GARDP Head of Legal

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 19 August 2018]   


Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases. (

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is a not-for-profit research and development organization that addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavoring to ensure sustainable access. Initiated and incubated through close collaboration between WHO and DNDi, GARDP is part of the implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance that calls for new public-private partnerships for encouraging research and development of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics.

GARDP’s mission is to work in partnership with the public and private sectors, to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections where drug resistance is present or emerging, or for which inadequate treatment exists.

GARDP is currently hosted and facilitated by DNDi, which provides the scientific environment, necessary personnel, and infrastructure to ensure an effective start-up phase.

GARDP is currently being established as an independent Swiss Foundation and a key contribution of the Head of Legal will be to accompany the legal carve out of the activities to support business continuity and legal compliance going forward


Purpose of the position

  • The Head of Legal covers all legal aspects of GARDP’s business. S/he will safeguard GARDP’s integrity and reputation by guaranteeing that the organization strictly follows law guidelines, ensures legal compliance, and minimize exposure to risk, and give legal advices to management about all relevant legal issues.
  • The Head of Legal works closely with GARDP team across the organization, develops appropriate agreements, analyses legal risks arising from GARDP’s activities and propose mitigations, and collaborates with Executive office and Board Secretariat to advise on relevant matters.
  • The Head of Legal reports to the Executive Director on all legal matters and secondary, to the Business Development Director on transactional activities.


Specific job responsibilities


  • Draft, review, negotiate, and finalize contracts for specific diseases, products, or departments and supervise the drafting-reviewing-negotiating work performed by the Legal Team (including CDAs, MTAs, various kinds of Service Agreements, Clinical Trial agreements, amendments, MOU, etc.) in close collaboration with the relevant Project Leaders
  • Shape and negotiate strategic long-term collaboration and licensing agreements in close collaboration with the Executive Director and the Business Development Director
  • Develop innovative and balanced schemes for alliances, consortia, partnerships involving multiple stakeholders pursuing different objectives, but geared towards the neglected patients/people
  • Ensure consistency between contracts and conformity with GARDP’s statutory and legal requirements, objectives, and internal policies, and implement the required provisions
  • Manage specific strategic projects as delegated
  • Provide legal support on alliance management, as needed
  • Conduct legal due diligence; assess legal implications of contracts or any other binding documentation that need to be brought to the attention of the Executive Director, the Business Development Director or the Executive Team

Legal advice and risk management

  • Provide general legal advice and recommendations related to contractual and legal obligations, intellectual property, corporate status or governance; and assist in management decision processes with robust risk assessments. Be responsive to new situations and circumstances that require urgent attention.
  • Resolve routine to complex legal issues using negotiation skills and legal expertise; for systemic legal matters, develop innovative solutions to be submitted to the Business Development Director or the Executive Director.
  • Identify and analyse contractual and legal risks and, if applicable or requested, provide timely, politically sensitive, high-quality and practically sensible legal advice on appropriate courses of action to be taken. May attend and contribute to relevant risk management committees as needed.
  • Provide decision making support to the Executive Team and governance bodies on legal matters as appropriate.
  • Support relevant internal stakeholders (R&D, clinical, admin, logistics…) in relation to insurance practices.
  • Manage legal aspects of litigations.
  • Keep abreast of changes in laws that affect GARDP; communicate these to the Executive Team.
  • Perform legal research as needed. Disseminate appropriate legal information; conduct training. Ensure coherence of GARDP internal legal doctrine.
  • Liaise with external lawyers when needed.
  • Assist the GARDP Executive Director, Business Development Director, and the Executive Team members in any other manner as requested.

Governance, corporate structuring, and compliance

  • Lead on Swiss legal advice on GARDP foundation status, its corporate requirements, registrations at Trade register, including as related to its special status of international organization and its relationships with relevant authorities
  • Support Executive Office to ensure internal compliance to GARDP status and by laws; prepare Board resolutions as appropriate.
    • Provide support in the development of, and review GARDP policies and procedures to ensure compliance with all statutory or legal requirements; advice on legal implications of internal policies & procedures.
    • Manage GARDP trademark portfolio, including GARDP logo registrations worldwide.
    • Provide legal advice on appropriate legal structures for GARDP international set up and corporate governance issues.
  • Advise on the set up of potential new activities.

Legal Team management

  • Build the Legal Team and provide leadership and ensure its efficient and effective management, supervision, and mentoring.
  • Ensure consistency of contractual practice and adequate sensitivity in risk identification within the legal team across GARDP.
  • Develop and implement adequate contractual templates, processes and management tools ensuring appropriate contractual risks management and consistency of contractual practice in the Legal Team across GARDP.
  • Prepare annual action plan and budget for the Legal Department.


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • High ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem solving competencies
  • Excellent communication, and public speaking skills, ability to convince and represent DNDi at high level events
  • Knowledge of managing global multicultural teams
  • Highly organized and structured
  • High analytical skills
  • High ability to lead large strategic projects
  • High ability to manage large size projects with budget management
  • Very strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Excellent management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • High ability to exercise high degree of independence to ensure programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
  • High ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • High ability to lead and motivate a team for optimum performance


  • Over 10 years in Senior role
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience building and leading teams in a start up environment
  • Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable


  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level

Other requirements

  • Fluency in English
  • Proficiency in local languages desirable
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Suite


Reporting line

  • S/he reports to GARDP Executive Director
  • S/he reports secondary to the GARDP Business Development Director



  • Interact with collaborators, counterparts, and service providers in and outside GARDP to get information, guidance, and feedback. Have an external role focusing on exchanges of information and work with suppliers, partners, and donors.


Other information

  • Status: full time – permanent role


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 19 August 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.