01 August 2018 at 12:00 BST

Around the house

Two high-powered women general counsel take a step up, while some retirees choose new pursuits.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has named Rhoda Weeks-Brown as their next general counsel. IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Ms Weeks-Brown brings ‘comprehensive perspective on the fund’s role’ as well as a sharp legal mind to her new position. She is currently deputy general counsel, and takes up the post of general counsel and director of the legal department effective Sept. 17. Before joining the IMF in 1997, Ms Weeks-Brown practiced law for several years in the Washington DC office of the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she specialized In financial institutions regulatory matters.

Anne Foulkes, the current vice president, associate general counsel and corporate secretary at the chemicals group PPG, will become the company’s senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, effective August 1. She will join the Pittsburgh-based company’s operating and executive committees, reporting to chair and ceo Michael McGarry. Ms Foulkes will succeed Glenn Bost, who has served as senior vice president and general counsel since 2010 and is a 33-year veteran of the company. He is retiring as part of a planned succession. As of next month, he will serve in a new role as senior vice president, law, compliance and special projects until January 1, 2019 to help ensure a smooth transition and oversee certain projects for the company. Ms Foulkes joined PPG in 1995 and has worked in roles including providing legal support to the company’s business units and the environment, health and safety function. She was appointed to her current position in 2016.

Jumping to the other side of the fence Justin Moses, the former head of knowledge and development in Westpac’s legal team, has moved on to take up a role at a newlaw firm. Mr Moses has joined lexvoco’s Sydney office in a new role as special counsel, legal operations. On joining lexvoco, Mr Moses highlighted the firm’s innovation strategy as being a key selling point. Mr Moses will find the new firm a little different from the traditional corporate, as Principal of lexvoco Miriam Rihani explained the firm’s innovation strategy begins with a focus on maintaining a diverse culture, where staff is encouraged to think differently, challenge each other, and think creatively. Ms Rihani said, ‘we've got no dress code, no requirement to be in our offices, no set hours and no billable hour targets.’

Another general counsel jumping over the fence is Neal Bakare, who has worked in-house at Macquarie Bank in Houston for seven years. A finance lawyer, Mr Bakare has joined Foley Gardere, also in Houston, to do finance and energy work, which marks a return for him to private practice.

Two retirees are going into private practice together. Jack Balagia, has retired as general counsel from Exxon Mobil Corp having joined in November 2016 and is jumping over the fence to go into private practice. Ken Tekell, a veteran litigator who practiced at Tekell, Book, Allen & Morris in Houston for 52 years, has gone into partnership with the former Exxon general counsel to form Balagia & Tekell.

Also leaving to ‘pursue new challenges,’ general counsel Bob Bostrom is leaving fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch after 4 Years. Before joining Abercrombie, Bostrom was general counsel at Freddie Mac and helped the company navigate the financial crisis. Mr Bostrom has been general counsel at three companies for over 15 years in both financial services and retail sectors and held senior leadership positions at several globally recognized law firms. He was recently a recipient of the 2018 Burton ‘Legends in Law Award.’

Another retiree is Jeffrey Lane, who was executive vice president for law at Wisconsin-based mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG). Mr Lane wlll be replaced by Paula Maggio as the company’s next general counsel and corporate secretary upon his retirement, and will also hold the same offices with MTG’s principal subsidiary, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC). Mr Lane told the company in January 2017 that he planned to retire after a successor takes office and there is an appropriate transition period. He has been the company’s general counsel and secretary since 1996. Ms Maggio most recently served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for Retail Properties of America. MGIC is a private mortgage insurer that serves lenders in the US and Puerto Rico. As of June 30, 2018, MGIC had $200.7 billion of primary insurance in effect covering roughly 1 million mortgages.

Tennessee-based Aries Clean Energy, working to tackle sustainable waste disposal and carbon emission reductions, has hired Robert Burke as executive vice president and general counsel. He has taken up a newly created position with the company, marking the first time it has grown sufficiently to need a full-time general counsel. Mr Burke has served with a number of US and international energy companies including Edison Mission Energy, PPL Global, Competitive Power Ventures and Vogt Power International. As general counsel, he has managed corporate governance, government affairs and compliance on behalf of multinational companies, and served on the boards of private and publicly traded companies headquartered in the US and abroad.

Oil and energy company Ziyen Inc has a new general counsel, appointing Dean Holter who will also serve as the chief financial officer at the Scottish-American company. The company is focused on ‘delivering 100 percent energy independence to the US.’ Mr Holter is a seasoned in-house attorney.


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