23 October 2019

Around the house

Dramatic moves around the house this week as a new general counsel steps onto the stage at the Old Vic theatre, while another new hire steps into the footwear business.


The Old Vic theatre has appointed Sara van der Pas a new general counsel. She replaces Leah Hurst, who left before the summer as the former head of its legal department to join the Royal Opera House.  Ms van der Pas was previously interim associate on the charity & community team at Farrer & Co, having started at the same firm prior to a post at Wellcome

ERIE has promoted its corporate secretary to general counsel. Brian Bolash, who joined the  Nasdaq-listed Erie Indemnity Company (ERIE) in 2000, has been promoted to become senior vice president and general counsel for the company and the affiliated companies of the Erie Insurance Group. The appointment follows the retirement of Sean McLaughlin as ERIE’s general counsel in December 2018. In his new role, Bolash will be chief legal officer, overseeing the company’s law division, internal audit and corporate legal department. In addition to those responsibilities, he will continue to serve as ERIE’s corporate secretary and will join the company’s executive council. He currently serves as vice president, corporate secretary and senior counsel.

Lisa Washington has been hired by WSFS Bank as its first chief legal officer. The bank is the primary subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed WSFS Financial Corporation. Ms Washington oversees WSFS’ enterprise-wide legal operations and reports to executive vice president and chief risk officer Paul Greenplate. She previously worked at Philadelphia-based Atlas Energy Group as vice president, CLO and corporate secretary, where she spent 13 years with Atlas and its predecessors.

Scott Becker has joined footwear and accessories company Genesco as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. He succeeds Roger Sisson, who retired from the Nashville, Tennessee-based firm earlier this year. Mr Becker most recently worked at Nissan Group of North America and Latin America, which he joined in 2006, serving as general counsel, corporate secretary and vice president for legal and government affairs. In 2009 he became a senior vice president with responsibilities for legal, government affairs, finance, strategy and administration.

Former Elan general counsel and founding chairman of Malin Corporation John Given has jumped the fence to join Philip Lee, the Dublin corporate law firm, as a senior partner in its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team. He joined Elan in 2013 just as the drugmaker was subject of takeover battle. Mr Given spent two decades with law firm A&L Goodbody, ending up as head of M&A, before joining Elan as general counsel. He subsequently co-founded and floated Malin, an investor in life sciences companies, with former Elan chief executive Kelly Martin. However, Mr Given quit suddenly at the end of 2016. He was said to have been concerned about Malin’s deviation from its initial focus on a small number of investments to taking stakes in a collection of start-ups in disparate fields.

Vulcan Materials has appointed Denson Franklin, an attorney at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, as their senior vice president and general counsel. He swaps desks at Birmingham’s largest law firm for the second-largest public company in Alabama. Mr Franklin is a member of Bradley’s corporate and securities practice group and has focused his practice on corporate, mergers and acquisitions, finance transaction, and federal and state securities matters.

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