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15 January 2020

Around the house: The latest general counsel appointments across the globe

Rio Tinto's new general counsel starts in her new role while the co-founder of the initiative Black GC 2025 switches companies

By Roman Edwards

Rio Tinto display diamonds at the annual Luxury Law Summit Douglas Fry

Barbara Levi has taken up her new post as group general counsel at Rio Tinto, succeeding Philip Richards, who has retired. She joins the mining giant after more than 15 years at Novartis, where she held a variety of roles culminating in global legal head of M&A and strategic transactions. “What attracted me most to working for Rio is its commitment to sustainability, which is embedded into the company's business strategy, as well as its culture, and its commitment to putting safety and wellbeing first,” she said in a LinkedIn post. She is a US- and Italy-qualified lawyer, having started out her career in private practice in New York. The appointment, which was announced last July, sees her relocate to London from Basel.

April Miller Boise has joined multinational power management company Eaton as its general counsel, based at its headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. She takes over from Heath Monesmith, who has been promoted to the post of chief operating officer for Eaton’s industrial sector with responsibility for the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions. Boise is co-founder of the initiative Black GC 2025, which aims to boost the number of black GCs in Fortune 1000 companies to 100 by 2025. She joins Eaton from Meritor, a global supplier for commercial vehicle manufacturers, where she was chief legal officer and corporate secretary. 

London’s Natural History Museum has hired specialist in-house charity lawyer Will Parsloe as its first head of legal. He joins the museum, which doubles up as a research centre, from youth charity The Challenge, which went into administration in November after losing government funding worth £60m a year. In previous roles, he has also headed up the legal function at the English National Opera and the children’s charity, the NSPCC. Before going in-house he was a solicitor at Fieldfisher, where he advised on commercial intellectual property, information technology, new media and outsourcing issues.

Silicon Valley fintech start up PayActiv has appointed David Reidy as its first chief legal officer. He joins the company from McGuireWoods, where he led its 50-lawyer fintech practice and was a founding partner of its San Francisco office. Launched in 2014, PayActiv provides workers with access to cash between their pay cheques. He will oversee all legal, legislative and compliance matters including international expansion plans.  “It’s an honour to join PayActiv and support its mission of bringing financial security, dignity and savings to millions of workers by offering financial wellness services and providing them with access to the wages they have earned,” said Reidy, who was PayActiv’s legal adviser while at McGuireWoods.

XPO Logistics has appointed Kurt Rogers  as its chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Rogers, who takes up the role on 3 February, joins from waste disposal company Stericycle, where he was general counsel. Bradley Jacobs, chairman and CEO of the logistics giant described him as “a results-oriented leader with a talent for aligning legal functions with strategic and organisational goals”.

Amy Marlyse Plato has joined Houston-based oil company Motiva Enterprises as its general counsel from Aramco Services, where she was a senior counsel in its Houston office. She succeeds Chris Vice at the fully owned affiliate of Saudi Refining on his retirement after nine years as GC. Before going in-house, Plato was a partner at Houston litigation boutique Zabel Freeman. Brian Coffman, Motiva Enterprises’ president and chief executive, said: “We look forward to her contributions as we strive to be the safest and most profitable downstream business in the Americas.”

Singapore’s Attorney General, Lucien Wong, is to serve a second three-years tenure, Singapore’s The Business Times has reported. Wong was chairman and senior partner of top local firm Allen & Gledhill before taking up the role. He will become one of Singapore’s longest-ever serving Attorney Generals. 

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