Brand Protection Manager & Legal Counsel

Main job purpose

Responsible for all operational brand protection work in the respective Operating Company and Markets in East Africa.

Responsible for implementing the agreed Africa Brand Protection strategy and Priority Action Plans with the objective of halting the importation, distribution, and sales of counterfeit Unilever products in these markets, and the prevention of local production and inter -country exports. All to be implemented in East Africa.

In addition to the core role the successful candidate will assist the General Counsel to provide legal services to the total company. Business partner to management, communications, industrial relations, tax, finance, and operating subsidiaries.

Key interactions

East Africa Leadership Team
Country Directors
Customer Development Teams
Brand Managers
Key Accountabilities

1.Understand the Market

To have an in-depth understanding of the way of working of the genuine market, including understanding where loopholes existing that could be exploited by counterfeiters.  The BP Manager also needs to understand local manufacturers, importers, traders and the supply chain “modus operandi” for counterfeits into the market.  The BP Manager will evaluate, interview and make recommendations on the best investigators to use within markets in East Africa.
2.Understand the law

To understand the laws pertaining to Trademark infringements within each country and to liaise with the Head, Brand Protection Africa and local Legal team to evaluate the best options, and most practical route to detection and prosecution of offenders and destruction of goods and effective deterrence and sentencing in the country.
Networking within the Organization
Must build a strong working relationship with preferably a cross functional team to help in effecting an overall appreciation and effectiveness of the BP work across East Africa.
Collaborate with Quality team, Communication team as part of the steering committee agenda to drive BP agenda in East Africa.
3.Training and Networking with the Authorities

Arrange regular training programmes for Customs and other key enforcement officials within each market in East Africa. Work with Senior BP Manager, Africa to evaluate whether an MOU would be operationally and strategically beneficial.
Identify all key freight entry (sea and land) points and ensure that training is provided in line with risk for each point.
Work with Legal to ensure Trade Mark is recorded with Customs across all Markets in East Africa.
Prepare and distribute update information and support documents to help officials identify potential counterfeits.  Ensure that key colleagues within Packaging R&D in country /in South Africa and other BP managers across Unilever are available to assist with prompt verification.
4.Working with Manufacturers Associations and other Multinationals

The role is responsible for developing relationships with other relevant Multinationals or FMCG Companies in East Africa and identifying where joint actions can be planned and learning shared in a more structured manner.
Local Manufacturers Associations should be utilized to create or enhance a focused IP protection / anti-counterfeiting group, but where other active trade associations exist, they should also be evaluated to consider which organization will deliver optimal benefit.
5.Information Flow

The role requires a full understanding and capability of use of the Global BP Tools; deliver rapid cross flow of information with (a) retained investigators; (b) Brand Protection Head, Africa; and (c) Other members of the wider Brand Protection teams in Africa and other Clusters.
Create updated brand difference files on an ongoing basis and share them with the Global / Cluster Teams as appropriate.
Report all raid actions and ensure that retained investigators and CD personnel report all sightings of new counterfeits into the Global Database ‘GUARD’. (Training will be delivered by the Global Brand Protection Team working with the Brand Protection Head, Africa).
6.Managing the Brand Protection Team.

The Brand Protection Manager may be responsible for one or two staff members and manage a budget; part of this budget will be spent on  (a)  training, (b)  activations and also on one or more (c)    Third party contractors who are responsible for investigations.
The majority of these suppliers will be on annual contracts, although there will be some ad hoc activities and actions being run through other suppliers.
Manage and control these suppliers, ensuring that they meet their individual targets within the overall budget requirements.
Be aware of Unilever’s Code of Business Principles, and their application, particularly in regard to these third party investigative agencies and ensure that they are all signed up to appropriately locally modified (by local Legal) Guidelines to Private Investigators acting for Unilever.
7.Working with Customer Development.

Ensure all employees especially those of CD (Customer Development) are regularly up to date on BP issues; reporting requirements when any counterfeits are found in the trade.
Arrange training sessions for the CD & KD (Key Distributor) teams and ensure that they are fully aware of the problem and are able to understand the basic indicators and report any product suspected to be counterfeits & grays from Unilever genuine products.
Train and supervise the field sales operators on how to use the report a suspect product tool. Also include all new employees from time to time.
He/She is also to work with the KDs through the (Field Sales Representatives)  and coordinate BP activities in the trade which includes training the DSRs (Delivery Sales Representatives) and Merchandisers to constantly conduct on-the job education of retailers on BP responsibility/value and conduct qualitative checks at each retail calls.
8.Legal Support

Identify legal risks and helps the business navigate them, providing legally compliant creative solutions which deliver competitive advantage to the business objectives taking into account compliance, reputation, cost, risk and other consequences.
Contracts and other legal documents –Review and draft legal contracts and other legal documents
Litigation Support – Unilever representation at court sessions and follow up of external advocates to deliver value for legal fees paid.
Facilitate appropriate legal documentation and witnesses for the litigation process responsible for litigation update reports
Legal review – Facilitate the availability of laws and regulations relevant to company operations research and review laws and regulations regulating the company advisor on all changes to laws and regulations
Services Management/ Rates & Rents – Insurance and licensing manage the company’s lease portfolio alert the relevant functions on expiry of leases and facilitate renewal and termination of leases facilitate payment of rent and rates.
Standards of Leadership Behaviors

Standards of leadership applicable for this role are listed below in order of importance:

Bias for action Accountability and responsibility Building talent and teams Growth mindset Consumer and customer focus

Experience required

A self-starter with strong motivation to deliver a great job, even when working in some degree of isolation.
An agile and hands on person
Comfortable working with virtual team members.
The candidate should have a keen interest in the area, a good understanding of brands and a basic understanding of the legal issues.
The candidate should be able to communicate fluently in English (spoken and written) with a wide range of people both internally and externally.
He should also be currently working at an Assistant management level in any of the following fields; Sales, Marketing, Security, Legal or Finance departments.
Ability to create strong relationships with all the key regulatory/ enforcement Agencies and external investigators. Ability to add value in managing relevant third party partners is critical.
Flexible on working hours as 9-5 is rarely achievable both in terms of operational requirements and liaison with other Cluster teams elsewhere in the world.

Knowledge & Skill

A graduate of Law (LLB)
Call to Bar (Dip KSL)
Preferably a Certified Public Secretary (CPS)
Excellent communication skills (oral & written)
Excellent analytical skills
Good interpersonal skills
Attention to details
Outstanding team skills
Appetite for learning
Unilever is an organisation committed to equity, inclusion and diversity to drive our business results and create a better future, every day, for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. At Unilever we are interested in every individual bringing their ‘Whole Self’ to work and this includes you! Thus if you require any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at the time of your application so that we can support you through your recruitment journey.


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About Unilever

On any day, 2 billion people use Unilever products to look good, feel good and get more out of life - giving us a unique opportunity to build a brighter future. Great products from our range of more than 400 brands give us a unique place in the lives of people all over the world. When consumers reach for nutritionally balanced foods or indulgent ice creams, affordable soaps that combat disease, luxurious shampoos or everyday household care products, there’s a good chance the brand they pick is one of ours. Seven out of every ten households around the world contain at least one Unilever product, and our range of world-leading, household-name brands includes Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s and Omo. Trusted local brands designed to meet the specific needs of consumers in their home market include Blue Band, Pureit and Suave. Whatever the brand, wherever it is bought, we’re working to ensure that it plays a part in helping fulfil our purpose as a business - making sustainable living commonplace.