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Legal Counsel (6 or 12 month fixed term contract)

  • Full time, 6- or 12-month fixed term role based in Sydney CBD
  • Play a key role in determining Export Finance Australia’s financing decisions
  • Work on interesting deals across a diverse range of sectors

Export Finance Australia is the government’s export credit agency.

We provide financial expertise and solutions to drive sustainable growth that benefits Australia and our partners. Through our loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance options we enable SMEs, corporates and governments to take on export-related opportunities, and support infrastructure development in the Pacific region and beyond.

We have a rare opportunity for a Legal Counsel (6 or 12 month fixed term contract) to provide legal advice, prepare drafts, negotiate and settle documents covering the full range of Export Finance’s product offerings. This includes corporate finance, project finance, export finance transactions (such as loans, export finance guarantees and performance bonds), and new product development and risk transfer activities (including participation agreements and reinsurance).

This is a key business partnership role that will see you play a critical role in providing legal consulting that influences Export Finance Australia’s lending decisions.


About the role

On a day to day basis, you will have the following key responsibilities:

  • Manage all legal aspects of Export Finance’s transactions so as to identify and mitigate legal risks, taking into account the relevant commercial framework, with guidance of the Head of Legal and in cooperation with internal stakeholders as part of a ‘deal team’, including:
    • Advising in relation to Export Finance’s international and domestic transactions, including in relation to structure and key issues, legal problems, risks and opportunities;
    • Advising on Export Finance’s obligations and powers under applicable law and Ministerial guidance;
    • Preparing, negotiating and settling documents and attending to closing arrangements for Export Finance’s transactions;
    • Checking, and where necessary clarifying and requiring further approvals and signing off on, offer letters and legal conditions precedent to Export Finance going on risk;
    • Providing on-going legal analysis, advice, negotiation and documentation in relation to workouts; and
    • Instructing and liaising with foreign and domestic external lawyers.
  • Support the Head of Legal with the analysis, preparation and presentation of advice to staff at all levels on Export Finance’s rights and obligations under relevant laws and documentation.
  • Under the guidance or direction of the Head of Legal, advising on, drafting, settling and updating precedent documentation for Export Finance’s facilities, in cooperation with key business units including, Small & Medium Enterprises (SME), Project & Structured Finance (PSF), Portfolio Management (PMD) and the Executive, including development of new products.
  • Conduct legal review and advise in relation to material to be published by Export Finance.
  • In cooperation with Head of Legal ensure appropriate information on legal issues is made available to Export Finance staff, including informing and presenting on key issues.
  • Work with members of Portfolio Management to restructure or workout deals. Brief external lawyers (whether domestic or off-shore) where appropriate.
  • Open exchange of knowledge and ideas on legal and commercial matters with other counsel
  •  Compliance:
    • To comply with and implement policies and procedures of Export Finance generally and of Legal in particular;
    • To identify, manage and comply with Export Finance’s obligations arising under statute, regulations, the general law, and industry codes or guidelines relevant to the division/group.


About you

To be successful in the role, you will have at least 3 to 6 years post qualification in-house experience in a large financial institution/corporate or top/mid-tier law firm (including a minimum of 2 years banking and finance experience). Your Finance experience should include exposure to corporate, project, asset or property financing transactions.

You will be a skilled communicator and business partner, able to consult with accuracy, commercial acumen and diplomacy, particularly when discussing legal concepts to a non-legal audience.

Additionally, you will bring the following:

  • Solid drafting skills (with strong attention to detail) in relation to finance documents, general commercial agreements, legal opinions, letters of advice and communications with legal counsel acting for other parties;
  • Sound legal analysis skills including experience in statutory interpretation;
  • Sound judgement and commercial focus and the ability to think laterally about overcoming the practical hurdles of in-house practice;
  • Exposure to restructuring or insolvency work and litigation.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work constructively in a team environment and be diplomatic when communicating;
  • Experience in negotiating transaction documentation;
  • Good time management skills with the ability to work autonomously and assess and accommodate competing priorities;
  • A broad awareness and baseline knowledge of current legal, business, government and international issues;
  • Competent user of MS Office software;
  • Practicing certificate as a solicitor in NSW or another Australian jurisdiction.


  • Some cross-border finance experience;
  • Exposure to corporate lending to SMEs
  • Exposure to insurance products and/or insurance law;
  • Experience in acting on behalf of corporate borrowers;
  • Some exposure to litigation work or pre-litigation preparation.

How to apply

If this sounds like you the right challenge for you, apply now! We'd love to hear from you ASAP. Applications close 4pm Friday 28 February 2020. Interviews will occur in parallel, so please apply ASAP. 

Please send your CV to   

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Applications from recruitment agencies will not be considered on this occasion.

Why Choose Export Finance Australia?

We are small enough to have impact, BIG enough to make a world of difference.

Our size means our people have interesting and varied work that stretches and challenges them, with the opportunity to learn from senior leaders and specialists. At Export Finance Australia, there are opportunities to grow your career and broaden your experience, build your expertise, and receive development through targeted learning, mentoring and feedback. 

Our people have an impact, and through our collective efforts, we know that helping our customers grow helps Australia grow. Our customers are dynamic and diverse and so are our people. We believe in flexibility and giving our people choices about how they get their work done and how they balance this with other areas of their lives.