A general counsel position for an international organization with income tax-free but a three-year contract

An ad in the Economist, Dec. 17, 2011 at 160, seeks a general counsel for The Energy Charter Secretariat. It has three aspects that deserve mention. (1) It seeks candidates with “an excellent law degree.” Perhaps this is a Britishism, perhaps it is a polite way of saying “You have to have graduated a name-brand law school,” or perhaps it seeks high grades and law review (come to think of it, are there law reviews in non-US law schools?). To be blunt, what does this requirement of excellent law degree mean?

(2) The chief lawyer will get “an attractive, tax-free remuneration package.” The Charter is an international organization so perhaps its employees pay no tax in the way at least some United Nations employees pay no tax. Nice work if you can get it. And, “remuneration” is much tonier than “pay.”

(3) The Secretariat position “is offered on the basis of a three-year, fixed-term contract with the possibility of renewal.” Although many general counsel of U.S. law departments have contracts, I doubt that they are term limited (See my post of Jan. 18, 2009: severance contracts for general counsel.).

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