Genset in-houser joins Taylor Wessing

The takeover of Genset, France’s largest biotech company, by Geneva-based Serono has seen Genset’s general counsel move to Taylor Wessing after being made redundant.

Malcolm Bates was general counsel and vice-president but Serono decided that its own legal department in Switzerland could service the whole of the merged company.

Bates had two assistants at Genset who have moved to jobs at Clifford Chance in Paris and at another French technology company.

Bates, who worked at Taylor Joynson Garrett before joining Genset two years ago, will join Taylor Wessing‘s Cambridge office in April.

At Genset, Bates outsourced most of the company’s corporate legal work to the Paris office of Shearman & Sterling.

Bates said that as there was no one left in Paris to instruct Shearman, the lion’s share of the merged company’s work was likely to go to Serono’s preferred adviser Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Taylor Wessing is looking for a French merger partner, but Bates said he was not recruited specifically to help with the French initiative.