04 July 2018

Around the house

From sweet deals to sour tastes, a round-uo of the week's moves in the GC world.


In a sweet deal, Damien Atkins will head up the legal department at The Hershey Company, one of the world's most famous chocolate makers. Mr Atkins, an attorney with extensive in-house experience at internet and electronic companies joins from a different industry, coming from Panasonic.

One deal that was so sweet was the sour taste in the mouths of 60.5 million Shareholders of Bed Bath & Beyond, who reacted to the company's executive compensation plan by voting against the re-election of Edison Properties general counsel Victoria Morrison to Bed Bath & Beyond's corporate board. Ms Morrison is a longtime member of Bed Bath & Beyond’s board of directors, and also serves as general counsel at the New Jersey-based real estate company. The shareholders ousted her from the boardroom of the home goods retailer last Thursday.

Drinks giant Pernod Ricard has appointed Amanda Hamilton-Stanley as their new general counsel to lead its legal team following the departure of Ian FitzSimons, group general counsel of Pernod Ricard since 2002. He will be replaced by Ms Hamilton-Stanley in September, who has led Chivas Brothers’ in-house team since 2011, which is a brand company in the Pernod Ricard network. The move is a return to Pernod Ricard for Hamilton-Stanley, who spent four years there as a senior legal counsel between 2007 and 2011. She was an associate at Allen & Overy before moving in-house.

María Eugenia Batista, general counsel for Odebrecht in the Dominican Republic for over 10 years is leaving to head up MEB Legal, a new boutique law firm catering for construction and infrastructure clients in Santo Domingo. During her tenure, Batista negotiated the EPC contract for the construction of a $2 billion carbon power plant, with the Dominican Republic state-owned power generating entity, among other major transactions. Prior to her in-house role, Batista practiced law at Pellerano & Herrera from 1995 to 2008.

Asset management company Blackstone Group is looking for a new general counsel following the departure of its former general counsel, Diego Gómez-Haro Katznelson, who has joined Mexican law firm Sánchez Devanny as co-head of the firm’s real estate practice.

OMG! BuzzFeed has lost its first-ever general counsel, the ex-Freshfields lawyer Allison Lucas, who also had a stint in journalism. Ms Lucas worked at the news and entertainment website BuzzFeed for five-years, which the firm told the media is ‘a long time in BuzzFeed years!’ Ms Lucas had been based in the New York offices of BuzzFeed in charge of a team of 14 lawyers.

Alanna Rutherford, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, has jumped the fence to go in-house with Visa. She joins Visa as vice president of global litigation, which in the past has been a litigation adversary of her former firm. At one point, Ms Rutherford was both the youngest and the only African-American equity partner at Boies Schiller Flexner.

JLL has hired Alan Tse as their new general counsel, who joins them from the general counsel role at Petco. Mr Tse today becomes global general counsel and corporate secretary for JLL, with responsibility for the company’s legal and compliance functions. He succeeds Mark Ohringer, who is retiring from JLL, and is located in the company’s Chicago head office. JLL, a Fortune 500 company, is a professional services firm specializing in real estate and investment management. Before joining Petco, Mr Tse served as general counsel and was an executive committee member at Churchill Downs, having previously served as general counsel at LG Electronics Mobilecomm. The company stated Mr Ohringer ‘provided astute global leadership and direction for JLL’s legal and compliance teams, including shaping and guiding the company’s award-winning Ethics Everywhere program.’

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