General Counsel and Legal Orchestrator

Permanent Contract
24 Jan 2022
Competitive for Not-for-Profit Organisation
Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Poland



EIT Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) is Europe’s foremost climate innovation initiative. Our mission is to leverage the power of innovation to build a zero-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive society. EIT Climate-KIC’s strategy, Transformation, in Time, responds to the need for a 1.5° aligned, systemic approach to reversing global warming and developing climate resilience, commensurate with the complexity, scale and requisite pace of response to the climate challenge.

Established in 2010 and headquartered in Amsterdam, we orchestrate a community of more than 400 organisations comprised of large corporations and SMEs, municipal and regional governments, universities and research institutes, as well as non-governmental organisations and uncommon actors. We are an organisation of circa 160 people. We operate out of 13 hubs across Europe and conduct activities in 39 countries globally. We have historically managed €80-100 million per year in grants, provided by our founder and core funder, the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). We are transitioning to a multi-funder model with the objective of maintaining a flow of funds of circa €100 million annually to our community and to problem owners to deliver impact.

We use a portfolio approach for developing and deploying innovation, entrepreneurship, education and community mobilisation to unlock structural change in systems where emissions are tough to reduce – cities, land-use, industry, and finance. We do so by combining activities and innovation outputs from applied research, learning and reskilling, start-up incubation, movement building and innovation ecosystem building. Over the last ten years we have supported more than 4,500 businesses, in over 50 countries, that have gone on to attract over €1.5 bln of capital and featured regularly in the Forbes 30 under 30 European list. Our education programmes have influenced the lives of over 45,000 people who have launched a movement-building alumni community. In 2019, we launched Deep Demonstrations, a demand-led methodology for composing innovation portfolios across technology, policy, finance, social change, citizen engagement, and other relevant levers of change, in order to generate options and test transition pathways for place-based systems and value chains.

Our goals for 2027 are to ensure that 200,000 people across Europe are equipped with enhanced climate-relevant innovation and entrepreneurial skills; 10 million people benefit from improved resilience to the impacts of climate change; 50 cities, countries, regions and large scale businesses across Europe are achieving net-zero as a result of partnership with EIT Climate-KIC; 500 million tons of CO2 eq. emissions have been avoided cumulatively (approx. 1/10 annual EU production) and we have succeeded in leveraging €100 bln to scale-up innovations tackling climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.


As a member of the Management Team and reporting directly to the CEO, the General Counsel and Legal Orchestrator is responsible for the daily running of the pan-European legal function. This is a very broad and hands-on role with the key challenge of enabling the organisation’s business of innovation. It involves:

  • Leading and enabling the legal, procurement and risk functions at EIT Climate-KICin a manner coherent with the direction, objectives and culture of our organisation
  • Developing and implementing the global legal and procurement strategy
  • Sponsorship of the compliance and risk management framework
  • Enabling innovative partnerships, granting and regranting, investment activities and innovation operations in solutions development and deployment across multiple European and international jurisdictions
  • Enabling Climate-KIC legal entities to act effectively and efficiently across these jurisdictions and across multiple areas of law from corporate and governance, public interest (ANBI) compliance, commercial, fundraising including with governmental actors, employment, public law particularly public procurement, privacy, IT/IP, ethics, anti-fraud and conflicts and dispute management.
  • Demonstrating agile, responsive, risk intelligent, ethical approaches, behaviours and mindset and above all, exercising leadership as a proactive business partner in service of momentum and impact.
  • Specific immediate objectives include the governance redesign and transition to an organisation led by public benefit (ANBI) objectives as part of a wider organisational change management programme, where the General Counsel will take a key role within the Management Team to lead the organisation through a transition and adjustment process.

EIT Climate-KIC is in the course of a deliberate evolution to new organisational structures that are designed to support a complex adaptive system – a ‘Team of Teams’. It is our aspiration to be an organisation that makes the most of the capabilities and adaptive learning abilities of every one of its members through distributed leadership, empowerment and self-management, and intelligent risk-taking.

