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UR selects its new general counsel

Rochester Business Journal
December 10, 2012

The University of Rochester has named a new vice president and general counsel after a national search to replace the retiring Sue Stewart.

Gail Norris, who has served at UR as senior legal counsel for all aspects of operations, will take over the position beginning Jan. 1. In her work with the university, Norris has managed complex legal matters related to research, technology transfer and licensing, UR officials said.

In March 2007 Norris was named director of the college office of technology transfer, and in 2009 became vice provost of technology transfer, responsible for the development of universitywide policies in this area.

Norris began her career in Rochester in 1993, serving as partner in Nixon Peabody LLC’s corporate law practice. She later joined the biopharmaceutical firm Celltech Americas in Rochester as vice president, general counsel and secretary, and was responsible for all legal matters for the U.K.-based company's U.S. operations.

From 2003-04, she also served as executive sponsor of product life cycle management at Celltech, providing leadership for a cross-functional team of 15 scientists and managers focused on growth strategy and expansion, UR officials noted.

“I was particularly impressed by the background Gail would bring to our university from her previous experience as general counsel of a successful business and partner in a leading law firm, as well as the great skill she has demonstrated here in transactions and compliance issues that span our university,” said Joel Seligman, UR president. “It meant a great deal to me that she also had overwhelming support from our senior leadership team."

Norris is a graduate of Syracuse University and Albany Law School of Union University.

 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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