Assistant General Counsel

Mars - McLean, VA

A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet. What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

Job Title

Assistant General Counsel – Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge

Segment/Business Unit

Mars Edge

Function (e.g. P&O)


Family (e.g. Rewards, Generalist)


Proposed Job Level

T4 (Individual Contributor)


New York, NY -OR- McLean, VA

Line Manager Title

President, Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge

Job Purpose/Overview

Do you have a passion for working in uncharted territories? Do you follow the latest trends? Do you believe the best ideas emerge by testing and learning? Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment, building a business from scratch? Are you driven for results and thrive in working with others to bring powerful ideas to life? We are looking for driven individuals who are curious in the change around them, know they still have a lot to learn and discover and have the passion and drive to turn ideas into reality!

The recently appointed President of Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge, is leading a transformation to focus on strengthening our capabilities related to disruptive innovation, science and technology while continuing to improve our current innovation processes, capabilities and practices. At the same time, Mars Edge is a newly formed global business of Mars, Incorporated that is guided by the vision to contribute to better lives through nutrition . The business is developing a range of science backed and consumer led business models through innovative partnerships. The Mars Edge Leadership Team is currently focused on bringing this vision to life and transitioning it into a growth business.

We are seeking an Assistant General Counsel to support Mars Edge and other Mars corporate initiatives, such as Mars Research & Development, Mars Advanced Research Institute and the Global Food Safety Center, on all legal matters, transactions and issues globally. As a member of the Mars Edge leadership team, the incumbent will be an entrepreneurial business partner with the necessary functional excellence, business acumen and gravitas mixed with humility to drive globally-aligned legal strategies. Comfortable in dealing with ambiguity and making difficult decisions quickly and decisively based on sound judgment, the incumbent will be expected to provide strategic legal and business support to enable Mars Edge and the other corporate initiatives to realize their respective ambitious agendas. At the same time the incumbent will need to effectively anticipate and manage legal risks and protect the Company, its brands and reputation in line with the Mars Five Principles. The incumbent will be a natural influencer, skilled at navigating different cultures and creating collaborative relationships across functions and segments, and with other key stakeholders within Mars’ Legal Department (M&A, Security, Compliance, Intellectual Property, and Marketing Properties).

Key Responsibilities

Identify, anticipate and prioritize the key legal issues for Mars Edge and the other corporate initiatives (eg Mars Research & Development, Mars Advanced Research Institute and the Global Food Safety Center) in partnership with the respective units.
Provide proactive and strategic legal advice especially on corporate transactional matters in early stage companies, commercial agreements in support of those investments and technology development and licensing matters.
Understand the key business issues that drive the legal issues in various markets and vice versa and consistently make commercial legal decisions and provide legal advice that supports achievement of business objectives.
Effectively assess risks and opportunities to mitigate risks and influence business decisions in light of these assessments.
In partnership with Mars Scientific and Regulatory affairs, provide advice on regulatory matters with a view to supporting the success of new product launches, product benefit and efficacy claims, and other new initiatives across all markets.
Ensure comprehensive compliance program of Mars Edge including legal compliance training for business unit and fostering the application of the Mars Five Principles.
Proactively manage legal budget, including managing legal spend in line with internalizing a substantial portion of the legal work currently being performed by external legal advisors and by other internal Mars attorneys especially in areas relating to new initiatives with third parties, product development/launches, new channels/modes of sale, contracts and other commercial matters.
Support Mars Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge efforts in relation to new laws and regulations impacting the business
Be an active and engaged member of the Mars Edge leadership team collaborating with the President of Edge, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Science Officer, General Managers and head of Business Development.

Context and Scope

Experience in leading and negotiating deal structuring, including acquisitions, early stage investments, partnerships, and related commercial agreements in support of these investments.
Experience in bridging the entrepreneurial/founder-led cultures of early stage companies with multinational corporate cultures, so that the early stage companies get the “best of both worlds.”
Demonstrated learning agility, including in newly developing business models, technologies and areas of law.
Working knowledge of route to market and distribution (including internet regulation) and general commercial transactions.
Ability to issue spot in areas of the law such as intellectual property and, product liability.
Familiarity with food and drug regulations, dietary supplements and product claims and/or digital health issues.
Common sense and sound judgment. One who is pragmatic but willing to draw “a line in the sand” when legal compliance or the Mars Five Principles requires doing so.
Strong, flexible team player that works to meet both personal and organization goals.
Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Excellent organization, execution and analytical skills.
Personal passion for health, nutrition, science and/or technology
This position will require approximately 50% travel.

Job Specifications/Qualifications

Note: May differ from the current job holder’s own skills and experience.

1. Education & Professional Qualification

Qualified lawyer in the United States, Canada, U.K., Europe or Australia.
If American, the candidate should be a member of a state bar in the United States, although it is not necessary for the attorney to be a member of any specific state bar.
If a non-American, the candidate should be a graduate of an accredited law school and be a professionally qualified lawyer in his or her home country.
2. Knowledge/Experience

Minimum of 12 plus years of law firm and in-house legal department experience required, ideally in the FMCG, Bio-Tech and/or Food & Beverage Industries. Start-up experience and/or digital health experience is highly desired.
Global transactions experience (M&A, joint ventures, alliances, global contracts) by training and demonstrated experience.
Experience working internationally and on cross border, international legal issues.
Experience in the functional/medical foods area is helpful
Experience in dealing with food and/or drug regulatory agencies preferred

Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.