highly desirable)

Key Competencies:

  • Excellent legal analysis, writing and advocacy skills
  • Ability to engage confidently and effectively with EU institutions, the European Parliament, EU governments and civil society
  • Ability to identify strategic opportunities to shape and enforce EU law
  • Ability to balance and appropriately prioritise competing work priorities
  • Well-developed interpersonal communication style and ability to work independently, yet collaboratively with a team, including laterally with heads and leads of other teams with dependencies and/or synergies
  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Highly creative and solutions-oriented approach to problem solving
  • Organised, dynamic, reliable and self-motivated

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