Counsel (Sovereign)

Job Vacancy | Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Close relatives1 of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB.

1Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9).

In the event that the staff appointed to a new category (i.e. from AS to NS, or from NS to IS) is rated at 2 or lower in the first two performance reviews after appointment at the new level, they will return to the level occupied immediately prior to their appointment in the new category.


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

This position is assigned within the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), ADB’s legal department. OGC is responsible for providing legal and policy advice to ADB’s Board of Directors, its Management and client departments on operational and administrative matters, and advises on methods to limit ADB’s risk exposure appropriately. It prepares or reviews documents that create and define the legal rights or obligations of ADB, including financing and investment contracts.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

The position title on appointment is “Counsel”.

Job Purpose

The Counsel supports OGC in achieving its key result areas primarily by providing legal advice and support for the processing and administration of loan and technical assistance (TA) projects in ADB sovereign operations. The position may also focus on designing and implementing TA projects under OGC’s Law and Policy Reform initiatives and participate in knowledge sharing activities. The incumbent will report to an Assistant General Counsel and will supervise National Staff and Administrative Staff.


a. Operational Support

  • Provide legal advice and support in the processing, negotiation, and administration of projects under ADB’s sovereign operations in one or more regions in Asia and the Pacific. This includes review of loan proposals and financing structures (including cofinancing with other bilateral or multilateral donors and financiers), preparation of legal agreements, participating in loan due diligence and processing missions, carrying out loan negotiations, review of procurement documents (such as bidding documents and bid evaluations) and handling project administration matters.
  • Provide legal advice and support in the processing and administration of TA projects for both project development and transactional support as well as knowledge development in various sector or thematic areas consistent with ADB’s Strategy 2030. This includes supporting development and knowledge partnerships, and collaborations between ADB and other institutions.
  • Contribute to the development and update of ADB policies and other instructional documents applicable to ADB’s sovereign operations, such as financing modalities, environmental and social safeguards, financial management and procurement, which takes into account the approach and practices of other multilateral development banks, and the evolving needs of countries and institutions in the region.

b. Law and Policy Reform

  • Contribute to OGC’s Law and Policy Reform initiatives consistent with ADB’s Strategy 2030. This includes design and implementation of TA projects in OGC priority areas, such as legal aspects of environment and climate change, gender equity, commercial law and private sector development, judicial capacity development, and combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.
  • Leveraging on existing and new expertise on these priority areas to promote development of policy and law in specific jurisdictions, including awareness-raising and stakeholder consultations, and capacity development at both bilateral and regional levels.

c. Knowledge Sharing

  • Participate in and contribute to internal and external training, conferences and other activities for knowledge building and dissemination.
  • Preparation of knowledge solutions and papers (such as law review articles and working papers) on current legal issues or priority areas under OGC’s Law and Policy Reform initiatives.

d. Staff Supervision

  • Provide leadership and support to reporting staff.
  • Supervise the performance of reporting staff, providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance.
  • Ensure the on-going learning and development of reporting staff.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

  • Master’s degree, or equivalent, and admission as a lawyer in one or more of ADB’s member countries. or University degree in law combined and at least 5 years specialized professional experience in similar organization/s may be considered in lieu of a master’s degree.
  • At least 8 years of relevant legal experience in the formulation and implementation of projects (including development projects, if any), preparation and negotiation of international financing agreements, and legal analysis of the status and organization of multilateral development and financing institutions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is required. Must be able to present and defend legal arguments and issues with a high degree of competence.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet the core competency requirements of the position.
  • Able to work in multi-cultural and multi-skilled teams.
  • Able to inspire trust and confidence and promote a strong culture of honesty, trust and openness.
  • International experience working in several countries.
  • Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for International Staff Level 4

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB’s standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual’s qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.