Chair/vice-chair Appeals Committee of the European Patent Office (EXT /13601)




The European Patent Office (EPO) is the second largest public institution in Europe. With headquarters in Munich, a branch at The Hague, sub-offices in Vienna and Berlin and a small bureau in Brussels, it employs approximately 7 000 staff across all four sites and has a self-financed annual budget of EUR 2bn.


The EPO is seeking to appoint a chair and two vicechairs for its Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee is an advisory administrative body charged with reviewing disputed administrative decisions as part of the EPO's formal dispute settlement procedures. It is tasked with preparing reasoned opinions on internal appeals filed by staff – current or former – against adverse decisions or acts by the President of the EPO or the Administrative Council.


The Appeals Committee usually sits in chambers composed of a chair or vicechair and staff members.

It is supported in dealing with appeals by a secretariat composed of specialised lawyers and administrative staff.



The chair and the vicechairs must possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be lawyers with experience in the area of employment law acquired at national or international level, who are not EPO employees in active employment and who have not been EPO employees within the past ten years.


Job purpose

The chair and the vice-chairs are responsible for the overall conduct of the work of the Appeals Committee and the internal appeal proceedings as defined in the Service Regulations for permanent and other employees of the EPO (Service Regulations) and the Appeals Committee's own Rules of Procedure. The chair and vice‑chairs are guided by the mission to provide a timely, fair and independent appeals process consistent with fair trial principles.


There are six to ten Appeals Committee sessions per year split between chambers presided over by either the chair or a vice‑chair.


Key tasks and responsibilities/accountabilities

  • Managing all Appeals Committee operations and participating in and guiding all written and oral procedural stages of proceedings before the Appeals Committee, up to and including the adoption of reasoned opinions.
  • Serving as presiding member of Appeals Committee chambers formed in accordance with the relevant legal framework, involving responsibility for procedural decisions, notably on the holding of hearings, the initiation of test-case procedures and the consolidation of appeals.
  • As presiding member of a chamber, the chair or vice-chair will encourage and actively facilitate amicable settlements between the parties to proceedings.
  • [Optional: It is expected that appointees will liaise with the outgoing chair and vice-chairs, respectively, to ensure a smooth transition of the work of the Appeals Committee.]


Other elements

The chair and vice-chairs are assisted by a secretariat composed of:

  • a director
  • lawyers
  • administrative staff


Minimum qualifications

  • Diploma of completed university studies at master's level or – in exceptional cases – equivalent professional experience.
  • Qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or being a lawyer with experience in the area of employment law acquired at national or international level.
  • Proven very high standards of performance.
  • Impeccable integrity and highest moral standards and authority.
  • Experience in employment law mediation or amicable settlement proceedings in the workplace would be an asset.
  • Procedures before the Appeals Committee can be conducted in any of the EPO's official languages (English, French and German). Suitable candidates are therefore expected to have a very good command of two of the official languages, and the ability to understand the third language would be an advantage.


Other elements

  • The Service Regulations are available online at: www.epo.org/about-us/office/service-regulations.html.
  • The composition of the Appeals Committee is laid down in Article 111 of the Service Regulations.
  • The functioning of the Appeals Committee is laid down in Article 111a of the Service Regulations.
  • The Rules of Procedure of the Appeals Committee are part of the implementing rules and additional texts included with the Service Regulations.



  • Chairs/vice-chairs are paid a flat rate per opinion (or amicable settlement). The flat rate covers preparatory work, hearings (if any) and follow-up work. Travel costs and daily subsistence allowances are paid separately upon invoice.


Process and timeline

The successful candidate will be appointed for a period of three years, and may be reappointed. Selection will be made on the basis of qualifications and interview(s).


For more information about this vacancy, please contact us via email to Career-Appeals-Committee@epo.org.







Key information



Duration of contract: 3 years

Career path: Managerial 

Location: Munich 

Application deadline: 19.02.2021

Interviews planned for: Calendar week 12-13


We welcome all applications for vacant positions. We consider each on its professional merits – regardless of your nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.



Why join us?
✓ Be part of the EPO`s transformation and enable innovation
✓ Work with inspiring people from a variety of cultures
✓ Develop yourself and take on an intellectual challenge

What's in it for you?
✓ A competitive salary
✓ Family-friendly benefits
✓ A good work-life balance
✓ Relocation benefits and various allowances
✓ Contributory medical insurance and pension schemes
✓ 30 days' leave per year

Who we are
We are the patent office for Europe. We are proud to deliver high-quality patents and efficient services that foster innovation, competitiveness and economic growth.

Our vision
We're currently undergoing a change inspired by a common vision: our Strategic Plan 2023. Join us on this exciting journey to a more digital, collaborative and sustainable organisation.

Our work environment
We believe that diversity is fundamental to our success. Our inclusive work environment respects, values and celebrates our individual differences. We want you to be yourself at work.

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