Luis Ceballos – Bristol-Myers Squibb

Pharma attorney keeps supply chain linked

Flattening homes and businesses with winds of more than 150 miles per hour, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the rest of the northeastern Caribbean with an unmatched vehemence in September 2017. Nearly 3,000 people died and the island’s power grid was nearly wiped out.

Luis Ceballos remembers the catastrophe too well. As a member of the law department supporting the manufacturing division of Bristol Myers Squibb, he, along with members of the global product and development and supply legal team supported efforts to ensure that patients around the world could still have access to medications.

Luis Ceballos | Senior Counsel, Head of Supply Chain and Facilities-Engineering Law | Bristol-Myers Squibb

Luis Ceballos | Senior Counsel, Head of Supply Chain and Facilities-Engineering Law | Bristol-Myers Squibb

Some of those medicines are manufactured at two facilities in Puerto Rico, so Ceballos and his colleagues needed to help minimize disruptions while helping get the plants operating again, he recalls.

While helping shift some manufacturing from Puerto Rico, they also worked with outside counsel to restore power to the island and supported the supply chain teams to ensure Bristol-Myers Squibb medicines would continue to be delivered globally.

“It’s important to note that, from an in-house counsel perspective, the type of support I provide isn’t common in many companies,” Ceballos says. “I provide legal support to the supply chain organization, including compliance, contractual and regulatory guidance.”

Keeping links strong

As operations in Puerto Rico returned to normal, Ceballos supported a new major project—the sale of a manufacturing and packaging facility in Anagni, Italy, to Catalent Inc. The transaction required many attorneys, he says, and his support focused on contract manufacturing and supply chain continuity.

For example, along with the business development team, he drafted and led negotiations for the supply agreement ensuring that Bristol-Myers Squibb would still be supplied certain products by the facility after the sale.

Luis Ceballos | Senior Counsel, Head of Supply Chain and Facilities-Engineering Law | Bristol-Myers Squibb

The facility manufactures and packages cardiovascular, neuroleptics, anticancer, metabolic and anti-inflammatory medicines as well as non-penicillin- based antibiotics, antivirals, analgesics as injectables and biologics.

It was one of his greatest contributions to the company so far, he adds.

In 2019 and 2020, Ceballos and his colleagues supported Bristol Myers Squibb’s acquisitions of Celgene Corp. in a $74 billion deal and MyoKardia for $13.1 billion. Here they helped integrate the manufacturing and supply chains by negotiating with vendors and for other supply contracts.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in spring 2020, Ceballos was among those ensuring employees had personal protection equipment and that production facilities complied with guidelines and policies. In addition, the legal team helped revise supplier, vendor and shipping agreements due to pandemic related challenges.

Contributing to someone’s life

Born in Armenia, Colombia, a city west of Bogotá and in the center of the country’s “coffee triangle” growing region, Ceballos is the son of an attorney but says his father didn’t practice law full-time.

Ceballos says he did get a good understanding of what attorneys can do to help others. Combined with injustices he saw around him and his love of reading, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.

He earned his law degree from Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, and then a Master of Law in Corporate and Intellectual Property Law from Duke University School of Law in 2009. Ceballos then attended the Washington University School of Law on a scholarship and got his J.D. in 2012.

Luis Ceballos | Senior Counsel, Head of Supply Chain and Facilities-Engineering Law | Bristol-Myers Squibb

Before studying at Duke, Ceballos had worked in-house in Colombia. After earning his J.D., he remained in the U.S., joining Centurion Cargo Airlines in Miami as its corporate legal counsel in October 2012. In 2014, he moved to New York and became corporate legal counsel for Axiom—a company that supplies temporary legal talent to companies.

In 2016, Ceballos joined Bristol-Myers Squibb and while his tenure has included a cataclysmic natural disaster, complex M&A and a pandemic, he says the role he plays is rewarding personally and professionally.

“Being part of a company with an important mission and purpose makes me proud and motivated to come to work every day,” Ceballos says. “When you see you’re contributing somehow to someone’s life and making it better, it means a lot.”

View this feature in the Vanguard Spring II 2022 Edition here.

Published on: March 9, 2022



Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


It was a great honor to be featured in Vanguard Law. Working with every member of the team, from the initial interview with Erin Clark, through production with Victor Martins, writing the article with Taryn Plumb and creating the final content with Dave Gushee, was a true pleasure. Everyone was very professional, enthusiastic and supportive, and their creative approach and positive attitude clearly came through in the final product.
– Kevin C. Rakowski, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Compliance with Radian Group Inc.
I was honored to be the subject of an article. I enjoy reading Vanguard articles and seeing how other attorneys got to their positions and see their jobs. It's also interesting to see how different law firms partner with the subjects of the articles.
– Henry Marquard, in-house counsel, Stanley Consultants Inc.
As promised in advance, my feature in Vanguard has increased my visibility within the profession and prompted more than a few people I have not communicated with recently to reconnect. One of the Italian law firms I have used in the past is now in the process of interviewing me for an article on their website and tweeting out the feature story. Activity and the number of people connecting with me on LinkedIn has soared, which is great. The Vanguard writers and editorial staff were great to work with—highly professional and made the effort to make the experience both fun and rewarding (they were also respectful of the time pressures and demands all lawyers face). I was very pleased with the experience and the final outcome. Needless to say, I have been very pleased. All in all working with Vanguard has been a very positive experience which generated good publicity for both Shawcor and myself. My sincere thanks.
– Tim Hutzul, General Counsel, ShawCor Ltd.
The piece highlighting my company, Bob Baker Enterprises, Inc., came out fabulous. Our company is in the new and used car sales and service industry. Everyone was great to work with and extremely professional. They produced a high-quality product and have provided expert assistance and guidance post-production of the article.
– Wade Poulson, General Counsel, Bob Baker Enterprises Inc.


Summer I 2024



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.