Director, Corporate Counsel

Avanir Pharmaceuticals

Avanir Pharmaceuticals

North America · Remote
Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Job Summary

The Otsuka US Legal Team is looking for an attorney familiar with the legal and regulatory frameworks within which life sciences companies operate and the manner in which those laws and regulations are enforced. The Director, Corporate Counsel will have experience providing proactive guidance and counseling related to promotion and commercializing branded pharmaceutical products. In addition, this role offers the opportunity to provide legal advice and support to several functional areas of our life sciences business, including sales and marketing, global medical affairs, regulatory affairs and corporate affairs.

The Director, Corporate Counsel will have experience in the pharmaceutical industry or at a law firm, and be able to bring a foundational understanding of the industry and the other functional areas within a pharmaceutical company. The candidate must demonstrate the ability to understand and apply legal risks within their areas of responsibility, and clearly and appropriately communicate those risks for client consideration. As a Director within the Legal team, it is expected the individual will also work independently, be able to develop well-reasoned positions, and know when to appropriately escalate complex and unique topics for further discussion and consideration.

This role can be located in Otsuka’s Princeton, NJ or Rockville, MD offices, or it can be remote, but availability during US Eastern time zone business hours is mandatory. No matter where the role is located, up to 25% travel is required based upon business needs.

At Otsuka our mission is to create new products for better health worldwide. Our purpose is to defy limitation so others can too.

Otsuka is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Individuals seeking employment at Otsuka are considered without regards to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or genetic information, among other protected bases.

To that end, the Legal Affairs department at Otsuka is seeking qualification as a Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified Law Department as part of the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule initiative, which measures and seeks to increase diversity within law departments. Providing your data during the application process helps us with achieving that goal and with meeting reporting/record-keeping obligations under federal and state law and other legal requirements. Providing your data is entirely voluntary and will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be treated confidentially.

Job Description

Specific Role Responsibilities:

  • Maintain a deep and current awareness of evolving FDA laws and regulations, as well as interpretations, advisory comments, enforcement actions and policy issues;
  • Effectively partner with Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Marketing and other Commercial colleagues to ensure promotional labeling, advertisements and educational materials are reviewed in compliance with applicable laws and regulations in a timely fashion throughout the product life-cycle;
  • Collaborate with, counsel and coach colleagues in other functional areas as well as other attorneys and support staff working on investigations and complex transactions;
  • Provide guidance to multi-functional teams to ensure compliance with company policies and legal/regulatory requirements;
  • Work closely with other Corporate Counsel to administer policies, procedures, and guidelines in core compliance areas (e.g., anti-kickback, antitrust, false claims, anti-bribery, data privacy & security); and
  • Draft, review and manage a variety of contracts and agreements.
  • Perform other legal, administrative and corporate duties upon request.

Additional Director Responsibilities

  • Solutions Analysis: Analyze specific problems and issues to find the best solutions. Solutions could be technical or professional in nature.
  • Policies and Procedures Development: Contribute to the drafting of policies, procedures, and related guidelines within an area of expertise to meet defined key principles and ensure compliance with external requirements.
  • Internal Client Relationship Management: Contribute to the management of partnering relationships with internal clients, building effective working relationships, and providing high-quality professional services to support in delivering business strategy and plans.
  • Information and Business Advice: Resolve queries from internal or external customers or suppliers by providing information on complex processes and the related policies, referring to others where necessary for interpretation of policy.

Risk Scenario Modeling: Analyze, assess, and quantify the risks associated with products/individual applications/business activities/the market to determine whether any risk is within the agreed risk appetite. Undertake tactical risk modeling.



  • Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) or equivalent degree required
  • Admission to at least one state bar


  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience as an attorney in the pharmaceutical industry, at a law firm advising pharmaceutical clients or for a government agency governing life sciences businesses.
  • Experience & demonstrated ability to collaborate, build and sustain effective partnerships with multicultural key stakeholders and project teams


  • Decision Quality: Makes good and timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward.
  • Ensures Accountability: Holds self and others accountable to meet commitments.
  • Communicates Effectively: Develops and delivers multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
  • Collaborates: Builds partnerships and works collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Persuades: Uses compelling arguments to gain the support and commitment of others. For example, states position with conviction and persuasive rationale.
  • Develops Talent: Develops people to meet both their career goals and the organization’s goals.
  • Optimizes Work Processes: Knows the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Plans and Aligns: Plans and prioritizes work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Customer Focus: Builds strong customer relationships and delivers customer-centric solutions.
  • Business Insight: Applies knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals.


  • Questions Strategically: Works with limited guidance to uncover clients’ explicit needs and/or unforeseen opportunities and challenges.
  • Analyze Alternatives and Recommend Solutions: Works at an intermediate level to analyze potential solutions and create recommendations based on the expected benefits, costs, and overall value of the solution for key stakeholders.
  • Policy and Regulation: Works with limited guidance to interpret and apply knowledge of laws, regulations and policies in area of expertise.
  • Effectively Presents Solutions: Works with limited guidance to clearly present solutions that link directly to the key objectives and challenges important to the client.
  • Project Risk and Issue Management: Uses comprehensive knowledge and/or skills to act independently with guiding and training others on identifying, assessing, prioritizing and managing project related risks.


This job description is intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned to this position. It is not intended to include every job duty and responsibility specific to the position. Otsuka reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

Otsuka is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to their protected veteran or disabled status, or any protected status

Accountability for Results - Stay focused on key strategic objectives, be accountable for high standards of performance, and take an active role in leading change.
Strategic Thinking & Problem Solving - Make decisions considering the long-term impact to customers, patients, employees, and the business.
Patient & Customer Centricity - Maintain an ongoing focus on the needs of our customers and/or key stakeholders.
Impactful Communication - Communicate with logic, clarity, and respect. Influence at all levels to achieve the best results for Otsuka.
Respectful Collaboration - Seek and value others’ perspectives and strive for diverse partnerships to enhance work toward common goals.
Empowered Development - Play an active role in professional development as a business imperative.

Come discover more about Otsuka and our benefit offerings;


This job description is intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned to this position. It is not intended to include every job duty and responsibility specific to the position. Otsuka reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

Otsuka is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will be given consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, national origin, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected characteristic.

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