We are looking for our General Counsel and Legal Orchestrator to play a critical part in role modelling supportive and collaborative leadership, working closely with teams across EIT Climate-KIC to empower decision making and good management and to evolve our ways of working to model the change we want to see in the world.

This will require a highly innovative person, at ease with complexity and the uncertainty that comes with it. Mindset matters. We are looking for someone who combines systems thinking with a flair for the practical and uses both to underpin strong legal prowess and risk intelligence; someone who can design and implement tools and structures that will enable EIT Climate-KIC to support thousands of organisations across the world to effect change at a planetary scale.



  • Propose to the Management Team and Board a Group governance framework and ensure its development through models and procedures as applicable, report on progress to the Management Team and to governance bodies on the implementation of such framework.
  • Ensure that governance processes for legal options and risk management are robust and fit for purpose.
  • Lead and coordinate an EIT Climate-KIC legal, procurement and risk resilience and growth plan and assume responsibility for coordinating the actions of EIT Climate-KIC teams and governance bodies involved when specific challenges arise.

Legal & Procurement Strategy and Planning

  • Develop a legal strategy to realise EIT Climate-KIC’s strategic direction, including developing partnership with those viewing law and legal strategies as a vital lever for rapid climate action.
  • Enable development and regular monitoring of an organisational risk register to ensure performance measues that support our strategy and ensure adequate risk management.
  • Provide oversight for optimising the procurement of goods and services

Legal & Procurement Advice

  • Enable the issuance of sound legal and procurement advice and information in intuitive, accessible and comprehensible form to management, the boards and other relevant business stakeholders
  • Provide expert judgement to the management bodies, committees and governance bodies.
  • Promote and enable close partnership between fundraising and new opportunities with Deal Desk and Future Funding Team, to build legal and commercial acumen, support and empower the pursuit of funding and ultimately of positive climate impact.
  • Work closely on employment law matters with the People Team across 13 European jurisdictions
  • Ensure compliance with new GDPR Guidelines. Working in collaboration with Operations Team, ensure legal compliance with company policies and business processes.
  • Encourage and enable shared ownership of data, in support of streamlined decision-support
  • Produce various board reports on legal, compliance and risk matters

Legal & Procurement Operations

  • Lead the organisation’s legal and procurement teams
  • Provide sponsorship for the completion of various legal oriented projects from corporate, commercial and funding perspective
  • Oversee management of legal operations of any subsidiary companies and foreign operations
  • Promote, coach and lead a business partnering mindset in the legal and procurement function to partner with and support teams across the organisation in their efforts to place bids, deliver on them, create change, and practice sound legal management
  • Oversee all open legal issues involving the company, and legal issues affecting innovation initiatives in which our organisation is involved

Legal & Procurement Implementation

  • Ensure timely, accurate, and relevant management and reporting of legal and compliance risks across a global landscape of jurisdictions with an pan-European and global outlook
  • Lead the development, management and monitoring of the legal team and law firm panel, the latter with a view to securing pro bono support and substantial cost savings
  • Lead the legal function’s financial and performance reviews based upon monthly dashboard and quarterly forecasts
  • Ensure the remediation of audit recommendations [where relevant to the legal function?] and implementation of financial / risk reporting decisions by governance bodies.

Risk Management

  • Act as Chief Risk Officer and work closely with the CFO, conduct regular top-down and bottom-up risk mapping, risk reviews, and assumption checking on risk appetite
  • Provide oversight for implementation of risk controls and mitigants as key elements of the company’s risk management agreed with the Management Team and governance bodies
  • Sponsor and support organisation-wide efforts to build a risk-aware, risk intelligent organisation, with a healthy balance of stewardship and entrepreneurship in mindsets and judgement
  • Engage with the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee and directly with the Board on risk management matters, including the management of the annual risk cycle, risk appetite development and risk monitoring

Leadership & Impact Enablement – responsibilities shared by the Management Team

  • Taking part and contributing to the organisation’s main decision-making processes as a member of the Management Team , adopting decisions within the scope of responsibilities.
  • Contribute to building and facilitating a ‘Team of Teams’ working model and a deliberately developmental culture, to encourage empowerment, adaptive leadership, individual and collective accountability, self-organisation, deep listening, empathy, teamwork, and resilience.
  • Strengthen collaboration across teams, appreciation for the value of diverse perspectives, personal development, organisational capability building, and sense-making in service of impact monitoring and learning.
  • Develop strategic relationships, alliances and partnerships with key stakeholders and third parties in pursuit of EIT Climate-KIC objectives and funding sources.



