Legal Counsel, Employment



Berlin, Germany
Full Time
3y ago

Company Description

Shopify’s mission is to make commerce better for everyone. From building a new product feature for our commerce platform, to helping a merchant troubleshoot an issue over the phone, we want to empower our ecosystem through our work.

Having a unified vision, a north star, is vitally important to ensure that we are all headed in the same direction. No matter the size or experience, we want to power every merchant’s experience. This is why we’re all here.

Shopify is now permanently remote, and we’re working towards a future that is digital by design. That location you see above? Consider it merely an example of hundreds of potential locations across EMEA where Shopify is hiring. Learn more here:

Job Description

With thousands of employees spread across the globe, we can guarantee that there will never be a dull moment as a Shopify employment lawyer. Shopify marches to the beat of its own drum, and you’ll be faced with issues you couldn’t dream up if you tried. Working with other members of our Legal team and providing support to our global Talent team, the successful candidate must be able to apply their knowledge and experience to novel scenarios to skilfully provide practical, business-oriented advice in an efficient, succinct and easy-to-understand way. No legal memos or law school lectures here! 

From hiring to employee relations to exits, this work is varied and constantly evolving. Real talk: being a member of a fast-moving team that’s doing cutting edge legal work is not always easy. That said, practicing at the top of your game with an amazing team and coming up with creative solutions to complex problems is incredibly fulfilling! 

About you

We’re looking for a curious, passionate and dedicated employment lawyer with a few years of post-qualification experience in continental Europe. You will have experience dealing with litigation, employment standards, occupational health and safety, and human rights matters, ideally in several jurisdictions. You must be able to juggle competing priorities, be equally adept at playing a lead (or even solo) role on some projects and a supporting role on others, and be an effective and confident communicator who can provide user-friendly legal advice in an easy-to-understand way. You will also need to leverage a combination of your existing knowledge, great instincts, and strong research skills to extrapolate into new areas of law or new geographies in EMEA and beyond. 

Success on the Shopify legal team requires intellect, humility and a sense of humour. You need to take the work seriously, but not take yourself too seriously. You also need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, able to work with many different types of personalities, really connect with people and earn their trust, and be ready to navigate uncharted waters. You will handle sensitive matters with empathy and professionalism, striking a balance between compliance with legal requirements and maintaining our kick ass workplace. 

Projects you could work on

  • Responding to day-to-day inquiries from members of the Talent team relating to issues like workplace accommodations, employment standards, policy violations and employee terminations 

  • Conducting and/or supporting workplace investigations

  • Assisting with employment litigation matters 

  • Reviewing and updating internal policies and practices to ensure compliance with applicable law

  • Drafting responses to demand letters, internal policies/communications, and key employment documents 

  • Conducting legal research and contributing to knowledge management within the Talent and Legal teams

  • Providing employment support with entity set up in new international jurisdictions 


  • A university degree in law 

  • Full qualification to practice law in your jurisdiction - note, you do not need to live in a major urban centre! For Shopify, home is where the Internet is.

  • Broad employment law experience, having honed your skills as a practicing lawyer at a law firm and, ideally, in-house 

  • Strong legal writing skills 

  • Experience drafting and negotiating employment agreements, separation packages and other key documents

  • Experience interpreting and updating policies, conducting investigations and navigating employee accommodations and other human rights issues

  • Experience with employment litigation and negotiations with opposing counsel  

  • Experience leading projects and managing multiple priorities, stakeholders and deadlines

  • The​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​build​ ​and​ ​maintain​ ​strong, high-trust ​relationships​ ​with​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​people and personalities

  • You need to be a self-starter who thrives without regular oversight as you will be working remotely, and in a different time zone than your lead. 

  • The knowledge and confidence to provide quick, pragmatic advice on a variety of employment law issues and develop actionable solutions to complex problems while mitigating risk

  • A strong desire to understand Shopify as a business and its workplace culture

Bonus Experience

  • Experience working at a global company 

  • Experience with tech/start-up culture

  • Fluency in other languages (e.g. German, French, Spanish) besides English

  • Another legal super power (tell us about it in your cover letter!)


Additional Information

We know that applying to a new role takes a lot of work and we truly value your time. The hiring manager is looking forward to reading your application. In the upcoming application field, or a cover letter, please tell us about a unique employment issue you’ve encountered, and how you dealt with it, without breaching confidentiality.

Closing date: Friday, October 8th, 2021 at (11:59PM CEST)

At Shopify, we are committed to building and fostering an environment where our employees feel included, valued, and heard. Our belief is that a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion enables us to truly make commerce better for everyone. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people with disabilities, people from gender and sexually diverse communities and/or people with intersectional identities. Please take a look at our 2020 Sustainability Report to learn more about Shopify's commitments.


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Onkar By: Onkar