Ex-OGS man makes move to Cephalon

The former general counsel of Oxford GlycoSciences (OGS) and British Biotech John Ilett has been named as the first European lawyer at US pharmaceutical company Cephalon.

Ilett quit OGS last year in the wake of its merger with Celltech, which became the UK’s biggest biotech company and is now in the process of being bought by Belgian company UCB.

The growth of Cephalon’s European operation has made the hire of a lawyer inevitable and Ilett is uniquely qualified. He was general counsel at British Biotech during the late 1990s, when it was Europe’s biggest biotech company prior to the 1997 clinical trials scandal. Ilett helped steer the company through the subsequent investigations by the House of Commons, London Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Until now, Cephalon’s associate general counsel in the company’s US headquarters has been responsible for European legal affairs. CMS Cameron McKenna has advised it on commercial and employment issues, while Washington DC-based Arnold & Porter advised Cephalon on regulatory issues.

Ilett’s firms of choice while at OGS were Slaughter and May and Sullivan & Cromwell.