Description: As the head of legal for Amgen Canada, I’m responsible for all legal matters including regulatory, compliance, competition, and intellectual property
I was born/grew up in: Born Newfoundland, and grew up in Montreal and Ottawa, Canada
I now live in: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
I completed my training/education at: BSc - University of Ottawa. Masters in Technology and Innovation Management in University of Sussex, UK. Then I went to Law School at Osgoode Hall, York University
Describe what you do at work.
My key activities during the day are to provide legal counsel to the various departments within the company. My biology undergrad helps me to understand the products that we market. This is useful in my role as legal counsel in the advice and decision making I provide. My day is spent helping answer a wide range of legal questions. These can include such things as Intellectual Property questions, Privacy questions, advertising information, commercial issues, compliance situations, and claims or litigation brought against the company. I address each question by understanding all of the facts and relevant information. Where necessary I will do research and then provide a practical solution or recommendation. I occasionally work in French. I interact and work across all departments at Amgen and am part of the Global Legal Operational Team.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
I find my work is intellectually stimulating. Because I help provide legal input into all of the functions within the company, I feel my role indirectly helps patients have access to safe and worthwhile medications.
What motivates you in your career?
I have always enjoyed the interaction between science, law and innovation - my experience has led me to my current role where I can fulfill those interests. This is very rewarding to me.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
When I graduated high school, I had no intention of doing this type of work. I was interested in biology and decided to study this at university. However, I really did not have any concrete plans. I was also interested in technology and that led me to continue my studies at the Masters level. I started my career in technology transfer. My interest in Intellectual Property and technology innovation led me to law school. When I finished my law degree I articled at a law firm where I gained good experience.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I like to spend quality time with my family.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Keep an open mind. Be persistent. Be on the look out for hidden opportunities.