Abbott appoints new general counsel

Laura Schumacher has been promoted to the post of senior vice president, secretary and general counsel at US healthcare company Abbott Laboratories, succeeding Jose de Lasa who will retire at end-March.

Schumacher will report to chairman and chief executive officer Miles White. Previously, Schumacher was vice president, secretary and deputy general counsel.

Schumacher joined the litigation department at Abbott in 1990 and held various positions, including divisional vice president, litigation. Prior to joining Abbott, Schumacher was an associate with the law firm Schiff Hardin & Waite in Chicago.

The change at the top follows Abbott’s defeat to Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) in the UK High Court in December. The high-profile dispute centred on the level of royalty payments Abbott should pay to CAT on the groundbreaking rheumatoid arthritis drug humira.