Samuel Israel Lannett's CLO and GC
Samuel Israel Lannett’s CLO and GC (Rhamelin)

Generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Lannett Co. Inc. has appointed its longtime outside lawyer to serve as chief legal officer and general counsel.

Samuel Israel will leave Fox Rothschild to continue counseling the company from an in-house position, Philadelphia-based Lannett announced Monday. Israel was a commercial litigation partner at Fox Rothschild and chairman of the firm’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology practice. He joined the firm in 1991, and served as Lannett’s outside GC for 19 years.

Israel’s long history with Lannett will allow him to “hit the ground running,” Lannett CEO Arthur Bedrosian said in a statement.

“Sam is an exceptional attorney, with more than 20 years of strategic and legal experience representing life sciences and health care companies,” he said. “Sam strengthens our team, as well as our ability to expand our business both domestically and globally.”

Israel said he expects to continue working with Fox Rothschild in his new role.

The firm’s relationship with Lannett began when the company worked with Israel on a few pieces of litigation, then gradually became a full-service client of the firm, said Fox Rothschild managing partner Mark Morris.

Lannett was founded in 1942. It creates dozens of generic drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter. In 2015, Lannett paid $1.23 billion to acquire Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals and its 18-product portfolio of drugs.

As Lannett grew and had more legal needs, Fox Rothschild was also growing and adding practice areas. Bedrosian, who is a lawyer, took leadership of Lannett, as president in 2002 and CEO in 2006.

“He really took the company to another level and started using us a lot more for legal work,” Israel said.

Meanwhile, Fox Rothschild has expanded to become an 800-lawyer firm with 22 offices and 60 practice areas, according to the firm. It made its way into the Am Law 100 in 2015, and is now the 80th largest firm by revenue in the United States.

“We sort of grew with them,” Morris said of Lannett, though Israel said their growth in tandem was coincidental.

Bringing Israel in-house is not necessarily a sign of the company consolidating outside legal work. Israel said he and Bedrosian had discussed for several years that the company would eventually need general counsel in-house as it grew.

“They had grown to such a degree that they needed a legal manager as general counsel,” Morris said. “A firm that size, that’s a public company, that has all kinds of reporting obligations … really needs to have somebody managing the legal processes.”