Amgen’s adviser panel downsized after review

Amgen’s new European general counsel Robert Sexton has slashed the company’s list of preferred advisers following a widescale Continental review of the biotechnology giant’s law firms.

Sexton, who joined Amgen in March this year from the Paris office of Salans, has been examining advisers with the aim of consolidating the company’s 70-strong list of law firms and cutting legal spend by 20 per cent this year.

The firms chosen as Amgen’s main advisers in its key jurisdictions are US firm Arnold & Porter in the UK, Clifford Chance in Germany, Dechert in France, Uría Menéndez and regulatory boutique Faus & Moliner in Spain and Italian independents Tonucci and Biolato Longo Ridola & Mori.

Sexton said the review will mean that a significant number of firms will no longer work with Amgen, or will be doing much less work. If firms do not agree to offer discounts and fee caps, Sexton said he would “need to decide whether to continue to use them”.

In the past Amgen has worked most closely with Arnold & Porter and this relationship has been strengthened by the move of London-based of counsel Kathleen Fadden to join Sexton’s team. Fadden, a life sciences specialist, will deal with regulatory and compliance matters.

Sexton is also boosting his in-house team and cutting external legal spend by hiring paralegals to carry out day-to-day contractual matters.