Shire’s Legal Dept. Changes Can Survive Merger, Strategist Says

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By Seth Stern

Claire Debney said she is hopeful the changes she helped bring to Shire Plc’s legal operations will survive the company’s pending purchase by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.

Takeda announced its intention to buy Shire for $81 billion in May. The deal has several regulatory hurdles to go through, including U.S. and EU antitrust regulators, and the parties anticipate closing in the first half of 2019.Debney helped implement a branded training and development program known as POD — which stands for People, Operations, Development — while serving as director of legal strategy and chief of staff to Shire’s general counsel.

“I would hope the Takeda general counsel and their teams understand the value in what we bring,” Debney told Bloomberg Law on June 12 at the Association of Corporate Counsel legal operations conference in Chicago.

“When we have created a culture of people feeling ownership around the transformation we’re doing, it’s pretty hard to remove that, because it can adapt, it can flex, it can grow to a different audience,” she said. “It would probably have to change in some way to reflect the new culture, but the core tenets aren’t going to be any different.”

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