Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Genentech, the biotech giant headquartered in South San Francisco, has shuffled its top legal ranks and created a two-pronged management structure. Under the changes, Stephen Juelsgaard will pass the title of general counsel to Sean Johnston, a longtime in-house intellectual property attorney at the company. Juelsgaard remains the company’s top legal officer and will also continue to oversee matters involving intellectual property, human resources, corporate security and strategic facilities planning. With Johnston taking the GC title, Juelsgaard has assumed responsibility for government affairs at Genentech. Juelsgaard’s new title is executive vice president, secretary and chief compliance officer. Kelli Wilder, a Genentech spokeswoman, downplays the significance of the changes in the company’s legal personnel, saying it “does not signify a change in the structure of the organization” of the 51-lawyer department. But Peter Zeughauser, managing partner of the Zeughauser Group legal consultants, says it is uncommon for a company to have a two-pronged legal management structure. In such cases, one person usually focuses on long-range strategy and “broader, companywide aspects of the company” while another “is responsible for the day-to-day legal affairs,” he says. Last November, Google Inc. adopted such an organizational structure when it designated David Drummond � who had been serving as the company’s general counsel � as senior vice president of corporate development, a role that gave him oversight of Google’s legal department. At the same time, Google hired John Kent Walker Jr., a former deputy GC at eBay, to be general counsel and to oversee the legal department’s daily operations. Google made the change in order for its legal department conform to the structure it has in place for other departments, a company spokesman said at the time. Johnston joined Genentech in 1990 and was made vice president of intellectual property in 1998. Prior to joining the company, Johnston clerked for federal Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. in Los Angeles. He has a biochemistry degree from UC-Davis and earned his law degree from Stanford University.

Read our latest coverage of patent law and intellectual property issues, from Silicon Valley to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Genentech recently suffered a U.S. Supreme Court defeat when the high court decided that patent licensees could challenge the validity of the patents they are licensing. Some experts in the field believe the suit will have far-reaching implications for patent litigation. Jessie Seyfer and Kellie Schmitt are staff writers at The Recorder, which publishes GC California Magazine.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.