The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is an international, not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that develops and delivers new treatments for neglected diseases that affect millions of the world’s poorest people.
Together with more than 200 public research and industry allies worldwide, we use the power of partnership, innovation, open science, and advocacy to find solutions to a great injustice: the lack of medicines for life-threatening diseases that disproportionately impact poor and marginalized people. Driven by collaboration, not competition, and by patients’ needs, not profits, we promote equitable access, foster inclusive and sustainable solutions, and advocate for a more effective global biomedical R&D system that meets the needs of neglected patients.
Since our inception, DNDi has delivered nine new treatments for people with sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, HIV, hepatitis C, and malaria that have saved millions of lives. We now aim to deliver an additional 15-18 new treatments by 2028 – addressing R&D gaps for neglected tropical diseases and viral infections, including new pandemic-prone diseases (such as COVID19) and climate-sensitive diseases (such as dengue) with a focus on the needs of patients in low- and middle-income countries.
With 250 employees of 37 nationalities located in nine offices on four continents, DNDi is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential parts of our culture and key drivers of our success. We encourage candidates of diverse profiles and backgrounds to apply.
DNDi South-Asia regional office in India was established in 2004. An integral part of DNDi’s global network, it mobilizes and supports Indian research and science institutions to develop an end-to-end approach to neglected diseases R&D. DNDi aims to co-create sustainable solutions with Indian partners while sharing expertise with the Indian biotechnology industry and ensuring access for patients and public health. It supports the implementation of R&D projects on visceral leishmaniasis, hepatitis C, filariasis, paediatric HIV, dengue, and antimicrobial resistance.
The DNDi Strategy and Operations Department manages the DNDi corporate infrastructure globally (Finance; Human Resources; Information Systems and Technology; Legal Affairs; Alliance Management, Business Development, Procurement, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Facilities) across its 8 locations. The Department plays a central role in DNDi’s compliance and performance and is the custodian of its Strategic Plan, its IST strategy, People Strategy, Diversity Equity and inclusion Strategy, and Code of Conduct.
Purpose of the position
DNDi manages numerous contracts with a variety of partners around the world, ranging from academia, research institutes, local government departments, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, CROs, consultants or donors. The drafting, finalization and management of these contracts require a dedicated professional with the appropriate legal qualifications necessary to design appropriate agreements encompassing the various activities of the organization (R&D, fundraising, communication, IST, procurement, HR, administration, and finance).
DNDi also requires specialist services to operational line or project team, working within tried and tested policy, process, or practice. DNDi may also require to solve non-routine problems on a case by case/project basis, reflecting complete understanding of the projects, programmes, and DNDi environment
The Legal Counsel will work closely with Project Managers and other internal stakeholders, as well as external legal advisors (if and when required).
This role is accountable for managing smaller scale projects and/or parts of the projects led by upper level or delivering quality output through expert services or people. This role adapts policies, approaches, and models to emerging needs.
Scope of work (Results)
This role affects the performance of assigned projects and team and impact on larger programs.
Specific job responsibilities
- Draft, review and negotiate all international (worldwide) and local contracts for the specific disease, products or departments (including CDAs, MTAs, various kinds of technical, preclinical and clinical Service Agreements, Clinical Trial agreements, MOU, collaboration agreements, etc.) in close collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
- Conduct legal due diligence:
- Identify and assess, with relevant internal stakeholders, contractual and legal risks
- Assist in management decision processes by providing timely and practically sensible advice on appropriate courses of action
- Ensure consistency between interconnected contracts (e.g. confidentiality, intellectual property and licensing issues)
- Ensure conformity with DNDi’s statutory and legal requirements, objectives, donors’ and partners’ requirements as well as with internal policies, processes.
- Provide legal support and advice on corporate governance matters in several jurisdictions (esp. India, Africa)
- Conduct legal research when needed or requested and prepare relevant documentations for contract drafting.
- Be the focal legal person for specific departments, disease programs or offices, for Indian and global worldwide requests.
- Liaise with external lawyers, when needed.
The above list of responsibilities is not exhaustive, and you may be required to undertake other responsibilities appropriate to your grade. This job description may be subject to review.
- The Legal Counsel reports to Head of Legal Affairs
- The Legal Counsel reports in dotted line to the Head of Operations of DNDi office in India
- Works with the Legal team, and this role will work closely with Project Managers and other internal stakeholders, as well as external legal advisors (if and when required).
- The Legal Counsel has a representational role through the promotion of programs and maintain productive relationships by projecting the image of a credible partner
Skills and attributes
- Strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
- Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates good judgment and problem-solving competencies
- Strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
- Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
- Well organized and structured
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong ability to provide high level support in project/program delivery
- Strong ability to manage medium/large projects with budget management
- Strategic thinking and leadership abilities
- Strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
- Has autonomy for taking actions and decisions
- Strong ability to interact with external stakeholders
- Lead and motivate a small team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff, in case needed
DNDi Leadership Competencies
- Orientation to developing others
- Strategic expertise
- Professional competence
- Care of relationships
- Leading by example
- Contextualized skillfulness
- Minimum 6 years' relevant experience in which at least 4 years at Senior Officer level
- 6 years’ post-qualification experience working as in-house counsel (in corporate, international or non-profit organisation) essential; ideally gained within a healthcare / pharmaceutical/ biotechnology environment, or alternatively, with a top-tier law firm representing pharmaceutical & technology clients. Post-qualification experience in law firm will be considered
- Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
- Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable
- Proven experience working on international contract negotiations, especially Swiss and/or common law jurisdictions, legal advice involving different jurisdictions, keeping in view the geographies where DNDi is present.
- Proven experience working with affiliates or other group member entities located across geographies.
- Experience working with different legal systems highly desirable. Work experience in Europe would be an advantage.
- Experience working with charities or non-profit organizations is a plus
- Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level
- Qualified lawyer with strong academic performance from a reputable university (postgraduate degree would be an added advantage). Qualification in common law is a plus
- Fluency in English
- Proficiency in French is a plus.
- Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite
- Please submit your application using the online form
- Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 30 May 2022
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
- Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants