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Astellas Pharma Vice President, Intellectual Property Litigation in Northbrook, Illinois

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

This position is based in Northbrook, Illinois. Remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas' Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose and Scope:

The Head of IPL is a critical senior leader and experienced patent attorney who serves as a collaborative strategic business partner who leads, manages and oversees a global legal team ("IPL Team") to provide practical, timely, high-quality legal services for all aspects of IP litigation for the Company. The Head of IPL will aggressively, proactively and strategically enforce and defend the Company's IP rights globally. The ultimate responsibility of this position is to facilitate the Company's business objectives by providing timely and effective IP litigation support while minimizing potential legal exposure and IP-related business risk.

The Head of IPL ensures that the Company's IP litigation approach and implementation are strategically and proactively aligned with the Company's strategic plan, goals and initiatives and globally consistent. The Head of IPL will closely coordinate and collaborate with Head of IP Legal Development & Commercial ("IPDC"), Head of IP Innovation & New Technologies ("IP-INV"), and Legal Head of Litigation, Investigations and Strategic Learning on all IP Litigation matters relevant to their respective area of responsibility.

This position will provide guidance to Top Management and other senior leaders at global, regional and local levels and will report to the Board of Directors of Astellas Pharma Inc. as may be requested.

This is a highly strategic position and is accountable for supporting the supporting the achievement of the Company's Corporate Strategic Plan ( "CSP" ) objectives, proactively identifying and mitigating risks to the Company's ability to achieve its objectives under the CSP and balancing global business opportunities with associated legal and compliance risks in a complex and fast-evolving regulatory environment.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Leading, managing, overseeing, and developing/implementing global strategies for all IPL and disputes globally, including identifying areas of risk and advising the General Counsel and senior management on risks and opportunities for risk mitigation and management.

  • Working in partnership with outside counsel and cross-functional/cross-regional stakeholders to develop and drive case strategies as an effective and cohesive team, ensuring consistency across jurisdictions.

  • Working within IPDC and IPINV as well as with Commercial leaders and other business stakeholders globally to anticipate potential IP disputes and develop strategies to avoid and mitigate risks.

  • Leading and making strategic decisions regarding legal arguments and positions taken in IPL globally.

  • Partnering effectively with the Company's alliance and other business partners where appropriate in managing and overseeing global IPL.

  • Partnering effectively with attorneys from other IP teams to assess potential litigation risks in due diligence where relevant.

  • Advising senior management with respect to patent portfolios for competitor products.

  • Coordinating and working closely with the Legal Head of Litigation, Investigations and Strategic Learning and other appropriate Head and/or Lead attorneys in the Legal Division and their respective teams on relevant matters.

  • Coordinating and working closely with the Corporate Communications function on all matters related to those matters covered by the IPL Team.

  • Leading, overseeing and providing updates to senior management and business clients on those matters supported by the IPL Team, including changes in legal developments affecting the pharmaceutical industry, coordinating with other leaders in the Legal Division as appropriate.

  • Leading, managing and developing a global team of highly skilled and specialized lawyers and other professionals in multiple jurisdictions to assure timely, proactive, strategic and high-quality legal advice and best-in-class legal service.

  • Retaining, supervising and directing outside counsel effectively and efficiently managing legal expenses and all other expenses consistent with global budget for the legal support provided by the IPL Team, collaborating and coordinating closely with Legal & IP Operations.

  • Leading a legal culture of excellence for the IPL Team, which includes driving and fostering: (1) an agile, adaptive culture; (2) a value-based organization based on Legal' s Mission and objectives; (3) a culture of innovation, transparency and trust; (4) proactive identification/mitigation of risk in a balanced approach; (5) empowerment and engagement of the team members; (6) a collaborative culture with close coordination with other members of Legal and IP as appropriate to leverage synergies and efficiencies; (7) a culture of compliance and good corporate governance; and (8) a continuous expectation of high performance, where "ok" is not good enough.

  • Overnight travel, including international travel, as needed.

Organizational Context:

  • The Head of IP Litigation ("IPL") reports to the EVP, General Counsel

  • Member of Legal Management Committee ( "LMC" ) and Extended Legal Management Committee ( "E‑LMC" ) chaired by General Counsel.

  • Works closely and collaborates with senior leadership and top management at both divisional and global levels.

  • Works closely and coordinates with other teams reporting into the General Counsel.



  • Law Degree and admission to practice before the USPTO and a state Bar or equivalent training and/or license in another jurisdiction.

  • B.S. degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or related field.

  • At least 15 years' experience working in a law firm or corporate patent department on IP litigation matters, including experience in IP counseling, IP analyses (freedom-to-operate, infringement, validity), litigation, and litigation management.

  • Ability to provide strong, effective leadership to a global IP litigation function and team in a complex multi-jurisdictional environment for a multinational pharmaceutical company. Strong experience and knowledge of best practices relating to IP matters and science in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Excellent ability to grasp IP issues quickly, strong analytical problem solving and decision-making skills, exercise sound judgment and provide practical and constructive IP advice in a time-sensitive, dynamic, and fast-paced complex global environment.

  • Excellent management and leadership skills, including the ability to effectively motivate and manage a global team.

  • Excellent negotiation and communication skills (both oral and written). Ability to communicate legal issues in a clear and understandable manner. Inspires trust and confidence through effective communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Very 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.

  • Very strong team player and able to build relationships both internally and externally.

  • Very strong organization and teamwork skills. Detail-oriented, self-motivated and able to motivate others.

  • Very strong commitment to integrity and professionalism and demonstrated passion for excellence.


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans.


Category Legal

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans