Around the house

By James Barnes

10 October 2012 at 10:10 BST

Weight Watchers show no signs of slimming down their legal department, while pharmaceuticals giant Novartis shakes up its own in-house team.

Weight Watchers: expanding relationships, not waistlines

US-based dieting service Weight Watchers may need to go up a few sizes after launching a tender process for a UK and Europe operation as it prepares to expand its relationships with state and commercial organisations in the sector.
The Lawyer newspaper reports that the company has sent requests for applications to a number of UK firms. The review is set to be concluded by the end of the year.
The announcement comes as the group revealed more plans to beef up its operations in response to the increased prevalence of data linking obesity to diseases such as diabetes.

Rejigged team

Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals giant Novartis has rejigged its global in-house team following the appointment of general counsel Felix Ehrat at the end of last year.
Mr Ehrat has been carrying out a review, which has already led to a number of changes, reports Legal Week.
Former European legal head Greg Tole was promoted to divisional gc last month, while Christina Ackermann has taken over as gc of Alcon - which was acquired by Novartis last year for around $50bn.

New York biotechnology company Acorda Therapeutics has bumped up general counsel Jane Wasman to the position of president, international.
The promotion of Ms Wasman, whose prior role included chief of strategic development as well as general counsel, is part of Acorda’s plan to explore in-licensing and commercial opportunities outside the United States, reports the Nasdaq web site.


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