New Zealand Law Society - International Legal Adviser/Trade Law - Wellington

International Legal Adviser/Trade Law - Wellington

Specialist: International Legal Adviser

  • Specialist Legal Advisers (International Law) are responsible for providing strong analytical and strategic legal advice and output in support of the government's objectives for New Zealand's international relations. This role is in the Trade Law Unit (TLU), with potential in the future to work in other parts of the Legal Division (in the General International Law Unit or the Environment and Resources Law Unit).
  • We represent NZ in WTO disputes in Geneva and advise Posts/Divisions/other agencies/Ministers in relation to trade law issues. We are involved in other signficant projects (such as WTO dispute settlement reform, and engagement with civil society/Māori).
  • TLU's work can be broadly described across three areas: the WTO; FTAs; and advice on domestic policies. All three areas are now heavily influenced by the COVID crisis.

You will be actively involved in New Zealand's trade agenda at a critical time due to the impacts of COVID-19, the numerous negotiations under way, the challenges facing the international rules-based system and an increasing number of issues at the interface of domestic law and international trade law.

Kōrero mō te tūranga -About the role

  • Provide timely, strategically sound and accurate legal analysis and policy advice that supports Ministry and government trade priorities
  • Negotiate international trade-related instruments, including FTAs, ensuring the provision of strategic input to help shape the New Zealand position
  • Provide legal advice in relation to compliance with and implementation of New Zealand's international trade law rights and obligations
  • Contribute to the unit's involvement in international dispute settlement processes (e.g. WTO disputes).

The appointment range for this role is approximately NZ$95,000 - negotiable depending on experience.

Mā‎ wai te mahi nei? - Who are we looking for?

  • Develop and deliver robust legal advice through leading or working on complex multi sector issues with significant sensitivity and risk; identify and recommend processes for resolving problems
  • Provide policy leadership within the unit on projects which advance the unit's objectives
  • Manage a varied and substantive work programme, demonstrating expertise in policy prioritisation in accordance with the Ministry's strategic priorities
  • Complete rigorous peer review of advice to ensure quality and consistency
  • Encourage an environment where existing assumptions and policy approaches are regularly tested and constructively challenged

Ngā hua o te mahi i te Manatū Aorere - Why MFAT?

We are committed to a focus on leadership, talent, training and development, and flexible work options. Check out our benefits page to find out more about why we love working here.

We are also working to grow the diversity of our workforce and the inclusive nature of our workplace. Click on our diversity and inclusion page to find out more.

Mō mātou - About us

Our people represent New Zealand on and offshore, and in doing so make New Zealanders safer and more prosperous. By building connections with and influencing other countries and international institutions, we advance New Zealand's interests and pursue New Zealand's values. We provide advice to the Government on the implications for New Zealand of what is happening in the world.

Me pēhea te tuku tono - To Apply/Interested?

Apply today with your CV and cover letter.

For a confidential discussion please email Jo McKeagg at

You must be able to obtain and maintain an appropriate NZ Government Security clearance.

Use this online tool to self-check your eligibility for a Secret security clearance. Please note that this tool is not part of the formal security clearance process:

Applications close at 9pm on 1 August 2021

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