Legal Counsel & Insurance Manager
Location: Binningen or Lausanne, Switzerland
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Founded in 1948, Ameropa is a Swiss, privately owned international agri-business. We produce, originate and market fertilisers and grains and are part of the agricultural supply chain whose task it is to feed the world. Our headquarters are in Binningen, Switzerland, near the city of Basel. We have regional offices on all five continents and invest globally in assets supporting our business activities.
We are looking for a Legal Counsel/Insurance Manager with significant experience in trading and shipping, as well as maritime insurance, to serve as a close business partner to Ameropa’s global commodity trading activities. This is an exciting opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary role and assist a major agro-industrial company to effectively manage its legal and insurance risks. As an integral member of the Legal & Compliance team, the successful candidate will also contribute in other areas of the team’s responsibility including compliance, financing, corporate secretarial matters, M&A projects, and governance.
- To provide timely and pragmatic legal advice to Operations, Trading and other teams on complex day-to-day issues arising out of Ameropa’s trading operations, including in relation to contractual issues (sales & purchases, charterparties, bills of lading, letters of indemnity, letters of credit, etc.) and insurance (cargo and charterers’ liability) in order to protect Ameropa’s legal and commercial position.
- Serve as the company’s expert on cargo and charterers’ liability matters and work with Heads of Ops to ensure that the company’s is properly insured in relation to cargo transport, chartering, warehousing/storage, and related risks. This will include leading the tendering, negotiating and contracting insurance policies with brokers and insurers.
- To take responsibility for, with the support of external counsel as needed, contentious matters/ disputes related to international trading and shipping of food, feed and fertilizers, taking into account relevant contracts and potential dispute resolution mechanisms (GAFTA, FOSFA, LCIA, English courts, etc.) in order to best advance Ameropa’s interests.
- To provide oversight over cargo and charterers’ liability claims, working closely with the Operations team to ensure that all claims are properly managed and, where necessary, taking a role in direct administration and settlement of claims. To oversee the company’s insurance claims mgmt. system, the inventory management/warehouse database, and to support the ops teams in providing statistical reports and analysis for company management on both claims and inventory matters.
- To advise on other Legal & Compliance matters as required, including in relation to compliance, financing, corporate secretarial matters, and M&A/ strategic projects.
- To provide expert guidance and training to operators, traders, contract desk, and others on legal, insurance and claims matters to ensure constant improvement of Ameropa’s contracts, processes, and procedures and thereby reduce Ameropa’s legal, insurance and claims exposure.
- To instruct and manage external counsel, where needed, in particular in relation to arbitration and court proceedings.
QUALIFICATIONS / EXPERIENCE
- Legal professional with 7+ years of experience. Bar exam/ legal qualification strongly preferred.
- Strong working knowledge of English trading, shipping, and insurance law. Familiarity with standard industry contracts (GAFTA, FOSFA, etc.) and charterparty forms (GENCON, etc.) and ancillary contracts such as Bills of Lading, and Letters of Indemnity. Experience in commodities and shipping arbitration and litigation (e.g., GAFTA, FOSFA, LMAA, LCIA, etc).
- Experience working for a reputable shipping & trading law firm and as an in-house counsel/ legal advisor (preferably in a trading company) preferred.
- Experience in marine (cargo and charterers’ liability) insurance via a law firm, trading company, insurance company, broker, P&I club, or similar.
- Experience arranging/negotiating marine insurance policies and managing claims strongly preferred.
- Experience in other areas of the law (compliance, corporate, M&A, financing) a plus.
- High-level of skill in drafting/ revising legal documents independently
- Strong analytical skills; ability to analyse the law and apply it to real-world situations
- Pragmatic/ problem-solving mindset; ability to grasp legal concepts and apply them to real-life situations
- Commercial acumen and savvy, capable of firm negotiations
- Excellent judgment with ability to weigh complex legal, commercial and reputational considerations
- Highly collaborative team player, willing to share knowledge, responsibilities, and recognition with colleagues
- Interest and aptitude for working in an interdisciplinary role covering legal, commercial and insurance aspects.
- Proactive, with desire to take on significant responsibility and ownership
- Strong sense of ethics and integrity
- Multi-tasker with strong time-management and prioritization skills
- Comfort with ambiguity & decision-making with incomplete information
- High level of curiosity/ desire to learn
- Desire to work and ability to thrive in a demanding, high-pressure environment
- Complete business fluency in English (spoken and written) is essential; proficiency in French and/or German a plus.
- Location: Preference for role to be based in Basel or Lausanne, but other European locations will be considered provided candidate is willing to travel to Switzerland once per month.
- Other travel: less than 5%.
- Teleworking: Up to 2 days teleworking permitted.
In case of interest please send your full application (CV, motivational letter, work certificates & diplomas) to Simon Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.