  • CEO, CFO, CSO, COO and EIT Climate-KIC Management Team
  • Company Secretary
  • Climate-KIC International Foundation Supervisory Board, Climate-KIC Holding BV Supervisory Board, Association Climate-KIC Governing Board
  • Teams: Legal & Procurement, People (HR), Finance, Operations, Future Funding, Communications, Policy and EU Affairs



  • A legal degree and formal admission as an appropriately qualified lawyer in a European jurisdiction
  • Additional admissions in other jurisdictions or international experience would be beneficial but are not essential
  • Ideally, senior experience inhouse and with an organisation that has both public/charitable (especially ANBI) and private dimensions


  • Experience in a senior legal role, leading a team or teams of diverse professional, jurisdictional and cultural background particularly in a complex, distributed, ideally pan-European or multinational with public benefit (ANBI) or charitable perspective. PQE years -at least 5 years; 10-15 would be preferable.
  • Solid managerial experience including responsibility for personnel, budget and senior stakeholder relations
  • Experience of multiple sectors, ideally with a mix of public and private; experience in the not-for-profit particularly ANBI sector/grant making environment including EU grant funding would be beneficial, but is not essential
  • Substantial experience of working in complex entities with multi-national interests and distributed teams (working in different locations and through remote or virtual working)
  • Experience in developing and running legal and procurement functions across multiple countries and multiple areas of law both public and private, steering new business lines and ventures
  • Experience with companies or foundations in growth and contraction phases
  • Bid, B2B sales, and fundraising public interest or charitable business experience would be helpful
  • Proven track record of successfully developing high-performing teams, leading, managing, empowering, and learning from others, especially in change and transformation.


  • Good working knowledge of legal, procurement and compliance matters, corporate and governance, commercial, employment, public law and procurement, privacy, IT/IP and best practices in policy development and implementation
  • Ability to present legal and risk based options and scenarios in a clear, concise and accessible way for diverse audiences
  • Familiarity and proficiency in systems thinking and in working with complexity.
  • Able to work in an international, distributed, and multicultural team
  • Highly-developed adaptive leadership / leadership in complexity skills, emphasizing listening to learn, empathy, human-centred design, agility, empowerment, and collaboration
  • Familiarity and proficiency in coaching others; able to build capacity by investing in the development of others and in the development of self
  • Fluency in English, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and ideally in at least one other European language
  • Strong IT and digital literacy

Qualities, Personal Style, and Approach

  • Articulate and dynamic, with highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively, inspire and motivate people.
  • Growth mindset; highly adaptable, flexible and resilient: able to work effectively in ambiguity and complexity and to respond dynamically to change.
  • Business partnering ethos and commitment to continuous improvement
  • Solutions focused, with a “can do” attitude.
  • Proactive, ethical, commercial approach, entrepreneurial

Our application and recruitment process

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should be written in English and consist of:

  • a full curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.
  • your current salary
  • where you saw this role advertised.

Please send your full application using the “apply now” button above. You should state your full name, followed by the role for which you are applying for in the subject line of the email. The deadline for receipt of applications is 23.59 GMT on the date published on the job advert.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email.

Your application will be reviewed on or around the closing date for the vacancy for which you have applied. If your application is shortlisted for interview, you will be contacted directly by Climate-KIC.

Candidates invited to a first interview, will be notified of the outcome and informed about next stages if they are successful.

NB/ This advertisement will be taken down from the website after the closing date so it is a good idea to copy and keep the text for reference to use should you be invited to interview.

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