Around the house

By Megan Malloy

21 November 2012 at 10:37 BST

Lawyers at two global entertainment giants are in this week's spotlight, while a Swiss driller and a leading US university inject fresh blood

Mickey Mouse's lawyer takes top ECLA spot Featureflash/

Allen Katz has been appointed interim senior vice president and general counsel to Transocean, the Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor, the Compliance Week web site reports. Mr Katz replaces Nick Deeming, who announced his resignation last month citing personal reasons. Mr Katz has previously served as managing partner at Los Angeles-headquartered law firm Munger Tolles & Olson and joined Transocean as an advisor in June 2010.

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has hired Timothy Lynch as its general counsel. Mr Lynch comes from a background of working in the US Department of Energy and – according to the web site -- will pull a salary of $400,000, a 28 per cent increase on that of his predecessor, Suellyn Scarnecchia. Mr Lynch has also worked at the Securities and Exchange Commissions as assistant chief litigation counsel and in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia as an assistant attorney.

Philippe Coen – an in-house lawyer at the European headquarters of entertainment giant Walt Disney -- has been voted President of the European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) – that group’s first election of a French president since the association’s launch 30 years ago. Mr Coen has served as ECLA’s vice president since March 2012. He is charged with the task of promoting the influence of company lawyers in the EU and increasing services and benefits to the members of the ECLA.

Fellow entertainment goliath -- Sony Pictures Television – has recruited Richard Parsons as its senior vice president for corporate business and legal affairs in its international production division, reports London’s Legal Week newspaper. Mr Parsons is the former director of corporate finance and legal affairs at BBC Worldwide. More recently, he has been a consultant at English media law firm Wiggin.

The general counsel at the US’s Federal Trade Commission, Willard Tom, has resigned to return to the private sector after being in the top role for more than three years. Mr Tom formerly served as deputy director of the Bureau of Competition and practised antitrust law at Philadelphia-based global law firm Morgan Lewis. The FTC’s principal deputy general counsel, David Shonka, will step in as acting general counsel, reports Compliance Week. Mr Shonka joined the agency in 1977 as a staff attorney and brings experience overseeing the Freedom of Information Act, employment counsel, and energy counsel functions. Additionally, the FTC has appointed Peter Miller as chief privacy officer, who will be responsible for reviewing the commission’s policies concerning sensitive information.


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