19 June 2019 at 17:14 BST

Around the house

In mining and cannabis sectors two companies are first-timers in hiring a general counsel, while a couple of counsel jump back over the fence to law firms.


Canadian-based mining development company Champion Iron has hired its first general counsel, industry in-house veteran Steve Boucratie, who also takes the titles of vice president and corporate secretary. Boucratie, who has been a law firm partner, was most recently worked as the director of legal affairs and assistant corporate secretary at Osisko Gold Royalties.

Over the border, Seattle-based cannabis information company Leafly has also hired its first general counsel, Yoko Miyashita. Before joining Leafly, Ms Miyashita worked in-house at Getty Images from 2005 until this year, where she served as director of corporate counsel, deputy general counsel and general counsel.

ABB has appointed Maria Varsellona as general counsel & company secretary, effective November 1, 2019. An Italian citizen, the firms point put Ms Varsellona brings international legal and technology experience. She will succeed Diane de Saint Victor who will retire after more than 12 years with ABB. Ms Varsellona has been chief legal officer of Nokia since May 2014, and additionally President of Nokia Technologies since May 2018. She joined Nokia Group in July 2013 as Nokia Siemens Networks General Counsel, having previously served at TetraPak and GE Oil & Gas for many years.

Contract management company DocuSign has chosen Tram Phi as their new general counsel. His experience includes bringing Imperva and ArcSite through their IPOs. DocuSign is a contract management company that aims, in part, to simplify work for lawyers.

A 26-year veteran Stephanie Graham has been named general counsel at Northwestern University. Ms Graham joined the university in 1993 as assistant general counsel and rose through the ranks to associate vice president and then to deputy general counsel in 2017. Last November she was named interim general counsel when C Philip Harris, the general counsel, left abruptly.

Cybersecurity firm Veracode has hired a tech lawyer as their general counsel. Dawn Rogers, a veteran software industry in-house lawyer, will oversee the Massachusetts-based firm’s legal strategy and support its national and global expansion efforts while providing oversight on corporate governance, compliance and intellectual property management.

BankUnited has hired a new general counsel, Michael Alford. He will be based in Miami and oversee BankUnited’s legal and compliance functions. The bank operates in Florida and the New York metropolitan area and had $32.7 billion in total assets. Mr Alford began his career in financial services in 1989 as corporate counsel for PaineWebber in Miami. He joins BankUnited from Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County, where he served as chief risk officer.

Alice Marsden, the general counsel of Thomas Cook, is to join Taylor Wimpey as group general counsel and company secretary with effect from 4 November 2019. The firm says Ms Marsden “will bring with her a wealth of relevant experience and which I am sure will greatly benefit the Group. We very much look forward to welcoming her to Taylor Wimpey and working with her.” She has led Thomas Cook’s legal operations for the past three years.

Equity derivatives clearing organization OCC has hired a new general counsel and senior risk-management officials. OCC has recruited Janet Angstadt as executive vice president and general counsel. In her new role she is responsible for the strategic direction of OCC’s legal programs, targeting compliance and regulatory requirements. She reports to CEO John Davidson and is a member of OCC’s management committee. Ms Angstadt was most recently at law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, working as a partner and co-head of the Chicago financial services practice, with extensive experience in corporate and securities law.

Zipwhip, a provider of texting for business, has appointed Faye Ricci as its senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. The firm says the appointment reflects Zipwhip’s commitment to strategic expansion to meet the growing market demand for business texting. Ms Ricci brings more than two decades of transactional, operational and risk experience at major national law firms, as in-house counsel and in-business roles. She has significant management experience as a vice president at both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Kelly R Kichline, vice president and chief counsel, employment law at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, has left to rejoin her old firm Jackson Lewis in Las Vegas. “We are thrilled to welcome Kelly back to the firm,” said Nadine C. Abrahams and John M Nolan, co-leaders of the firm’s general employment litigation practice group.

Lawrence J (Joe) Lines, most recently litigation counsel for General Motors, has joined Crowell & Moring’s Orange County office as a senior counsel in the firm’s antitrust group. During his 35-year tenure at GM, he litigated and provided counsel on matters involving dealer and franchise relationships as well as all aspects of putative class action matters involving consumer products. “Joe expands our national recovery practice and will bring a unique in-house perspective to affirmative recovery matters,” said Chahira Solh, managing partner of Crowell & Moring’s Orange County office.


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