University of California

Berkeley Lab has a dynamic workforce of about 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $1.1 billion. The University of California (UC) manages Berkeley Lab for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. The Chief Legal Counsel reports directly to the Laboratory Director with a dual reporting relationship to the UC General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs; this position is a member of UC Legal and ultimately represents the Regents of the University of California.

Position Summary:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is searching for a Chief Legal Counsel to lead the Office of Laboratory Counsel at one of the world’s leading research institutions. As an integral member of Berkeley Lab’s executive leadership team, the Chief Counsel serves as advisor to Laboratory leaders on significant strategic initiatives, carefully evaluates and assesses legal and other risk in context of the Lab’s mission objectives, mentors and leads a team of dedicated legal and regulatory professionals, and serves as a laboratory champion of ethical standards. This is a unique opportunity to lead a vital in-house legal department in an intellectually stimulating, cutting-edge research environment at one of the crown jewels of federal science research.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for advising Berkeley Lab’s management on a broad range of legal matters, including:
  • Adherence to UC/DOE contract requirements, and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and UC/Berkeley Lab policies and procedures;
  • Employment, personnel and labor matters;
  • Environmental, health and safety matters, including CEQA, NEPA and other land use issues;
  • Capital projects and improvements, including construction subcontracting and claims;
  • Subcontracts for the procurement of goods and services, intellectual property licenses and agreements, memoranda of understanding and other agreements and documents;
  • Litigation, grievances, arbitrations and claims;
  • Regulatory/compliance audits and investigations;
  • Sponsored projects and grants, international collaborations and agreements;
  • Strategies and communications in response to public and/or community relations issues;
  • Response to subpoenas, legal inquiries and public records requests;
  • DOE Orders relating to proper conduct of research;
  • Aligning UC orders and policy with DOE prime contract requirements; and
  • Mission-critical strategic initiatives as they arise.
  • Identify risks to the Laboratory and develop plans and/or processes to minimize or eliminate the risks.
  • Retain and manage all outside counsel hired to provide legal advice and representation on selected matters, including prosecution, defense and settlement of lawsuits, claims, disputes and grievances.
  • Manage the Office of Laboratory Counsel, including: supervision of general law attorneys, patent attorneys, Office of Export Controls, paralegals and support staff; compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies; and manage department budget.
  •  Serve on various Laboratory committees as requested, including Investigations Workgroup for Whistleblower/Whistleblower Protection, Ethics and Compliance Risk, Conflict of Interest, Crisis Action Team, and Internal Audit.
  • Apprise the UC General Counsel of all material developments at the Laboratory affecting the legal rights, obligations, opportunities and risks of the University and/or otherwise bearing on the representation of The Regents.
  • Serve as the Laboratory Risk Manager and local liaison to the UC Office of Risk Services and provide counsel and advice to Laboratory management regarding insurance, indemnity and risk issues.
  • Keep informed of existing and emerging legislative issues, statutes, decisions, and regulations, and provide advice to Laboratory management on potential impacts to the organization.
  • Interact and coordinate with DOE and UC on selected legal and other matters as appropriate.

Skills and Competencies:

  • LLB/JD degree from accredited law school, member in good standing in the California Bar with admission to practice law (or willingness to become a member of the California Bar), and at least 15 years of relevant experience.
  • In-depth expertise providing advice and counsel reflecting sound and ethical legal and professional judgment. Proven ability to assess short-term and long-term legal and business challenges and risks, identify opportunities for operational improvement, and to conceptualize and recommend strategies to accomplish business objectives.
  • Experience in adversity leadership; ability to proactively identify and/or manage crises and controversies effectively.
  • Litigation experience, including working knowledge and expertise in alternative dispute resolution and mediation. Established record managing and providing cost-effective oversight of retained outside counsel.
  • Previous experience managing a high-performing legal counsel office and cultivating environments with a shared sense of mission and proven commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion principles.
  • Prior experience representing the interests of an organization through interactions with federal, state, and local agencies.
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of applicable laws and regulations.
  • Inspiring, visionary and collaborative leader who can influence others to achieve common goals by engaging and developing robust relationships with stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated abilities as a skilled communicator with exceptional interpersonal, relationship building, advocacy and negotiation skills applied across a broad spectrum of constituents and stakeholders.
  • Commitment to upholding the Lab’s stewardship responsibilities, especially with regard to the Lab’s research, people, and resources, and ensuring that it remains a valuable national asset.

Qualifications and Prior Experience:

  • Expertise and experience managing a legal counsel office in an organization that provides services to the federal government.
  • Experience working in an organization with a strong academic and/or research mission.
  • Familiarity with UC and/or DOE policies and processes for conflicts of interest, business practices, contracting.
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