15 August 2018 at 15:06 BST

Around the house

Prominent in this weeks appointees are companies hitting the headlines who are also needing to appoint new general counsel.


Starting with Wynn Resorts, which has just settled with outgoing general counsel Kim Sinatra. A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing includes a copy of the five-page settlement agreement as well as a 26-page employment agreement between the company and Sinatra’s successor, Ellen Whittemore. Ms Whittemore, a gaming attorney with 30 years’ experience and a former shareholder in the Las Vegas law office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, will be paid $600,000 a year, plus benefits. Her $600k annual base salary is subject to the company’s compensation committee, and she’ll be eligible to participate in a performance-based incentive plan for executive officers that has a target bonus of 100 percent of the annual base salary. The agreement also offers inclusion in a profit-sharing plan, an executive stock option plan, pension and retirement plans and insurance and hospitalization coverage. Ms Whittemore will be required to be licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission, a board she has appeared before frequently on behalf of other licensing applicants.

Monsanto, who just got hit by a $289m Roundup verdict, is looking for a new general counsel. David Snively, who joined Monsanto's legal department 34 years ago in the midst of a PR crisis over Agent Orange, is leaving his replacement once found to face a new controversy. Mr Snively, has officially retired.

Uber, never far from the headlines, has turned again to Washington for a new security chief. The firm has hired former National Security Agency (NSA) General Counsel Matthew Olsen as its chief trust and security officer to replace Joe Sullivan, who was fired late last year after a previously undisclosed data breach at Uber became public. Mr Olsen is a Washington veteran, whom Uber brought Olsen in as an adviser last year.

Former First Guaranty general counsel Michael McElroy has jumped the fence to join Mayer Brown, in the news due to the killing of one its prominent lawyers. Mr McElroy will be based at firm’s Washington DC office as a partner and will focus his practice on a range of matters related to the mortgage banking and consumer finance industries. Mr McElroy has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the financial services industry and has previously held senior roles with mortgage firms, government-sponsored enterprises and private law firms. He previously served as the general counsel and secretary for mortgage lender First Guaranty Mortgage. Previously, he served as general counsel, chief compliance officer and secretary for Stonegate Mortgage.

After decades with law firm Morrison & Foerster, Robert Townsend has jumped the fence in the opposite direction, moving in-house to lead the legal department at SoftBank, a company he's already represented many times. SoftBank Group is a Tokyo-based firm that has been deemed the world’s biggest tech investor, and Mr Townsend joins as its first ever chief legal officer and senior vice president.

Granite has hired Craig Hall as its new general counsel and secretary. The construction company has recruited Mr Hall as senior vice president, general counsel, corporate compliance officer and secretary, effective August 6. He succeeds Richard Watts, who was recently appointed senior vice president and group manager for Granite’s Water and Mineral Services Group. Mr Hall joins Granite from Oldcastle, Inc. During his 24-year career with Oldcastle, Mr Hall’s leadership roles included work in the development and implementation of corporate legal compliance and ethics programs. In his new position, Mr Hall will be responsible for the general management of Granite's legal team and will participate in securities, corporate and board governance matters, and compliance.

Memphis, Tennessee-based ServiceMaster has hired a general counsel for its spin-off unit American Home Shield. Ahead of the transaction, ServiceMaster Global Holdings has hired Jeffrey Fiarman as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of American Home Shield. Fiarman is expected to join later this month in preparation for the spin-off of the business late in the third quarter. ServiceMaster provides residential and commercial services. Mr Fiarman previously served as general counsel for veterinary medications company Wedgewood Pharmacy, and before that advised start-ups and new business ventures, and co-founded a consumer wearable technology company, as well as serving as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of IDEXX Laboratories.

After browsing the market for a new in-house counsel, California-based Mozilla has appointed Amy Keating. Ms Keating will be joining in September as Mozilla’s new General Counsel, and help scaling and reinforcing the firm’s legal capabilities. She will be responsible for all aspects of Mozilla’s legal work including product counseling, commercial contracts, licensing, privacy issues and legal support to the Mozilla Foundation. Ms Keating joins Mozilla from Twitter, Inc. where she has been Vice President, Legal and Deputy General Counsel.

Global biopharmaceutical company Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc has named Timothy Williams as their senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Prior to joining Vanda, Mr Williams served as executive vice president, general counsel, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary at AgNovos Healthcare, a medical device company focused on bone health. Prior to this position, he was senior legal counsel and assistant secretary at Stryker Corporation, a global medical technology company, where he led the legal department's global M&A, corporate governance, and securities groups.

Global supplier of high performance test systems and sensors MTS has appointed Todd Klemmensen as its new senior vice president and general counsel, effective August 5, 2018. Mr Klemmensen has over 19 years of legal experience, practicing business and corporate law. He was senior manager - contracts at Alliant Techsystems Inc and provided legal counsel within its Armament Systems Group, prior to joining MTS Systems as director of contracts and senior counsel in 2012.

Marian L Zobler, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission deputy general counsel for rulemaking and policy support, has been selected by the Commission as the agency's next General Counsel. Zobler has been serving as acting general gounsel since Margaret M Doane was appointed NRC's Executive Director for Operations last month. The appointment is effective Aug. 5. Ms Zobler joined the NRC in 1990 as part of the Office of the General Counsel's Honor Law Graduate Program. Since then, she has served in a variety of progressively more responsible positions. As general counsel, Ms Zobler will oversee the office of general counsel and direct matters of law and legal policy; provide legal opinions, advice, and assistance to the agency; monitor adjudicatory proceedings; provide legal interpretations; and represent and protect the interests of the NRC in legal matters.

FINCA International has appointed Judith Reyes as its general counsel. Ms Reyes brings nearly 15 years of expert legal experience in nonprofit foundations and corporate firms to the position.  As the senior legal officer for FINCA International, she will be responsible for managing legal risk and compliance and providing comprehensive legal advice. Ms Reyes is a seasoned attorney with progressive legal experience in tax-exempt charitable organizations and corporate firms. In her immediate prior role, Judith served as the Associate General Counsel for The Rockefeller Foundation, a private foundation that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world.

A former IMAX in-house legal leader has been named the general counsel of New York-based data enterprise and catalog software company Collibra. The company has appointed Michelle Rosen, taking up a position that had been left vacant for quite some time. Previously, Timothy Hirsch had the title head of legal at Collibra until November 2017, but left to be the vice president and general counsel of Gwynnie Bee. Ms Rosen has previously led legal team of the Chinese branch of entertainment technology company IMAX. In her role as general counsel, she will oversee and manage all legal matters for the organization. She will also act as a secretary to the board.

Legal, regulatory and turnaround advisory advisory firm FTI Consulting has appointed senior attorney Laura Terrell as deputy general counsel. Ms Terrell has a more than two decades-long legal career spanning high-profile positions in both public service and private practice. She has served as lead counsel in litigation, investigations, compliance, regulatory, transactional, and government affairs matters. She joins FTI from DLA Piper, where she was a Partner at the Washington, D.C. office for seven years. Ms Terrell has represented corporations and individuals from a wide array of industries, including pharma, FMCG, telecom, energy, and financial services. She also provided legal and strategic advice, training, and PR support to large national and multinational firms. In her new role, Ms Terrell will serve under Curtis Lu, who has been FTI’s General Counsel since 2015 and work out of the firm’s Washington DC headquarters.


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