Corporate Counsel

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We are looking for a Corporate Counsel to join our Montpellier, France facility to participate in our on-going success as a financially sound, fast-growing, socially responsible company dedicated to Global Health.

Reporting to the CEO the Corporate Counsel will lead corporate strategic and tactical legal initiatives. Experienced in corporate law, you will provide management with effective advice on company strategies and their implementation, manage the legal function, and obtain and oversee the work of outsourced counsels. In addition, in your role as Corporate Counsel, you will be directly involved in complex business transactions and in negotiating critical contracts.

Responsibilities 

Strategic guidance and counsel

  • Participate in the definition and development of corporate policies, procedures and programs
  • Provide legal counsel to management and company teams on legal matters and on the legal implications of all company activities and strategic contracts
  • Participate in strategic discussions and decisions to ensure compliance with legal requirements while obtaining the maximum benefit of regulations and case law
  • Ensure a regular review of laws and regulations in order to interpret, apply and explain legal texts
  • Identify potential legal risks, consulting with internal stakeholders to explore the impacts, and developing and implementing solutions to mitigate those risks
  • Complete legal research and prepare executive summaries
  • Ensure that company management and teams are continuously informed about legal changes and requirements
  • Prepare and deliver training to make teams aware of applicable legal regulations

 Business transactions and contracts

  • Serve as key legal advisor on all major business transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, partnerships and joint ventures
  • Manage directly current license and partner contracts
  •  Actively participate to contract negotiations on new licensing and partners contracts and complex business contract
  • Lead directly contract negotiations on current license and partner contracts and complex business contracts
  • Ensure the legal conformity of all company contracts and agreements
  •  Manage all other business contracts, directly or through a network of outsourced counsels
  • Participate in the negotiation, drafting and/or final review of contracts and agreements, including:
    • Joint ventures
    • Co-development / partnership agreements
    • Contracts granting or protecting intellectual property rights
    • Licensing agreements
    • Collaboration agreements
    • Supplier agreements
    • Material transfer agreements
    • Property acquisition or rental agreements
    • Employment contracts and amendments
    • Ensure GDPR is implemented and respected
  • Advise on legal aspects of the company’s financing, including assessing and advising on current and future business structures and legal entities
  • Ensure appropriate confidentiality agreements are in place

Management of legal function

  • Structure and manage the company’s internal legal function
  • Ensure that processes are put in place to optimize, digitize, manage and track all legal documents, including contracts and confidentiality agreements
  • Oversee the selection, retention, management and evaluation of all outside counsel
  • In collaboration with outside counsel and senior management, make strategic decisions in order to ensure a positive outcome and decrease exposure
  • Judge the merits of litigation filed against or on behalf of the company, work with the appropriate members of management to define a strategic defense, and approve settlements of disputes where warranted
  • Manage and ensure the follow-up of pre-litigious and litigious matters

Corporate governance

  • Advise the CEO, CFO and Chairman of the Board on matters of governance and policy
  • Prepare agendas for Board of Directors meetings and draft resolutions for adoption by the Board
  • Prepare Agenda for the Shareholders Meeting in alignment with the requirements of a public company
  • Ensure preparation of minutes of Board of Directors meetings
  • Ensure compliance with legal requirements for public companies related to shareholders and stock market activities
  • Prepare shareholder meetings and oversee the preparation of resolutions for adoption by shareholders

Enterprise Risk Management

  • Lead the company-wide process to identify, analyze, respond to, and monitor risks and opportunities, within the internal and external environment facing the company
  • Work closely with members of the management team to select a risk response strategy for the specific risks identified and analyzed
  • Ensure the company-wide monitoring of solutions to risks

Requirements

  • Relocation to Montpellier required
  • Degree in business law (minimum Bac+5)
  • Preferred additional training:
    • Degree as corporate counsel (DJCE – diplôme de juriste-conseil d’entreprise)
    • Preparatory certification as an attorney (CAPA – certificat d’aptitude à la profession d’avocat)
  • At least 8 years of legal experience within a biotech and/or pharmaceutical environment with a minimum of 5 years experience as in-house counsel (preferred)
  • Business-oriented and high-level of pragmatism
  • International working experience is highly desirable
  • Significant experience in negotiating, approving and implementing international contracts
  • Experience working on matters of corporate governance and with a board of directors
  • Excels in intellectual property law and commercial implications of contracts
  • Fluency in English and French
  • Knowledge of US contract law is highly desirable

Knowledge, skills and abilities

Technical skills

  • Strong generalist understanding of the legal implications of business operations and corporate governance
  • Strong international deal negotiation skills
  • Excellent understanding of business and commercial strategies
  • Strong understanding of contracts involving intellectual property law
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize information with strong rigour
  • Ability to manage a large variety of legal issues

 Leadership / Project management skills

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills to work effectively with internal and external colleagues
  • Strong listening skills to ensure effective participation of colleagues
  • Ability to accurately estimate time for specific tasks
  • Ability to plan sequential and/or concurrent activities
  • Ability to determine priorities and monitor their achievement
  • Ability to work on several tasks simultaneously
  • Strong focus on meeting deadlines

 Soft skills

  • Creativity to adapt to different partners, context and deal structure (out of the box)
  • Highly collaborative cross-functional approach
  • Results orientation with a focus on timely delivery and sense of urgency
  • Ability to build and maintain long term relationships with key partners of the company
  • Effective functioning in a rapidly evolving environment and adherence to the values, principles and mission of the company
  • High degree of autonomy
  • Strong listening skills
  • Openness and ability to adapt to changing situations
  • Desire to continuously improve and progress
  • Strong work ethic

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