Senior Legal Counsel

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Job Description

Key Responsibilities include:

Legal strategy:

Act as Senior Legal Counsel, providing strategic legal advice on legal matters to support the development of the new company.
Serve as trusted advisor to the management team.
Develop, implement and execute legal strategies to improve the organization’s efficiency and legal compliance. This includes the drafting and reviewing of strategic contracts and partnerships to align with the overall Strategy as well as the identification of potential legal risks and opportunities and crafting plans to address them effectively.

The legal function is set to grow along with the growth and development of the Company

Establish and build the legal function of the business.
Supervise, mentor, train and guide other members of the legal team.
The Senior Legal Counsel will be embedded in the Legal department of EDF R and will mentor, train and guide peers, junior legal professionals and administrative staff.

Corporate Governance and Company Secretarial Services:

Ensure adherence to governance, risk and compliance framework and government regulations by collaborating to develop processes, procedures and strategies for managing legal risk.
Provide advice and company secretarial services to the management and Board to ensure the company is compliant with legal requirements while providing legal advice on various business aspects.
Ensure compliance with the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC); administrative regulations; the Companies Act; and the PFMA.
Maintain statutory records, registers, minute books and related documentation.
Ensure compliance with MOI and shareholders agreements by the board, shareholders and the company.
Conduct compliance background checks on possible partners, contractors and suppliers, analyzing the risk and implementing mitigation measures if necessary.
Collaborate with senior management to develop, update, and enforce company policies, procedures and governance charters related to legal and regulatory compliance. Ensuring that these policies are communicated and adhered to throughout the organization.
Advise the management team and board on governance developments and good practices, as well as providing guidance and advice prior to, during and post board and shareholder meetings.
Design, develop and implement Code of Ethics and Compliance policy. Consequently, provide all employees with training on the Code of Ethics and Compliance Policy.
Responsible for share transfers, issuing new shares and share purchase transaction documentation.
Management of board, shareholder and committee meetings:

Support the CEO and Chairman with Agenda and Notices for Meetings.
Set up, manage and conduct board meetings, board committees and shareholders meetings in line with legislation and good corporate practice, including preparing of board packs and drafting minutes.
Advise the management board of their fiduciary duties and responsibilities, and corporate governance topics.
Draft and implement board resolutions by communicating the resolutions to all departments within the organisation. Ensure that board resolutions are signed, up-to-date and captured in a resolution register.
Ensure the taking of minutes at relevant meetings scheduled, transcribe minutes correctly and ensure that minutes are signed off as required by legislation.
Follow-up on action items as per the management board meeting minutes.
Assess the needs (i.e. training, workshops, seminars, etc.) of the board and management regarding any fiduciary, corporate governance or relevant legislative requirements.

Risk and Compliance Management:

Overall, ensure that the company complies with all relevant legislation.
Design, develop and implement risk mitigation strategies such as the application of fraud controls and risk prevention principles. Design, develop and implement sound governance and compliance processes and tools to identify and manage risks.
Responsible for the coordination and maintenance of quality risk management in line with regulatory requirements.
Monitor changes in legislation and the regulatory environment and ensure that appropriate operational controls are implemented to address new requirements.
Support and provide evidence to all internal and external audit and regulatory requirements.
Oversee the development, maintenance and enforcement of related service level agreements, policies, and procedures to minimise business risk and ensure business continuity.
Ensure adherence in the team to all relevant laws, policies, and standard operating procedures throughout the organisation.
Ensure compliance with national legislation and Company specific policies and procedures (e.g. Code of Ethics, Company’s Act PFMA PPPFA, etc.)

Crisis Management:

Lead and provide guidance during legal crisis, such as but limited to: major contractual breaches, major disputes, regulatory non-compliance, data breaches etc. to minimise damage and protect the organizations interests.

Project Leadership:

Provide expert legal advice relating to the renewable energy projects during the entire life cycle of such projects including but not limited to:
Early stage project development;
Project financing and corporate financing, as well as re-financing of such projects;
Construction and implementation of projects;
Operations and asset management of project;
Engaging with both generators and off-takers and ensuring compliance with project documents;
Negotiations with suppliers, contractors, banks and other lenders during the various phases of the project;
Drafting and reviewing of various complex agreements / contracts such as construction agreements;
Managing disputes and claims;
Negotiations and contractual agreements with BBBEE partners and Community trusts etc.

Budget Management:

Manage the legal department’s budget and resources, including external legal counsel, to ensure efficient and cost-effective legal support.
Identify any opportunities for improved cost management.
Build and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, such as lenders, partners, regulatory bodies, government agencies, external legal advisors, and other departments within the organization.
Lead efforts to resolve legal disputes and litigation matters, often working closely with external counsel. This includes deciding on appropriate legal strategies and courses of action.

Stakeholder Relations:

Build and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, such as lenders, partners, regulatory bodies, government agencies, external legal advisors, and other departments within the organisation.

Dispute Resolution:

Leads efforts to resolve legal disputes and litigation matters, often working closely with external councel. This includes deciding on appropriate legal strategies and courses of action.

Legal Innovation:

Stay current on legal trends and emerging technologies that may impact the organization.
Identify opportunities to leverage legal technology and innovative practices for greater efficiency.

Ethical Leadership:

Set the tone for ethical behavior within the organization and ensuring that the legal department upholds the highest ethical standards in all its activities.
Advise leadership and put measures in place to ensure proper corporate governance practices.

Legal Training:

Develop and deliver legal training programs for managers and employees, ensuring that they are well-informed about relevant legal requirements and best practices.
Health and Safety Responsibilities:
Managers and supervisors carry both legal and company responsibilities for ensuring the health and safety of their employees, those under their control, and those who might be affected by the work undertaken, i.e., public, visitors and employees of other organizations. This includes ensuring risk assessments are conducted and mitigation measures are clearly communicated and understood by individuals. Managers must also ensure that individuals have the necessary understanding, competence, and application of requirements to work safely and without harming the environment.
Employees are responsible for ensuring they fully understand the health and safety risks involved in their work activities and their responsibility to apply the controls needed to manage those risks to acceptable levels. Similarly, where work activities can have an adverse impact upon the environment, and particularly where there are legal requirements, employees are responsible for understanding those impacts and the controls they must ensure are applied.

Must-have Qualifications and Certifications:

Qualified and admitted attorney.

Preferred Qualifications and Certifications:


Must-have years of professional experiences:

At least 7 years professional experience as a corporate lawyer.

Preferred years of professional experiences:

At least 3 years in Project Development, Project Construction and/or Project Finance in the Renewable Energy Sector or Infrastructure Sector.

Technical competencies:

Sound knowledge of Corporate law, Project Finance law, EPC Agreements, Intellectual property and Labor law,
Excellent understanding of governance and corporate legal requirements such as the Companies Act.
Profound knowledge of the legal requirements in South Africa.

Behavioral competencies:

Analysis and Critical Thinking
Organization and Time Management
Strategic Problem Solving
Business acumen
Team Processes

Leadership competencies:

Proven experience in training and guiding other members of the team.
Has the ability to transfer knowledge, train and upskill the wider organization.