"I have not followed every opportunity that came along in my career," says Thomas Werlen, general counsel of Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis. "But in hindsight I was right not to, and I have also been right about the opportunities I have pursued." Werlen is referring, in the first instance, to the offers he passed up in the 1990s as a junior lawyer with New York leader Cravath Swaine & Moore to move into investment banking ("short term, it would have been great money; long term, it would have hindered my development as a lawyer") and, more recently, to his decision to leave Allen & Overy's (A&O's) London office three years ago to take up his current position.
Novartis GC Thomas Werlen talks to Alex Aldridge about the overhaul of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant's legal team, its external law firm relationships and escaping the billable hour "I have not followed...
Outstanding Individual Innovator award handed to Schillings COO Christopher Mills
The US firm has announced salary increases across its associate scale
Updates from today's Legal Innovation Awards ceremony, with coverage of the awards announcements as they happen
'The message has got through that a little UK merger ain't going to cut it' – reaction to the Addleshaws-Hunton talks
Will Addleshaw Goddard succeed where others have failed and pull off a transatlantic merger?
Head of international financial technology at the firm Angus Mclean is responsible for the new venture