General Counsel & Corporate Secretary


Bar Harbor, ME

Industry: Biotech/Pharma


15+ years

Posted 343 days ago

Job Description

The General Counsel is responsible for directing and managing all of The Jackson Laboratory’s legal affairs, including managing the legal department.

The General Counsel reports to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and works closely with the CEO, the President of JAX Mice, Clinical and Research Services, other members of the senior management team (SMT), the board of trustees, and business unit leaders to coordinate and provide legal advice on a wide range of strategic and tactical issues.

The incumbent will be the resident expert on the Laboratory’s not- for-profit status, including the use of tax-exempt bond-funded facilities, and will ensure that the Laboratory’s programs are consistent with its charitable mission.

The General Counsel will also work closely to facilitate commercial transactions, licensing, spin-offs, sponsored research agreements and other strategies to commercialize the Laboratory’s intellectual property.

The incumbent should be familiar with issues involving corporate governance, employment law, and regulatory compliance. The General Counsel will also serve as the Corporate Secretary.

The General Counsel oversees a small, internal legal team (patent counsel, contracts counsel, associate general counsel, and paralegal) and coordinates the use of external legal support to ensure high quality and consistent representation on a wide variety of matters critical to the Laboratory’s interests.

S/he works with the CEO, COO, and Board of Trustees to ensure that the Laboratory’s corporate governance complies with relevant law and regulations. The General Counsel directs and oversees patent protection of innovative discoveries and supports, as necessary, both in- and out-licensing opportunities.

Key Responsibilities:    

  • Assesses and advises management regarding legal risk and rewards and provides strategic and tactical advice to support the Laboratory’s initiatives while minimizing risk.
  • Provides legal oversight to support management in maintaining the Laboratory's tax- exempt status, including bond compliance.
  • Coordinates and oversees the use of external legal support to ensure high-quality and consistent representation on matters critical to the Laboratory’s interests, including protection and defense of the Laboratory against adverse legal actions.
  • Enforces claims the Laboratory may have against third parties.
  • Prepares and/or manages with outside counsel the development of legal opinions and documents.
  • Oversees corporate governance and provides leadership in the development and
  • implementation of Laboratory policies and procedures.
  • Drafts, reviews and negotiates a wide variety of agreements including confidentiality, material transfer, license, and other IP-related matters with domestic and international parties.
  • Provides legal support for product licensing and the provision of Laboratory services to the biomedical community, including matters related to the Laboratory’s research into human genomics and translational medicine, and the implications of operating in the pre- clinical and clinical space.
  • Advises on legal aspects of financing activities and corporate structure considerations,
  • including current and future business structures and legal entities.
  • Oversees development of standardized contracts, royalty, and other agreements.
  • Maintains corporate records of the Laboratory. 


  • JD is required.
  • Minimum of 15years of legal experience.
  • Combination of not-for-profit and for-profit legal experience strongly preferred.
  • Licensed to practice law in the state of Maine or other US jurisdiction in good standing.
  • Legal experience preferably in a relevant academic, research or nonprofit institution, as either a General Counsel or working in the office of a General Counsel, or other legal positions that would involve similar experience.
  • Broad legal experience in a variety of legal subjects, including nonprofit taxlaw, corporate governance, use of tax-exempt bond-financed space, intellectual property law, human resources, commercial contracts, IT, and e-commerce.
  • Familiarity with database-enabled contract control and all aspects of electronic document processing.
  • Experience with research and research services agreements, including those relating to clinical research and the use of human subject materials in research.
  • Familiarity with the biosciences--ideally mammalian genetics.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills including the ability to present material, written and oral, in a concise, effective, and professional manner to a variety of groups and individuals.

  • Possesses excellent judgment and common sense and operates with discretion, responsiveness, and integrity, with the ability to function in a discreet, diplomatic, and confidential manner.
  • Recognizes the role of General Counsel in advising senior management and functions well as both counselor and team player.