The title in this one says it all: "Gilead Sciences’ GC Is Sick of Conflict Waivers" --
- "For Brett Pletcher, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of biotechnology giant Gilead Sciences, advance conflict waivers are a big pet peeve. 'I’ve always pushed back on these with the firms, saying, ‘Look, how can you ask me to waive something? I don’t even know what the conflict is.'”
- "He estimated that 95 percent of law firms require conflict waivers, and his negotiations with firms usually occur 'around the edges... Firms are trying to preserve a level of optionality to either represent me or represent somebody else, or represent both at the same time,” he said. 'I have a big problem with that.'"
- "'My biggest pet peeve right now — which pretty much every law firm I’ve worked with does — is pre-waiver of conflicts. Firms want me to sign a contract with them that says they reserve the right to take on matters adverse to Gilead, and I waive my objection to those adverse matters now, without knowing what that matter might be.'"
- "'I’ve always pushed back on these with the firms, saying, 'Look, how can you ask me to waive something? I don’t even know what the conflict is.' I’ve been very reasonable about waiving conflicts when I know what they are, and believe that these really aren’t conflicts.'"
- "'It drives a bit of a wedge with me, because it makes me think, “Okay, what work am I going to send to this firm? Because I’m not sure exactly what could come up adverse to me within that firm that could be a problem... All these firms that have gotten big enough that they’re fearful that if they represent me, it’s going to cut out a lot of other work for people that might want to be adverse to me, and so they ask for these waivers up front.'"