Economy

Novartis Lawyer Retires in Relation to Cohen Payments

Novartis Lawyer Retires in Relation to Cohen Payments”

Felix Ehrat, 61, who was general counsel and a member of the Novartis executive committee since 2011, is retiring and will be succeeded by the chief risk and compliance officer, according to a statement released in conjunction with an investor meeting.

Cohen's company Essential Consultants had a one-year $1.2 million contract with Novartis during the beginning of the Trump administration.

"Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error".

Novartis admitted last week it was paying Cohen $100,000 a month. In the statement announcing Bob Quinn's retirement, AT&T called the agreement a "big mistake". He will retire at the start of June, to be replaced by current Novartis ethics chief Shannon Thyme Klinger.

The Swiss company revealed last week (9 May) that it had paid Cohen's company Essential Consultants $1.2m for healthcare policy consulting work that he had proved "unable" to do.

Apart from AT&T and Novartis, Cohen was also paid by Korea Aerospace Industries and Columbus Nova, a NY investment firm whose biggest client is Renova Group, a conglomerate owned by USA -sanctioned, Kremlin-backed Russian oligarch Victor Vekselberg.

Novartis previously admitted to hiring Essential in February 2017 for advice "as to how the Trump administration might approach certain US healthcare policy matters". It said the payments continued because the contract could not have been terminated.

"We should have just definitively parted ways with this guy as soon as we knew he was not going to be a help", said Jimenez, who claimed Cohen told him he no longer worked for Trump at the time of the contract's signing.

Joe Jimenez, the CEO of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, addresses a news conference to present the company's 2016 results in Basel, Switzerland January 25, 2017.



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