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Head of Legal Recruitment for a Rare Disease Pharmaceutical Company in Japan

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Client Background

Our client, a prominent rare disease pharmaceutical company based in Europe, was poised to enter the Japanese market. Recognizing the complexity of the Japanese regulatory landscape and the unique challenges associated with rare disease therapies, the client sought the expertise of our executive search firm to identify and recruit a highly skilled Head of Legal for their Japanese operations.


The primary objective of this executive search was to find an experienced legal professional capable of navigating Japan's pharmaceutical regulatory environment. The ideal candidate would possess a deep understanding of rare disease drug development, compliance, and intellectual property matters. The successful candidate would play a pivotal role in ensuring the company's legal strategies aligned with both global corporate objectives and the intricacies of the Japanese market.


Specialized Expertise: Identifying a candidate with a specialized background in rare diseases and a thorough understanding of the pharmaceutical industry's legal aspects.

Cross-Cultural Competence

Finding a candidate with the ability to navigate the Japanese business culture and legal landscape, ensuring effective communication and collaboration with both local and global stakeholders.

Regulatory Acumen

Securing a candidate well-versed in Japanese pharmaceutical regulations, including those specific to rare disease therapies, to mitigate legal risks and ensure compliance.

Search Process

Our executive search team conducted in-depth consultations with the client's leadership to understand the company's values, goals, and specific requirements for the Head of Legal position.

Position Profiling

We collaborated closely with the client to create a detailed profile outlining the qualifications, experience, and personal attributes required for success in the role.

Market Mapping

Leveraging our extensive network and industry knowledge, we conducted a comprehensive market analysis to identify potential candidates with experience in rare disease pharmaceuticals and a legal background in Japan. Our map identified a candidate pool of 45 individuals.

Candidate Assessment

Potential candidates were rigorously assessed based on their legal expertise, experience in the pharmaceutical industry, understanding of rare diseases, and cultural adaptability. From the original 45 on the target list, we prioritized 21 as stand outs. From this group we met and consulted with 12. After consultation with the client, 4 were chosen for the shortlist.

Interviews and Shortlisting

Shortlisted candidates underwent a series of interviews, both with our executive search team and the client's leadership, to ensure alignment with the company's vision and values.

Negotiation and Offer

Our team facilitated negotiations between the client and the preferred candidate, addressing compensation, benefits, and other contractual details.


Morunda successfully placed a highly qualified Head of Legal with a stellar background in rare disease pharmaceuticals and extensive experience in navigating the Japanese legal and regulatory landscape. The candidate brought a strategic legal perspective, ensuring the company's compliance with local regulations while aligning with global legal standards. The whole process of first client meeting to candidate signing offer letter, was done within 8 weeks.

The successful recruitment of the Head of Legal empowered our client to establish a strong legal foundation for its rare disease pharmaceutical operations in Japan. The appointed executive played a key role in shaping the company's legal strategies, fostering regulatory compliance, and contributing to the overall success of the market entry initiative. This case study showcases the effectiveness of a targeted executive search in addressing the unique needs of a rare disease pharmaceutical company entering a complex market like Japan.

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