08 March 2017

Around the house

A weekly round-up of moves from around the globe.

By Kathryn Higgins

Ken Wolter

First up, Wells Fargo has announced the appointment of a new general counsel. Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner Allen Parker will join Wells Fargo as its new GC as incumbent legal boss James Strother prepares to retire after 30 years with the company. Mr Strother had originally planned to retire at the end of last year, but stayed on with the company for an interim period to deal with the aftermath of Wells Fargo’s high-profile accounts scandal. Mr Parker’s appointment will be effective from 27 March.

Meanwhile, online scrapbooking site Pinterest has picked up former Google executive Christine Flores as its new general counsel. Ms Flores will be replacing Pinterest’s first and only general counsel Michael Yang, who announced in November last year that he would be leaving the company to pursue work in public policy. Ms Flores will head Pinterest’s legal and public policy teams and report directly to company CEO Ben Silbermann. A seasoned corporate lawyer, Ms Flores has spent the last 10 years with Google, where she most recently served as vice president of legal.

Barclays has named global litigation head Stephanie Pagni as its new general counsel for the United Kingdom following a major restructure of the bank’s legal team. Ms Pagni joined Barclays in 2005 following a period in private practice with Allen & Overy, and was promoted to head of global litigation in 2014. As UK GC, she will replace former legal chief Mark Chapman who has reportedly left the bank to work with a charity in South Africa after only 12 months at the helm of its UK legal department. Barclays has not yet announced who will replace Ms Pagni as global litigation head.

Former Proskauer Rose special counsel Daniel Davis has joined the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission as its new general counsel. He has replaced former GC Jonathan Marcus, who left the commission in January, Mr Davis was a specialist in employment law while working with Proskauer, and has also previously worked at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher across the firm’s administrative and regulatory, labour and employment, and litigation practices. From 2006 to 2007, he also served as counsel to the assistant attorney general of the US Department of Justice Civil Division.

Finally, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner Philip Richards has joined Rio Tinto as the mining giant’s new group general counsel. Mr Richards was originally seconded to Rio Tinto in December to replace former group general counsel Debra Valentine, whose contract was terminated late last year following on ongoing bribery probe at the company. Chief financial officer Chris Lynch has been overseeing the legal function at Rio Tinto in the interim. Mr Richards’ move in-house comes after a career at Freshfields spanning almost 30 years. 

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