Vice President - Litigation

  • Genentech
  • Apr 05, 2022
Full time Legal

Job Description

Job ID: ​​202201-104490

Position Scope and Key Responsibilities:

Who we are:

Doing now what patients need next…

Every day, our teams work to solve some of the hardest biomedical problems in the history of mankind, always with the goal of putting patients first.

Considered the founder of the biotech industry, Genentech, now a member of the Roche Group, has been delivering on the promise of biotechnology for over 45 years. We are a leading biotech company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. Genentech has multiple products on the market and a promising development pipeline with 45 medicines on the market and 58 molecules in its pipeline.

In 2009, Genentech became a member of the Roche Group. As part of the merger, Roche and Genentech combined their pharmaceutical operations in the United States. Genentech’s South San Francisco campus now serves as the headquarters for Roche pharmaceutical operations in the United States. 

In 2021, Fortune magazine named Genentech one of its “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the 23rd consecutive year. Also in 2021, Forbes named Genentech as one of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity”, of which Genentech has been honored on the list since its inception in 2018. Specific to Genentech's Legal Department, the national Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) recognized the Genentech Legal Department as the 2020 “Employer of Choice”; this award annually honors a corporate legal department who has made meaningful commitments to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.  

Overview of the position:

We are seeking an exceptionally qualified attorney and leader for the role of Vice President of Litigation within the Genentech Legal Department in South San Francisco.  This role reports to the company’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, and will be a member of the Legal Department’s Leadership Team.

The Vice President of Litigation will lead our in-house Litigation practice group, comprised of litigation attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff, and will oversee the group’s work which encompasses a large number, variety, and complexity of consequential business and regulatory matters.  These matters include patent litigations, commercial contract disputes, product liability cases, as well as state and federal government regulatory actions.  Typically, the company will be represented by outside counsel in these matters, and the role of the attorneys in the Litigation group is to assign and manage the work of the outside counsel, including communicating and implementing appropriate tactics and strategies to achieve desired outcomes.

Working together with the General Counsel, the Vice President of Litigation will be responsible for the following:

  • Successfully resolving, either through adjudication or settlement or other disposition, the Company’s major litigations, arbitration disputes, and other adversarial legal matters; 
  • Advising senior executives and the leaders of affected business units on the risks, benefits, and likelihood of successful outcomes associated with such matters; and
  • Recommending and influencing significant decisions about such matters.

To be successful in this role, you must have a confident ability to assess potential risks and benefits associated with litigations and other disputes, and, based on that, be able to clearly and concisely communicate well-reasoned recommendations to senior executives and other clients, including, when you believe it to be in the best interests of the Company, recommending proceeding with a case to final adjudication rather than settling.

Additional responsibilities will include:

  • Providing legal counsel and recommendations to management regarding potential liability issues with current or future products and business activities; 
  • Managing external litigation counsel relationships, including compliance with internal guidelines for fee arrangements, budgets, and billing; 
  • Working with our corporate records and litigation support teams to maintain state-of-the-art discovery management processes and tools;  
  • Advising our finance group on financial issues relating to litigations and other disputes, as well as responding to auditors’ requests for information;  and
  • Negotiating license agreements and settlements.

Who you are:

Ideal Experience and Education:

  • 15+ years of complex litigation management expertise in a corporate setting or law firm
  • JD degree required
  • An undergraduate or graduate degree in biological sciences, chemistry, or the like is preferred but not required
  • Admission to a state bar or the District of Columbia bar
  • A track record of success and good judgment, strategic problem-solving abilities, people management and mentoring skills; experience managing a team of in-house attorneys is preferred
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

Critical Competencies:

Strategic and Adaptive Expert: In a high stakes and dynamic environment, you will inspire confidence by:

  • Anticipating changes in the law, business, and external environment, and developing innovative strategies to address and avoid potential disputes
  • Advising Genentech clients with timely, high-quality legal counsel and work product
  • Assessing the potential impacts that different courses of action will have on current or future strategies

Influential Communicator and Relationship Builder: Within a global, complex and matrixed company, you will achieve results by:

  • Building relationships to ensure legal and business objectives have every opportunity of being met; engaging and influencing business leaders without direct ownership
  • Simplifying the complex and adapting to audiences with varying levels of legal fluency
  • Interacting with legal and business leadership, with the presumption that views will be well-formed, pragmatic and communicated in a very professional manner
  • Collaborating with leaders of other Roche legal functions on matters involving shared responsibility
  • Demonstrating excellent judgment, negotiation and communication (verbal and written) skills

Courageous and Effective People Leader: In a competitive external market and supportive internal environment, you will continue to attract, develop and retain top legal talent by:

  • Modeling inclusive excellence and leading by example with both vision and humility
  • Encouraging smart risk taking, questioning the status quo, and cultivating a diverse and inclusive culture that attracts and retains the best and brightest
  • Challenging, coaching, motivating and mentoring a high performing team of attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff to grow in their careers