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Legal Counsel - Relocation to Abu Dhabi - Uae

May 31 2017
Industries Recruitment, Employment services
Categories Banking - Finance - Securities, Commercial - Corporate - Mergers/Acquisitions, In-house - Industry - Contract administrator
Toronto, ON

OUR CLIENT is a Sovereign Wealth Fund in Abu Dhabi UAE.


The Legal Department of OUR CLIENT is seeking a Legal Counsel to support its legal functions.  The attorney will be based in Abu Dhabi and will be a member of the legal team.   He/she will work closely with the investment team, functioning as a partner to the organization. The Legal Counsel will provide specific expertise in corporate transactions and coordinate external legal support for the organization to help it succeed in its duties. The Legal Counsel will also provide advice and assistance on a broad range of legal matters including supporting the Private Equity and Asset Management team in its investment activities across various asset classes and markets, the drafting and negotiating of various commercial agreements, restructuring, as well as miscellaneous matters involving tax and employment law. The Legal Counsel will liaise with external and internal stakeholders at all levels, as well as related regulatory bodies and have a central role in advising and executing investments made by the organization.


Responsibilities and duties

Provide legal counsel in the structuring and execution of transactions 

§  Manage the legal structuring and execution of transactions from various industries in all major capital markets and emerging markets, specifically in the investments area and the following asset classes: private equity and hedge funds, co-investments and joint ventures, real estate, fixed income, equities, credit opportunities, structured products and OTCs

§  Support the investment team in evaluating and executing potential direct and indirect investments, and working within the organisation's strategy in overseeing the investment process, conducting due diligence, structuring and negotiating investment terms

§  Review and draft deal documentation (i.e. letters of intent, memoranda of understanding, shareholders' agreements, stock purchase agreement, asset purchase agreements, limited partnership agreement, board resolutions approving investments, etc.)

§  Assist in developing and implementing transactional legal templates to ensure a comprehensive approach to transactions. Advise on the legal implications of wide-ranging transactions.

§  Advise on legal, regulatory and reputational topics across the full range of transactions, including corporate governance of domestic and international legal entities

§  Assist in managing the overall legal risk position by ensuring that contracts reflect best practices and build an appropriate framework of processes and associated documentation to measure and mitigate legal risk  

§  Coordinate with respect to the corporate structure of the organization, including the creation of special purpose vehicles, being used for the transactions to mitigate liability and invest in the most tax efficient manner.

§  Evaluate and provide quality legal advice at the highest level on all matters associated with current operations. Advise generally on corporate matters including day to day operations, and commercial contracts such as confidentiality agreements, consulting agreements, lease agreements, etc.  


Coordinate external legal support

§  Coordinate the involvement of external legal counsel for selected transactions

§  Build and maintain relationships with external legal counsel and the  panel of preferred advisors

§  Work with Senior Legal Counsel to  co-ordinate the legal services provided to the organization: recommending and managing outside counsel, establishing procedures for evaluating the quality and cost services of outside counsel.



  • May work with Senior Legal Counsel to attend investment committee meetings, management committee meetings, taking minutes and following up on action points as and when required.
  • Work with Senior Legal on corporate governance matters.
  • Manage, assist, and train; monitor list of restricted investments; liaise with external parties to ensure adherence of OUR CLIENT's policies.


Skills and background



  • Graduate Degree in Law, with a strong academic background
  • Admitted as a Solicitor or member of an internationally recognised Bar.


Background and experience

§  3-5 years of post-qualification experience with a major reputable  US/Canadian  law firm

§  Strong experience in general corporate matters and mergers and acquisitions and/or alternative investments

§  Strong experience in handling an extensive range of structured finance, restructuring, derivative, capital markets and securitization transactions is an added advantage

§  In-house corporate or investments experience in addition to this is an advantage

§  High level of understanding of corporate law

§  Fluent in English. Arabic an added advantage


Critical Competencies


§  Business acumen

Understands the role the legal functions can play in supporting business objectives; uses knowledge of the business and the law to advise on risk/reward trade-offs; sees ahead clearly and can identify how to accomplish future goals; knowledgeable of current and aware of possible future laws, regulations, policies, practices and trends affecting the business; the pragmatism to interact effectively with senior non-lawyers globally.


§  Leadership

Ability to influence major decisions having legal ramifications through reasoned analysis and business understanding, willingness to make hard decisions on legal advice and strategic business initiatives, ability to maintain a positive climate in the legal team, ability to build credibility and work well with members of the investment team and senior management team.



§  Intellectual flexibility and technical acumen

Demonstrable ability to understand technical issues quickly; possessing strong lateral and analytical thinking skills; being astute at identifying new industry, product or technical knowledge which will be advantageous to the business and awareness of current and evolving customer needs.


Other Personal Attributes


§  Professional authority: Borne not just from professional qualification, but also from consistent practice of law in business situations; as an expert in the field, must be able to  command the respect of his or her colleagues, staff and peers.

§  Personal authority: Sufficient gravitas to be a trusted confidant of Senior Legal Counsel.

§  Strong moral compass: Credible as the guide and conscience of the company who can promote a course of action – no matter how unpopular – and command confidence that it is the right one.  A clear view of proper company behaviour is essential.

§  Strength of character: An ability to put forward a point of view in a winning way, relying not solely on the strength of the argument but also on character and personality.  Able to resist pressures, whether from within the business or outside, and to stand by advice if he or she believes it to be right.  Able to act alone when necessary without the comfort of others.

§  Social and presentational skills:  Good interpersonal skills; the role requires much social interaction both within and outside the business.  First class presentational skills are essential as addressing internal and external audiences is part of a successful counsel's role in representing the business.

§  Innovative thinker: Whilst the legal advice must be right, imagination in its application to achieve novel solutions is the hallmark of an effective counsel. 

§  Team Player: Able to work as and be part of a diverse and highly professional team, providing proactive input where required, and being approachable for colleagues and stakeholders.

§  Ethics: Unquestioned ethics and integrity.

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