Legal Counsel

MorningstarChicago, IllinoisFull TimeOn Site

The Group:

The Legal and Compliance team consists of lawyers, compliance specialists and other professionals across the globe who bring to the team various kinds of expertise. On the legal side, we have commercial, regulatory, M&A, SEC compliance, corporate governance, privacy and employment expertise in-house as well as broad-based international legal experience to support the company’s 12,000+ employees working in wholly owned subsidiaries in 32 countries. The Compliance team has expertise in overseeing the compliance processes and practices of regulated credit ratings, investment management, investment research and benchmark administration businesses. The Legal Department coordinates and oversees Morningstar’s use of external counsel around the world.

The Role:

The Legal Counsel, Commercial, Americas role will report to a Senior Legal Counsel in the team. This role will assist in providing commercial contracting coverage to the various businesses, including the licensing and subscription of data (including indexes, research, ESG and investment data) and support of contracting in the regulated businesses within the Wealth division which provides investment products and services. The coverage will extend to other commercial support required by the businesses, including partnerships and procurement. This role will work closely with the Sales organizations and Sales operations teams. This role requires significant experience with contracting in commercial contracting, exceptional analytical and negotiation skills, and the ability to provide practical advice to mitigate risk and grow the businesses.

Job responsibilities:

  • Draft, review, and negotiate various commercial agreements, including purchase agreements, licensing agreements, distribution agreements, partnership agreements and service contracts.
  • Assist with establishing standardized processes including use of templates, playbooks, standard negotiating positions and thresholds.
  • Ability to work with Sales operations teams to fit the legal advisory and contracting process into the broader sales lifecycle.
  • Constant process improvement to allow for scale as the business grows.
  • Identify legal risks and provide practical recommendations to mitigate potential issues.
  • Familiarize with various business units’ products, and risks and value related to each.
  • Serve as a proactive, solutions-oriented business partner to internal clients, building strong, productive two- way partnerships with colleagues and key stakeholders.


  • 3+ years of experience as a qualified lawyer in the US.
  • 1+ years of experience practicing as a commercial lawyer, preferably in a reputable law firm or in-house legal department.
  • Knowledge of contracting and licensing market conventions in data and software licensing.
  • Strong negotiation and drafting skills with the ability to review and negotiate complex commercial agreements.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities, with attention to detail.
  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to present complex legal concepts in a clear and concise manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong business acumen and the ability to provide practical and commercially viable legal advice.
  • Proven track record of managing multiple priorities and meeting deadlines.

Morningstar’s hybrid work environment gives you the opportunity to work remotely and collaborate in-person each week. We’ve found that we’re at our best when we’re purposely together on a regular basis, at least three days each week. A range of other benefits are also available to enhance flexibility as needs change. No matter where you are, you’ll have tools and resources to engage meaningfully with your global colleagues.

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