06 March 2019 at 12:35 BST

Around the house

EPA general counsel Obama-appointee joins Patagonia to pioneer new role of 'dedicated environmental advocate,' while another US agency loses its general counsel rather suddenly.


Patagonia, a designer of outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports, has created a new, first-of-its-kind position of ‘dedicated environmental advocate.’ Avi Garbow, the Environmental Protection Agency’s longest-serving general counsel, will join Patagonia’s senior management team to ensure the firm is ‘doing everything we can to protect our planet.’ Mr Garbow served as the EPA’s general counsel under President Obama. Rose Marcario, president and ceo of Patagonia, said ‘as Patagonia’s Environmental Advocate, Avi will provide leadership and strategy to our commitment to the planet. He will help us advance policies that support land and water, renewable energy and regenerative organic agriculture. These are solutions that can not only curb our carbon problem, but also reverse it.’

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) general counsel Charles Yi is to leave agency. As yet, a successor for Mr Yi has not been named, and reasons for his departure and next steps have not been revealed. He is leaving the post at the end of this month after more than four years at the agency. FDIC chairman Jelena McWilliams said in a statement announcing Mr Yi’s departure, ‘he has been involved in numerous rulemakings, enforcement actions, and litigation with a steady focus on the FDIC’s mission and mandate. I wish him well in his future endeavors.’ Immediately prior to his appointment as general counsel in January 2015, Mr Yi served as staff director and chief counsel to the Senate Banking Committee under former chairman Tim Johnson.

Kinder Morgan has appointed Catherine James as vice president and general counsel. Ms James served as general counsel of Dynegy from 2011 until Vistara acquired it last year. She previously served as general counsel for NRG Gulf Coast and Reliant. Ms James has practiced law in the energy sector for 27 years, with legal roles at Calpine Corp, The Coastal Corp, and Chevron.

Comcast Corporation has named Thomas J Reid as senior executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the company, reporting to Brian L. Roberts, chairman and ceo of Comcast. Mr. Reid will join Comcast in April from law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he has served as chairman and managing partner of the firm since 2011. He succeeds Arthur Block. Mr. Roberts expressed gratitude to Me Block, ‘who will be retiring after serving the Company for 30 years in our legal group and for two decades as our general counsel. Art helped us grow Comcast through some of the largest and most transformational acquisitions.’

Sharon Underberg has been appointed corporate vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary by IDEXX Laboratories, a veterinary diagnostics, veterinary practice software and water microbiology testing company. In this role, Ms. Underberg leads IDEXX's global legal and compliance teams, and the office of the Corporate Secretary. She succeeds Jacqueline Studer, who has been IDEXX's corporate vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary since 2014. Ms Underberg joins from Eastman Kodak Company, where she served for nearly three decades in roles of increasing responsibility and complexity for Kodak's global legal organization, and the past four years as the general counsel, secretary, and senior vice president of Kodak.

Wickr co-founder Jennifer DeTrani has been appointed to evp & general counsel at Nisos, a technology enabled cyber security and investigations firm. Ms DeTrani is to lead its legal department as part of its executive team. She will continue to work with secure messaging app, Wickr, in a limited role as special advisor and co-founder. At Nisos, Ms DeTrani will continue to focus on cybersecurity as part of a team of former US government intelligence operators who employ ‘active defense’ methodologies to defend the private sector from loss of intellectual property and reputational value from malicious actors and insider threats.

Rockefeller Capital Management has appointed Michael Solomon as general counsel of Rockefeller Financial, the firm’s broker-dealer. Mr Solomon will lead the legal and compliance efforts across the private wealth management and strategic advisory businesses. He spent nearly seven years at FINRA, most recently as the senior regional director of FINRA’s New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Woodbridge-NJ district offices. At Rockefeller, Mr Solomon will report to Jon Eisenberg, the general counsel of Rockefeller Capital Management.

JCDecaux, the outdoor advertising company, has appointed Caroline Burtin as deputy director of mergers & acquisitions and development of the group, in line with their internal promotion policy. Ms Burtin, a member of the Paris bar, joined JCDecaux’s legal department in 2006 where she worked as a lawyer in the International Affairs division before being appointed head of legal affairs for the Middle East in 2008 and general counsel for the Middle East and Africa in 2011, and going on to serve as general counsel for Italy, Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg, while continuing to fulfil her Middle East and Africa role. Since 2016, Ms Burtin has been M&A and development manager.


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