Astellas Pharma Regional Head of Legal Operations 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 Regional Head of Legal Operations - Location, Northbrook, IL

Organization Fit

  • Reports to Global Head of Legal Operations and is a member of the Americas RGC's leadership team
  • Responsible for overseeing non-legal strategic and operational aspects of running the Americas regional Legal function as directed by, and in close coordination with the global Legal Operations group. Because of the need for this direction and close coordination, this position shall report on a dotted line to the global head of Legal Operations.
  • Works closely and collaborates with senior leadership across all functions of the company

Purpose of Position

The Americas Regional Head of Legal Operations is a critical senior leader who will bring leadership, knowledge and experience necessary to drive peak operational performance. This position will lead, oversee and manage all non-legal operational aspects of the Americas Legal group, including financial management and budgeting, information technology support coordination, contract management, outside counsel/vendor management, training on legal policies, departmental communications, project management support and general administrative support.

Essential Job Responsibilities

The Americas Head of Legal Operations will be responsible for the following under the direction and in close coordination with the Americas RGC and head of global Legal Operations:

  • General:

  • Providing entrepreneurial and innovative thought leadership to the Americas RGC 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

  • Head of Legal Operations for Americas will report to Americas RGC and with dotted line to Global Legal Operations

  • Business Planning, Budget, Financial Controls:

  • Work with the Americas RGC Leadership Team (LT) to oversee, develop and manage the Legal department's annual strategic plan and manage and facilitate plan development, communication, reporting and ongoing measurement against objectives

  • Act as primary contact with Finance to prepare and manage the department's budget, including projections, forecasting, regular and periodic reporting, reserves, accruals and any other reporting or projects that may be requested by the Americas RGC or the head of global Legal Operations
  • Manage and oversee all outside counsel billing within the Americas RGC Group, including paying outside counsel, including maintaining a billing database and ensuring consistent quality of the billing process ranging from invoice review, payment and tracking as well as communicating with Americas RGC LT, head of global Legal Operations and Finance

  • Law Firm Management:

  • Participate in relationship management

  • Develop and maintain evaluation criteria and performance scorecards
  • Manage and maintain alternate fee arrangements (AFA)
  • Reconcile outside counsel bills with agreed upon rates, discounts and other agreed upon terms
  • Manage engagement letter process
  • Lead and oversee preferred provider process for Americas region working closely with global and regional stakeholders, including Procurement, as well as global Legal Operations

  • Information Technology:

  • Legal liaison with IT, coordinating closely with IT. Will represent Americas legal function with IT and manage IT spend for Legal projects.

  • Assist with legal hold orders (issuing, maintaining and lifting) as well as e-discovery related matters as may be requested by attorneys and other appropriate Legal personnel
  • Ensure Americas legal team is supported with technology to allow the most efficient and effective legal services and overall client satisfaction. Monitor efficient/effective use of technology, including identifying and evaluating emerging technology and make recommendations regarding tools and systems reflecting best practices/latest standards
  • Provide end user technical and training support
  • Deliver reports/metrics from applications
  • Manage relationship with technology vendors (e.g. Ariba) to update and maintain systems and tools working closely with regional and business stakeholders (e.g. Contracts & Outsourcing (C&O))
  • Oversee legal technology operations (including e-billing, matter management)

  • Client Service & Delivery:

  • 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

  • Project Management:

  • Oversee and provide project management support for legal projects and initiatives, such as -developing scorecard and metrics, and coordinating with Ethics & Compliance as needed

  • Make recommendations to Americas RGC regarding resource allocation for projects
  • Other projects that may be requested by Americas RGC or head of global Legal Operations

  • General Administration:

  • Develop and implement administrative policies and procedures, including on-boarding and off-boarding Legal personnel, Legal approval process etc. to assure consistency

  • Manage and oversee engaging, on boarding and off boarding temporary and contract staff for Legal teams and providing such additional support as may be requested
  • Partner with HR
  • Coordinate CLE/training initiatives
  • Plan and coordinate Legal meetings, Americas regional town halls and other regional events
  • Maintain Org Chart, phone lists and email groups for Americas legal team Coordinate Americas Legal communications
  • Coordinate facilities management
  • Monthly Reports
  • Other projects as may be requested by Americas RGC or head of global Legal Operations

Knowledge, Experience, and Abilities Required

Required qualifications include:

  • 7 or more years of experience in running an operations function for a law firm or legal department of a multi-national company
  • 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 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

Knowledge, Experience, and Abilities Preferred:

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


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Category Legal