Director & Counsel

Job Description


American Express Company (NYSE: AXP), a Fortune 100 company, is a global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850 and headquartered in New York. We provide customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. With a global workforce of more than 50,000 people, American Express is recognized the world over as a great place to work, including ranking 9th in each of “50 Best Workplaces for Parents” and “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune 2020, as well as featuring in the “100 Best Companies” by Working Mother 2019, “Best Places to Work UK” by GlassDoor 2018, “Top 10 Employer Award” by Working Families 2017, and “Best for Work Life Balance UK” by GlassDoor 2017.  For additional information, visit

The Role:

This role is a new full-time position of lead lawyer for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) issues relevant to American Express’ EMEA operations, with particular focus on the UK and EU. 

We are looking for an experienced practitioner, who will ideally already be a seasoned adviser in this area of law or otherwise be specialised in financial services regulation and have the aptitude to come up to speed quickly.   

We are ideally looking for someone who is qualified in an EU jurisdiction and able to speak the relevant language, with a preference for Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, or Germany.  We would also consider a UK qualified candidate with considerable EU experience of AML and CTF issues.  You may be in the UK or one of these countries and you may be office-based or a virtual worker (or a combination).   If required, you will need to be able to attend an American Express office within the country where you are employed.   Some occasional business travel could be necessary. 

Primary Responsibilities:  

  • The role involves leading the legal advice on AML and CTF issues, including financial sanctions and anti-corruption legislation, applicable to all lines of business within American Express in the EMEA region. Key business areas relevant to this role include card issuing, merchant acquiring, 3-party card schemes and outsourcing.
  • You will need to work closely with other GCO lawyers, business personnel, Compliance, Operational Risk, Government Affairs, external bodies and regulators.
  • The role will involve interpreting new and existing regulation and guidance, applying the requirements to new products or market entries, working with other stakeholders to determine compliance strategies and internal policies, helping to manage responses to potential breaches, responding to consultations and supporting lobbying efforts, advising on interactions with regulators including the successful management of regulatory exams or requests, and regulatory horizon scanning.  
  • Matters may frequently be multi-jurisdictional and sometimes multi-regional in nature, requiring a strong grasp of the principles underpinning the legal framework and commercial pragmatism to find a compliant yet business-friendly solution.  
  • You will need to be confident speaking up in meetings and giving briefings to senior stakeholders and able to communicate clearly in writing. 
  • You will need to be comfortable navigating the organisation to understand and advise on our processes.  This could involve working closely with our Compliance and Operational Excellence teams to critically assess and identify potential areas for enhancement of our AML program.
  • You’ll need to demonstrate sound judgment and a good understanding of the regulators’ likely perspectives, notably where the law may be grey and interpretations unclear.
  • From time to time you will also need to instruct outside counsel (i.e. external law firms) and manage associated budgets. 
  • You will report directly to the lead financial services regulatory lawyer leading the International AML Centre of Excellence (CofE), whilst working closely with the individual country lawyers and regional head.   
  • You will take a lead role in helping to develop the International AML CofE at American Express, formed of lawyers and Compliance specialists throughout the organisation committed to internal sharing of knowledge and expertise on AML and CTF.   This may involve giving internal training or helping to define and share best practices in this area of law.

Offer of employment with American Express is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background verification check, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

Minimum Qualifications

Desired Experience and Attributes:

  • Preference for someone qualified to practice law in an EU jurisdiction (preferably Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, or Germany) and able to speak the relevant language.  We would also consider a UK qualified candidate with considerable EU experience of AML and CTF issues.
  • Significant experience in a law firm and/or in-house corporate legal environment, ideally with a considerable body of relevant AML experience.
  • Experience advising on AML, CTF and financial crime regulation.  Familiarity with payments regulation landscape would be an advantage. 
  • Fluent in English. 
  • Intellectually strong with sound judgment.
  • Solid communication and influencing skills, comfortable speaking up.
  • Able to work fairly autonomously and collaborate effectively.


Why American Express?


There’s a difference between having a job and making a difference.


Amex have been making a difference in people’s lives for over 160 years, backing them in moments big and small, granting access, tools, and resources to take on their biggest challenges and reap the greatest rewards.


We’ve also made a difference in the lives of our people, providing a culture of learning and collaboration, and helping them with what they need to succeed and thrive. We have their backs as they grow their skills, conquer new challenges, or even take time to spend with their family or community. And when they’re ready to take on a new career path, we’re right there with them, giving them the guidance and momentum into the best future they envision.


Because we believe that the best way to back our customers is to back our people.


The powerful backing of American Express.

Don’t make a difference without it.

Don’t live life without it.


Talk to our people and you’ll find out what we’re really all about. Open, creative, risk-taking, collaborative and innovative are just some of the expressions you’ll hear. It’s our culture that makes American Express an outstanding place to work, and a big part of why we regularly win best workplace awards all over the world. If you’re ready to take on a challenge and make an impact, you owe it to yourself to launch or grow your career here.


Proud to be recognized by Great Place to Work España - Ranked 2nd of overall Best Companies.


To complete your application please click on the links below. However, if you require any assistance with the completion of this process – or need any reasonable adjustments to be made – then please contact the Recruitment Team on


ReqID: 21003006
Schedule (Full-Time/Part-Time): Full-time
Date Posted: Mar 10, 2021, 4:51:28 AM