VP Legal

April 16, 2021
San Francisco, CA
Job Type


Reporting directly to the Chief Financial Officer, this position is responsible for supporting all legal functions within the organization. This includes corporate governance, risk management, SEC compliance, securities offerings and financings, contract management, regulatory and quality efforts, business development and licensing, as well as HR, Corporate Communications and other corporate matters. The qualified attorney will work cross-functionally with internal departments and external resources as required on legal issues, proactively identify and analyze legal risks, engage and support appropriate key stakeholders, and present clear recommendations to senior management. This involves close collaboration with the internal business teams to ensure an understanding of their needs and to foster a trusted partnership around legal matters. The VP, Legal, will serve as a valued member of the management team.


  • Responsible for overseeing the legal function in the organization.
  • Will provide legal counsel and support to enable strategic business transactions, collaborations, other complex contracts, and related matters.
  • Coordinates with senior leadership for each operational group with respect to legal support to meet corporate priorities. Interacts with various internal clients and functional groups to effectively address legal and business questions and provide guidance as well as practical solutions as needed.
  • Responsible for public company related legal work including securities filings and compliance, supporting preparation and filing of SEC correspondences such as 10Ks, 10Qs, 8Ks, Form 4s, registration statements, annual report and proxy statement, etc. in close collaboration with Finance. Ensure compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission and Nasdaq rules and requirements.
  • Assist Compliance officer with administration of Harpoon’s insider trading policy and other related matters.
  • Assist with capital markets transactions and other financing activities from a securities law perspective. Serve as an internal point of contact for document management and third-party diligence activities.
  • Assist senior management and Investor Relations on disclosure matters, including earnings and other press releases, investor presentations, medical presentations, website, and other announcements.
  • Provide strategic advice for business development or licensing transactions in collaboration with BD team and senior management. Oversee legal due diligence and advising on transaction structures and business terms, assisting with the preparation of term sheets, and ensuring the preparation and final negotiation of deal documents.
  • Provide ongoing legal counsel to alliance management and business development team in support of existing collaborations. Collaborate with Finance on contractual obligations and commitments associated with licensing contracts.
  • Prepare for, and report to, senior management and Board on a variety of corporate legal matters, including corporate governance matters (e.g., company and committee charters, corporate policies) and broader risk management updates, analyses, recommendations.
  • Review, draft and negotiate a wide range of agreements, including: clinical trial agreements; master service agreements; manufacturing agreements; consulting and confidentiality agreements; licensing and research collaborations; and other strategic agreements. Negotiate research agreements with academic investigators and institutions.
  • Collaborate with members of the clinical operations teams to manage and negotiate clinical trial agreements and vendor contracts for early and late-stage clinical trials of the company’s oncology drug candidates.
  • Manage contract workflow and database: initiation, review, sign-off, storage and maintenance.
  • Oversees the development of programs to prevent and detect violations of laws, company policies and other misconduct, promote ethical practices and ensure the implementation of the compliance program in the organization.
  • Assist with development, review, implementation and training of legal, quality and compliance programs, policies and procedures (e.g. securities/SOX, FDA, EMA, data privacy, GDPR, data management systems, etc.). Increase knowledge of, and assistance with, such areas as business needs grow.
  • Monitors external developments in compliance including laws and regulations, government investigations, and industry best practices.
  • Reacts to developments in the regulatory and governance environment and is proactive in areas related to compliance education and training.
  • Provide practical legal advice and support, in-line with company culture, to the human resources department, related to employment laws and other HR matters. This may include assisting with complex employee relations issues, policy interpretation, integration of new laws into the culture, executive compensation matters, including incentive plans and programs, benefits, equity plan etc.
  • Develop and maintain understanding of intellectual property activities, responsibilities and priorities and work with key stakeholders and outside counsel as needed.
  • Coordinates legal matters handled by outside counsel.
  • Perform other tasks and assignments as needed and specified by management
  • Manages legal business matters pertaining to the organization. Provides a variety of general corporate and commercial legal services to in-house customers.
  • Acts as advisor on legal issues involving the organization’s government and regulatory compliance.


  • A combination of 15+ years large law firm and bio/pharma company experience.
  • Experience in a biotech or pharma company required.
  • Experience in a publicly traded biotech or pharma company required.
  • Experience in advising senior management and the board of directors.
  • J.D. from a nationally recognized law school and member of a state bar (California preferred).


  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Significant transactional experience in drafting and negotiating a wide range of agreements, including licensing agreements, collaboration agreements, materials transfer, clinical trial and sponsored research agreements.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, written, and verbal communications skills, including the ability to communicate complex issues and concepts to non-attorneys and provide pragmatic advice
  • Demonstrated ability to implement and manage effective processes and manage multiple commitments with an appropriate sense of urgency in a fast-paced, rapidly evolving environment
  • Sound business judgment and strategic thinking, with the ability to define business tradeoffs, generate creative solutions and anticipate the impact of decisions.
  • Excellent judgment and ability to assess risk and benefits and convey them in a clear and concise manner.
  • Flexibility working on a variety of legal matters to understand and advise across company functions, effectively present ideas and contribute to decision making.
  • Strong work ethic and ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
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