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08 January 2020

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

The founding partner of a firm that boasts Donald Trump as a client features in this week's round-up

Howard Wenig, a founding partner of specialist New York real estate boutique Belkin Burden Goldman, has joined Stamford-based property finance firm The Bluestone Group as its general counsel. Wenig was a name partner of 50-lawyer Belkin Burden before his departure. Belkin Burden was established in 1989 and is an adviser to US President Donald Trump, having represented the Trump Organization in the Trump University lawsuit that led to a $25m settlement. Bluestone Group partners Eli Tabak and Marc Mendelsohn said: “We have worked with Howard for over twenty years and are thrilled to be able to add someone with Howard’s enormous breadth of experience, integrity, and knowledge to our team.” 

Karyn Temple is joining the Motion Picture Association as senior executive vice president and global general counsel after serving more than eight years in the US Copyright Office, most recently as the Register of Copyrights. She will oversee all of the association’s legal affairs and content protection efforts around the world. Among her previous roles, she served as senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. “The film industry has seen a tremendous amount of change recently, with new business models and huge growth around the world,” she said.  

Chicago-based real estate investment trust Ventas has hired Carey Roberts as its executive vice president, general counsel and ethics and compliance officer. She becomes the Chicago-based S&P 500 company’s second-ever GC, replacing T. Richard Riney, who has retired. She joins from global insurance company Assurant, where she served as executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Previously she was deputy general counsel at Marsh & McLennan having also been a partner in the corporate practice of Covington & Burling. “As a successful public company GC with an outstanding legal career, she brings extensive experience, energy, judgment and intellect to Ventas,” said chairman and CEO Debra Cafaro.

The interim general counsel at the now-defunct Thomas Cook, Dr. Rainer Altfuldisch, has found a new home at German online retailer Zalando, according to JUVE, manging the legal department and reporting to general counsel Dr. Michael Menz.Rainer. He joined the travel agency in 2018, initially as head of legal for Continental Europe, before assuming the interim GC role. Previous assignments include a six-year stint as an M&A partner at K&L Gates.

Finally, Phil Pesek has retired as general counsel of mining exploration services company Teck American after an in-house career spanning companies including Wal-Mart and The Home Depot. Aside from learning to play the guitar, he is exploring the possibility of developing a general counsel services practice within a law firm. “Law firms are great at providing legal support to companies, but they don't always understand the role of the in-house attorney and what legal support they provide to the company,” he said in a LinkedIn post.

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