Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary

LOCATION: New Jersey
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Princeton Legal Search Group has been retained on an exclusive basis by a publicly traded pharmaceutical company in New Jersey to lead the search for an experienced attorney for the position of Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.

The General Counsel will be responsible for leading strategic and tactical corporate legal initiatives. The General Counsel will provide senior management with effective advice on strategies and their implementation, manage the legal function, and obtain and oversee the work of outside counsel.

Responsibilities for the role of General Counsel are wide ranging and include:

  • Participating in collective decision making by the senior management team. Counseling senior management on matters that present legal and/or business issues.
  • Anticipating and identifying legal issues of concern to senior leadership and developing legal strategies and solutions that mitigate risk and maximize operational opportunities.
  • Ensuring compliance with organizational formalities and corporate governance (e.g., annual shareholder and director meetings). Help prepare or revise, and provide interpretations of, organizational documents.
  • Attending Board meetings and interfacing with Board members.
  • Assisting in preparation/review of 1933 and 1934 Act filings. Advising on Section 16 compliance by supervisors and executive officers. Reviewing Forms 10-K and 10-Q, earnings press releases and analyst call scripts. Preparing proxy statements.
  • Providing legal counsel on Mergers & Acquisition activity and working with outside counsel as appropriate.
  • Counseling on commercial matters including contracts, licenses and intellectual property.
  • Acting as liaison with outside counsel in debt and equity offerings.
  • Fostering the professional development of legal department lawyers and staff through mentoring, training and evaluations.
  • Supervising litigation.

Essential Qualifications:

  • Prior in house pharmaceutical industry experience.
  • Prior in house public company experience
  • 15+ years of broad based experience as a generalist with significant training and experience as a corporate lawyer with exposure to complex commercial transactions, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Solid experience negotiating and drafting in the foregoing areas. Deep knowledge and experience of securities law matters arising under the 1933 and 1934 Acts. Significant experience working with a public company Board. Experience counseling on corporate governance, intellectual property matters, labor and employment, and litigation matters.
  • Leadership and Collaboration skills: The General Counsel is considered a respected leader by company peers and executive leadership. Must be analytical and bright, and able to make informed decisions based on past experience and sound instincts. The successful person will be a key player on the leadership team and will possess a leadership style that is both confident and direct, and grounded with sound reasoning and judgment.
  • Proven experience planning and managing at strategic and operational levels.
  • Strong business and financial acumen along with superior analytical and writing skills.
  • Must have well-developed problem-solving skills, a high level of legal expertise, and leadership skills to independently resolve complex and/or ambiguous situations.
  • Experience managing direct reports in a legal department.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to clearly and succinctly explain legal concepts in a non-technical manner to non-lawyers.
  • Ability to “roll up your sleeves” and handle a wide variety of duties that includes interfacing with all levels of employees.
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