Astellas Pharma Legal & IP Operations, Head of Outside Counsel & Vendor Management. in Northbrook, Illinois

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.

There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.

Astellas is announcing a Legal & IP Operations: Head of Legal Vendor/Project Management and General Administration - Location, Northbrook, IL

Purpose & Scope:

The Head of Legal Vendor/Project Management and General Admin is a critical senior leader who will bring leadership, knowledge and experience necessary to drive peak operational performance. The scope of this position has two aspects. First, this position leads, oversees and manages all operational aspects of outside counsel and vendor relationships and related systems, training on legal policies, departmental communications, project management support and general administrative support for the global legal department. Second, this position will lead, oversee and manage non-legal operational aspects of the Americas Legal group, including budgeting and support for IT projects.

Essential Job Responsibilities

The Head of Legal Vendor/Project Management and General Admin will be responsible for the following under the direction and in close coordination with the Head of Legal and IP Operations and Regional Legal Head Americas. * General:  Providing leadership to the global legal team and deliver best in class support on all operational aspects of outside counsel and vendor relationships and related systems and metrics and scorecards, training on legal policies, departmental communications, project management support and general administrative support for the global legal department.  Providing entrepreneurial and innovative thought leadership to the Americas Legal team to deliver best in class support across the Americas Legal function and to develop and execute departmental initiatives to further enhance client service and delivery, enabling technologies, team development, as well as efficiencies of these functions in a coordinated approach

  • Outside Counsel/Vendor Management

 Oversee eBilling/Matter Management system and related processes and system governance  Lead and manage all Outside Counsel and vendor program components, including law firm and vendor relationship management, evaluation and performance scorecards, alternate fee arrangements (AFA), discount and rate management, engagement letter process, and preferred provider process  Reconcile outside counsel bills with agreed upon rates, discounts and other agreed upon terms  Manage engagement letter process  Lead and oversee preferred provider process working closely with global and regional stakeholders, including Procurement, as well as global Legal Operations

  • Project Management

 Oversee and provide project management support for legal projects and initiatives as requested by Head of Legal and IP Operations or Regional Legal Head Americas

  • General Administration

 Develop and maintain strong and effective working relationships and partnerships with other departments and other operational teams to align Legal resources to needs of clients, eliminating duplicative processes  Develop and implement performance metrics to measure client satisfaction  Oversee, manage and implement training on Legal policies, coordinating with other regions, stakeholders and Ethics & Compliance  Develop and implement administrative policies and procedures, including on-boarding and off-boarding Legal personnel, Legal approval process etc. to assure consistency  Manage departmental communications including developing communication strategies, drafting key communications, maintaining organization charts, email groups and phone lists, maintaining global and regional intranet sites and internal legal department information sharing sites, and providing communications support to Head of Legal & IP Operations and the General Counsel, as requested  Plan and coordinate Legal Leadership meetings, town halls and other global or regional events  Provide training support by coordinating training and CLE initiatives and managing LMS training modules  Manage Legal Department monthly reporting process

  • Americas Legal Team Support:

 Work with the Regional Legal Head Americas and their leadership team (LT) to oversee, develop and manage the Americas Legal department's annual strategic plan and manage and facilitate plan development, communication, reporting and ongoing measurement against objectives  Support Head of Legal Finance and act as primary contact with Americas Legal team to prepare and manage the department's budget, including projections, forecasting, regular and periodic reporting, reserves, accruals  Support Head of Legal and IP systems and provide regional support as needed for all Legal and IP system initiatives. Provide end-user technical and training support, if needed.  Coordinate facilities management

Organizational Context:

  • Reports to Head of Global Legal and IP Operations and is a member of the Americas Regional Legal Leadership team
  • Responsible for overseeing non-legal strategic and operational aspects of running the Americas Legal team as directed by, and in close coordination with the Regional Legal Head Americas. Works closely and collaborates with senior leadership across all functions of the company.



  • 7 or more years of experience in running an operations function for a law firm or legal department of a multi-national company
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • Excellent ability to grasp legal and business issues quickly, strong analytical problem solving and decision making skills, exercise sound judgment and provide practical and constructive advice in a time-sensitive, dynamic and fast paced complex global environment
  • Experience in contract lifecycle management, including process redesign, technology and project management
  • Strong client orientation with a constructive approach to resolution of issues
  • Ability to demonstrate sound and independent judgment, strategic thinking, creative thinking, prudence and maturity in complex and sensitive matters
  • Experience developing and managing outside counsel or vendor programs
  • Results oriented team player with ability to build relationships internally and externally
  • Experience with law department technologies, including but not limited to matter management, e-billing, document management, discovery management and contract management
  • Strong problem solving skills with superior attention to detail to drive practice solutions to align with legal and business needs
  • Strong project management experience/skills
  • Ability to build relationships internally as well as externally. Results oriented team player and able to work in a highly collaborative business environment
  • Excellent communication (written and oral) skills, including strong presentation and executive presence
  • Strong leadership and planning skills
  • Does not confuse effort for results
  • Excellent management skills, including the ability to effectively motivate and manage a team
  • Strong work ethic and ability to manage large workload, multi-task and focus on critical priorities and otherwise effectively meet client needs. Ability to produce high quality work under deadline pressures
  • Excellent organization skills. Detail oriented and self- motivated
  • A strong commitment to integrity and professionalism and a demonstrated passion for excellence


  • MBA and/or JD
  • Experience working with a multi-national pharma company

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Category Legal