Head of Climate Litigation at Client Earth

Climate Litigation Team Overview

The formation of a litigation team is a relatively new initiative at ClientEarth. Over the past two years we have been working on developing a strategy to use litigation and similar legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

The litigation team builds on our existing climate, energy and clean air work by developing and implementing strategies for using litigation and other legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and cleaner air. The litigation strategies are likely to include use of company and financial laws to improve corporate and investment transparency and decision-making in relation to climate change, EU energy and climate laws to enhance the viability of renewables in Europe and EU air pollution legislation to improve air quality across Europe.

Working relationships

The position reports to the Programme Director and line manages three project leaders within the new and still to be developed litigation team.
The post holder will also have key relationships across ClientEarth’s programmes with colleagues based in London, Brussels and Warsaw and across ClientEarth’s functions including development and communications.

Job responsibilities

The role will focus primarily on identifying and developing strategic opportunities for initiating litigation and other legal interventions to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world and, where appropriate, establish legal liability for failures to address climate change. More specifically, the role responsibilities will involve: 

  • Delivering high impact litigation and other interventions against or involving a range of actors including regulators, governments, investors (such as pensions funds), companies and company directors
  • Managing the litigation team
  • Evaluating the risks of such litigation to ClientEarth and others potential litigants, and the potential strategic benefits to climate mitigation objectives
  • Collaboration with colleagues within the Climate and Energy Programme and in other related ClientEarth Programmes with experience of or connection to strategic litigation and/or climate risks
  • Ensuring the production of high quality written work products tailored to communicate our thinking on this project to a wide variety of legal, policy, political, civil society and interdisciplinary audiences
  • Effective participation in formal and informal forums and groups, and representing ClientEarth’s thinking and analysis in external forums
  • Identifying and establishing relationships with key contacts within the field
  • Initiating and maintaining collaborative partnerships and working relationships with key organisations
  • Engaging in fundraising including developing concepts and proposals for submission to funders, and producing activity reports
  • Developing and engaging in communications associated with the litigation team including website communications and press relations
  • Leading the strategic development of the litigation team

Experience & knowledge

  • Fluent in English and ideally another European language;
  • At least 6 years of relevant professional full time litigation experience;
  • Ideally, sound knowledge of relevant legal frameworks including UK company law and the wider legal frameworks affecting the activities of companies based in the UK, finance and investment law, tort and common law liability, litigation practice, EU climate and/or energy law;
  • Ideally experience of corporate law practice either within a UK regulator, as in-house legal counsel to UK companies or as a legal adviser to UK companies, commercial law firm or chambers;
  • Ideally an interest in or an understanding of climate law.

Competencies and skills

  • Demonstrated success in litigation
  • A practical, out-come focused approach to the law
  • Ability to perform a supervisory role, to build and manage a team and be a team player while also being able to work independently
  • Excellent creative, critical and lateral thinking and analytical skills and ability to grasp quickly new concepts and areas of law with an openness to learning and new ideas
  • Excellent organisational skills and able to set priorities and manage multiple tasks
  • Ability to react positively in the light of shifting and competing timelines
  • Excellent legal research, analysis, writing, advisory and advocacy skills
  • Ability to think and plan strategically, and to break complex issues and strategies into defined, outcome-oriented activities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to give authoritative advice and influence external audiences, to adapt language, content and style to make communications relevant to policy-makers, funders, press
  • Confident working with and assimilating complex technical (scientific, energy systems and technologies, economic, carbon and energy markets and policy), commercial, political and legal material as the basis for a big picture understanding of problems, intervention points and possible solutions
  • Ability to engage constructively with and develop relationships with a range of external stakeholders in government, industry and civil society and represent ClientEarth confidently
  • Ability to interact with people in a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Excellent commercial, political and practical judgement and diplomacy
  • Motivated to achieve results and ability to spot and take advantage of opportunities to achieve change
  • Organised, reliable, flexible, poised, dynamic, self-motivated


  • Law degree or equivalent
  • Relevant legal professional qualification (preferably England & Wales); 

Job title: Head of Climate Litigation

Location: London

Salary: Bracket starts at £60,000 per annum, dependent upon experience. Package includes the option to join our 4% contributory pension scheme after 3 months of employment.

Contract: Full time

Closing date: 23 October 2015, 12pm