22 August 2018 at 10:13 BST

Around the house

As President Donald Trump and lawyers dominate the headlines, Novartis does its own shuffle between general counsel and ethics.

Michael Cohen case inspires Novartis gc shuffle Shutterstock

Pharma giant Novartis is aiming to draw a line under a scandal involving payments to Donald Trump’s former lawyer with a new ethics chief, Siemens’ former compliance head Klaus Moosmayer. Based in Basel, Mr Moosmayer will take over as head of ethics, risk and compliance at Novartis in December this year, reporting directly to the CEO, and replacing Shannon Thyme Klinger, who was promoted to general counsel. The new appointment comes just a few months after the revelation that the company paid $100.000 a month for a year to Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, in return for insights into the president’s health policy plans. Felix Ehrat, then general counsel at Novartis, claimed that the contract with Cohen’s consulting business was ‘legally in order,’ but ’it was an error.’ As a co-signatory along with the former CEO, Joe Jimenez, he took personal responsibility for the scandal and stepped down.

Peter Rosenthal has gone downtown as general counsel. Downtown Music Publishing has appointed Mr Rosenthal to oversee worldwide legal and business affairs for Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, and Downtown Music Studios. This remit will include publishing, administration, license agreements and other transactional matters, acquisitions, global policy, enforcement, and corporate matters. He will be based in New York, reporting to Downtown's chief operating officer, Andrew Bergman, who said appointing Mr Rosenthal as general counsel ‘was one of the easiest decisions we've ever had to make.’ Prior to Downtown, he was a partner in the New York office of the law firm Ritholz Levy Fields.

Maxim Group, a full service investment banking, securities and wealth management firm, has promoted James Siegel to General Counsel. Mr Siegel joined Maxim Group in 2003 and has served as Co-General Counsel since 2008. He will now assume the role of sole General Counsel. He has been a licensed attorney for over twenty years, and has worked in the securities industry for more than fifteen years, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.

Systems company MTS has also looked within, promoting Todd Klemmensen the post of senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Mr Klemmensen was previously associate general counsel and acting general counsel for the company, and took up his new role on August 5. He was senior manager for contracts at Alliant Techsystems, and provided legal counsel within its Armament Systems Group, before joining MTS Systems as director of contracts and senior counsel in 2012.

Silicon Valley cybersecurity company CrowdStrike has Paul Shinn as its new general counsel. The appointment as chief legal officer comes as the privately held company tries to decide whether to go public. Mr Shinn brings to CrowdStrike more than 20 years of experience as a corporate counsel advising high-growth technology companies. Prior to joining CrowdStrike, Shinn was the chief legal officer and senior vice president of Corporate Development for Gigamon Inc.

A Clifford Chance partner has jumped the fence in-house to a blockchain company. Corporate finance partner Alex Erasmus will move to Hong Kong to take up the new post as chief legal officer at Hong Kong-based blockchain developer Block.one. Mr Erasmus, who joined Clifford Chance in 2001 and has been a partner at the London-based legal giant since 2007. He will oversee all legal, regulatory and compliance activities for Block.one, which sells the cryptocurrency EOS token in addition to developing the EOSIO software.

Former Meetup general counsel David Pashman has joined JW Player, a global video platform company which boasts a global user footprint of over two billion unique devices, The company has hired Mr Pashman as its new general counsel. In this role, he will oversee the global legal function, including support for JW Player’s rapidly expanding sales and partnership divisions, as well as work closely with the company’s product and operations divisions. Mr Pashman is currently an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law where he also received his JD. He will be based in JW Player’s global headquarters in New York, report to Bill Day, and join the company’s executive team.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals has announced Timothy Williams as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Prior to joining Vanda, Mr. Williams served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary at AgNovos Healthcare, a medical device company focused on bone health. Prior to this position, Mr. Williams was Senior Legal Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Stryker Corporation, a global medical technology company, where he led the legal department's global M&A, corporate governance, and securities groups.

Neon Therapeutics has appointed Jolie M Siegel as general counsel. Neon Therapeutics is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing neoantigen-based therapeutics. The role is a newly created position. Ms. Siegel will lead the legal, intellectual property, compliance and corporate governance functions for the company and will report to Hugh O’Dowd, president and chief executive officer of Neon. Before joining the company, she served as senior vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary at Intralinks, Inc., a leading financial technology provider for the global banking, deal making and capital markets communities.

Texas Tech University System has named Eric D Bentley as vice chancellor, general counsel. Mr Bentley will begin his appointment September 10. He has worked 15 years in the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Houston System serving in four positions, most recently as the senior associate general counsel. In this role, Bentley will provide legal counsel to the system and its component institutions, coordinate institutional compliance and oversee legal teams at each university.


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