ALM’s Corporate Counsel on Wednesday announced that Medtronic’s legal department has been chosen as a winner of its 2012 Best Legal Departments competition. Medtronic was one of four winners.
 
Editor in Chief Anthony Paonita said of the winners: “They all have strong leaders who are passionate about what they do. They’ve assessed their company’s needs, prioritized, and created systems to make their department more efficient. And they’ve convinced their colleagues to care deeply and given them opportunities to take on additional responsibilities.”
 
The winning departments are profiled in depth in Corporate Counsel’s June issue and online at www.corpcounsel.com.
 
Regarding Medtronic, Corporate Counsel said: Though still facing 11 government probes, the biomedical device maker has seen a sharp turnaround since the arrival of general counsel D. Cameron Findlay in 2009 and deputy general counsel Joan Humes in 2010. Prior legal drift left it battered by 5,000 pending actions over product liability, patents, criminal probes and shareholder demands, including bet-the-company off-label marketing litigation. Findlay first reset the company’s physician relationships, then restructured what is now a 135-lawyer department around subject matter expertise. Hiring ex-assistant U.S. attorney Humes regained credibility with prosecutors, while she pushed a culture change to recognize shared patient-care interests with government. Outside law firms were cut from 600 to two dozen.
 
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