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Legal Counsel

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2023


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop and scale technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. You will support our mission by bringing legal expertise to the team.

“Be a legal guardian of a forward-thinking organization, with many opportunities for professional diversification and growth” João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, General Counsel & Director of Global Public Affairs.


To provide legal advice to all The Ocean Cleanup group entities, managing the legal risks they may face across several areas of law and jurisdictions. You will draft, review, and negotiate contracts with suppliers, sponsors, partners, international organizations, and governments. You will be involved in mapping and overseeing regulatory requirements for the operations of The Ocean Cleanup and in public relations with regulatory authorities where necessary. Because our operations are new and unique, existing laws and regulations might not cover such operations. There are often no precedents (something that makes this job so exciting). You will forge and maintain relations with governments, international organizations, and like-minded institutions.

Main tasks:

  • Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts with operators, suppliers, sponsors, partners, and governments relating to the seas, oceans, and other open bodies of water
  • Mapping and overseeing regulatory requirements for the operations of The Ocean Cleanup and in public relations with regulatory authorities where necessary
  • Providing legal support for the operations of The Ocean Cleanup
  • Liaising with public authorities
  • Liaising with external law firms and insurance companies, and brokers.

Responsibilities include:

  • Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts, primarily in English
  • Drafting templates for frequently used agreements
  • Mapping applicable laws and regulations and facilitating business compliance
  • Challenging business decisions from a legal perspective
  • Managing outside experts and counsel
  • Managing the insurance portfolio (assisted by a Legal Assistant)
  • Mainly supporting the Ocean Department and all related work of the Procurement and Catch Management Teams
  • Advise on various other legal topics upon consultation with external counsel where required


  • Master’s degree in law
  • Experience as an international in-house counsel (more than 7-10 years)
  • Extensive knowledge in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating international contracts
  • Knowledge of International Maritime Law
  • Knowledge of the law of the sea, international waters, and ship industry is a plus.
  • Longstanding understanding of various fields of law and the willingness to learn and develop further
  • Excellent English language skills (written and verbal); Dutch is desirable.


  • Pragmatic where possible, but thorough when needed
  • Team player with high cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Thrives in a fast-paced, international environment
  • Self-motivated and independent
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please note: because we are a non-profit, our salaries reflect that of an organization fully reliant on donations rather than that of a commercial entity. Conducting a pre-employment check is part of our recruitment process.

Curious to hear how it is to work at The Ocean Cleanup? Listen to our team members explain their work in our podcast.

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union

A valid European Union work permit is highly preferred for this position. However, feel free to send an open application so we can contact you if an opportunity arises in your country.