Legal Services

Legal Services are responsible for promoting and protecting EMBL's interests in all legal matters, both internally and externally.

Areas of practice include: institutional matters, grants and consortia, collaborative and commercial agreements (national and international), procurement, internal policies, intellectual property, labour law, litigation/arbitration, host country relations, international contracts, relations to Member States, European Union institutions, pan-European Research Infrastructures (e.g. “ESFRI” projects), and other national and international research actors/bodies.

Additionally, the Legal Services team deliver training to EMBL staff and provide legal advice on a broad range of issues, both strategic and operational. By providing competent advice, Legal Services empower EMBL to fulfil its mission and enables EMBL's researchers to focus on world-class science.

EMBL's Legal Status

EMBL was established by virtue of the “Agreement establishing the European Molecular Biology Laboratory”, which was concluded at Geneva (Switzerland) on 10 May 1973 – registered by the Government of Switzerland with the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations of 14 November 1974 (United Nations Treaty Series No. 13668, Vol. 954, I-13668).

Agreement establishing the European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Host Site Agreements

The states in which EMBL is situated have concluded Host Site Agreements with the Laboratory. Those agreements relate to the status, privileges and immunities of EMBL and its staff, which are necessary for the fulfillment of its objectives and for the exercise of its functions.



Legal Services

EMBL Heidelberg
Meyerhofstr. 1
69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Tel: +49 6221 387-8302


With more than 200 staff, in all support areas, ranging from caretakers and gardeners to senior management staff, EMBL Administration provides administrative support to more than 1600 members of personnel from in excess of 75 nations.