Senior Commercial Counsel

Abbott Laboratories
October 3, 2020
Santa Clara, CA
Job Type


Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 103,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

Over the past few years, Abbott has undertaken a dynamic transformation spanning its innovative products to its technology infrastructure.  With leading devices like FreeStyle Libre, Xience Sierra and CardioMEMS, among others, Abbott and the patients we serve live in an increasingly advanced world.  Moreover, Abbott’s strategic acquisitions in 2017 of St. Jude Medical and Alere have amplified the breadth and complexity of its commercial business.

Abbott Legal:

Who We Are: We are legal experts who support and help advance the interests of Abbott’s global businesses. As a part of the Abbott Legal Division, we have an opportunity to work for a life-changing medical technology company. We provide thorough and reasoned advice, and engage as business leaders to solve problems for the company as well as the customers and patients we serve.

What We Offer: With Abbott’s proud heritage of developing and delivering life-changing technology and products, and commitment to doing business the right way, a position in Abbott Legal provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful and challenging work on a global scale. As our company grows and evolves, so can our roles and experiences.

How We Work: We expect and encourage our employees to be holistic thinkers and to collaborate so we can get to the best solutions. We value diversity of backgrounds, people and experiences. We expect our team members to consider both internal and external factors and impact when providing advice and making decisions. We strive to find creative ways to address business challenges, and are committed to leading and shaping the environment in which Abbott operates. We want you to be invested and involved in making strong decisions for the corporation.

Primary Job Scope:

Abbott is currently seeking an experienced senior commercial attorney to provide legal advice to Abbott’s Structural Heart business. The attorney will be expected to identify and resolve complex legal issues to support the operations of a global leader in the research, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of Structural Heart business. The attorney will be expected to draft and help negotiate complex agreements involving software solutions, the development and manufacture of integrated medical device products, and the use, display and transfer of data. The attorney will be responsible for acting as a day-to-day legal advisor for the business management team and for developing creative solutions to complex legal problems in different jurisdictions around the globe. The Senior Counsel will coach and direct assigned staff (junior attorneys, administrative assistants, paralegals) in their responsibilities as appropriate and necessary to accomplish tasks.

Core Responsibilities:

The successful candidate must possess strong knowledge of corporate and commercial/transactional law and demonstrated expertise in drafting and negotiating complex commercial agreements and advising and counseling clients on a range of business transactions and operational matters. Experience with software development agreements and data sharing, display and transfer, and global privacy regulations in a commercial agreement context is strongly preferred. 

  • Drafting, negotiating and reviewing a wide range of agreements, including complex matters relating to procurement, sales, licensing, marketing, co-promotion, manufacturing, software and device development and research collaborations;
  • Advising and ensuring that internal clients receive sound, practical and timely legal advice on a wide variety of legal matters related to operation of a commercial business that markets to [health care professionals, retailers and consumers;
  • Resolving legal issues using negotiation skills, judgement, creativity and legal expertise, including pre-litigation dispute resolution and settlements;
  • Assisting in the creation of new template agreements, playbooks and training to support efficient contracting processes;
  • Developing knowledge of Abbott’s businesses, products and client areas supported;
  • Reviewing marketing programs and commercial initiatives to provide counseling and ensure compliance with applicable laws, including those relevant to sales and marketing of products to health care professionals and reimbursement by government programs (e.g. fraud and abuse (Anti-Kickback Statute, False Claims Act), FDA regulation (Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act), and anti-corruption (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act));
  • Representing Abbott externally to suppliers and customers as necessary; and
  • Helping select and/or directing the work of outside counsel, defining project objectives, managing project, and monitoring outside counsel operations within budget.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Good Judgment:  Demonstrate expertise and sound judgment, understand how assigned responsibilities support Abbott’s business objectives, and be able to provide practical, risk-balanced advice based upon a thorough understanding of the scope of an issue, taking full advantage of internal networks and external intelligence.
  • Collaboration:  Firm understanding of available legal, functional, and business resources and ability to integrate information from a number of sources to achieve business results, including breaking down boundaries to create alignment as necessary, in a complex, global, matrixed environment. Able to work as part of a team and being good at leading and supporting others who are leading depending on the situation.
  • Anticipation:  Holistic, big picture thinker, who anticipates changes in law, enforcement, and/or business objectives and adapts approach as necessary to manage risks effectively and mitigate issues before they arise. Creative thought process, and able to use a start up mindset in a larger corporate environment.
  • Influencing Skills:  Build strong relationships with business partners to tactfully influence and gain their support to drive desired outcomes. Be invested in the business you support. Represent Abbott externally to customers, suppliers, competitors, trade associations or government agencies; and resolve legal issues using negotiation skills and legal expertise/engage in external influencing efforts.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school, demonstrate a strong academic background, be admitted to a US state bar in good standing, have or be able to obtain appropriate licensure to practice law.
  • 10+ years of legal experience in a law firm or corporate legal environment
  • Strong commercial contracting, negotiation and counseling background.
  • Demonstrated understanding and work experience with software development and data use agreements.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and work experience with global privacy laws in a commercial contracting setting.
  • Experience successfully representing and managing the legal affairs of a business having international operations.
  • Must be able to move easily between a hands-on, operations-focused view and a strategic outlook.
  • Knowledge and/or experience with building diverse legal environments.
  • Interested in continuing to build a diverse legal organization

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of legal experience in a medical device or life sciences manufacturing company
  • Demonstrated understanding of the laws, regulations, standards, and guidance governing the conduct of a global medical device company.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and work experience with US Fraud & Abuse laws.
  • Ability to work in a highly matrixed and geographically diverse business model including flexibility to work with different timezones where appropriate.
  • Ability to build collaborative relationships with leaders and co-workers at all levels.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally when safe and appropriate (approximately 10%).
  • Admission to the California bar.
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