07 Jul 2023

Around the house: Google parent’s health business hires new GC, ex-ITV lawyer takes CLO role at Arqiva

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at SiriusPoint, Bambee, SIG Sauer and GPS Capital Markets

Laura O’Donnell joins Alphabet’s health tech company Verily Photo courtesy of Verily

Google’s parent health tech company Verily hires new GC

Google-parent Alphabet’s precision health technology company Verily has hired Laura O’Donnell as its new general counsel, replacing Cynthia Patton who left earlier this year to join Tessera Therapeutics.

O’Donnell brings with her almost two decades of in-house legal and compliance experience in the global healthcare industry, most recently at US drug and medical supplies distributor McKesson where she was the company’s chief compliance officer. At McKesson, she was responsible for transforming its regulatory and operational approach and spearheaded initiatives such as its Covid-19 Executive Response Team and its Drug Supply Chain Security Act governance strategies. At Verily, she will be responsible for helping the company navigate the ever-evolving legal and regulatory landscape in the healthcare industry.

Stephen Gillett, CEO of Verily, said: “Laura brings to Verily a wealth of legal and compliance expertise as well as decades of experience across the healthcare industry at some of the most successful companies in the sector. Her deep experience in galvanising rapid company transformation and executing operational excellence across the enterprise will be a critical enabler for Verily as we further our precision health strategy.”

O’Donnell spent just over four years at McKesson, having joined from GE Healthcare, where she spent almost a decade in a number of legal roles, latterly chief counsel for global affairs. Prior to that O’Donnell was chief compliance officer at medical tech company Zimmer Biomet, having started her career in private practice at legacy firm Faegre Baker Daniels back in 1996.

She said: “I am excited to join Verily at an important time of growth for the company, as it continues to fulfil its mission to bring the promise of access to precision health to everyone, every day.”

Arqiva taps former ITV lawyer as new CLO

UK-based broadcasting and communications infrastructure business Arqiva has appointed Nicola Phillips as its new chief legal officer, replacing Katrina Dick who left the company in March.

Phillips joins from British aerospace company Parker Meggitt, where she was deputy general counsel for UK and EMEA and director of legal operations. At Arqiva she will be responsible for all legal matters and will also sit on the company’s executive committee, reporting directly to new CEO Shuja Khan.

Khan said: “[Phillips’s] CV is exceptional and the organisations and sectors she has operated in give her an excellent perspective on our business. Our business is about creating, developing and maintaining excellent relationships with our customers, regulator and other stakeholders, and the legal function plays a key role in making all that happen.”

He added: “Nicola’s strong background combined with her energy and commerciality will be a great asset in delivering our ambitions for Vision 2031.”

Phillips spent just over two years at Parker Meggitt, having previously been at ITV for more than 13 years in a variety of roles including director of legal and business affairs for ITV commercial and head of legal for ITV commercial and marketing. Prior to joining ITV, Phillips was a solicitor at legacy firm Denton Wilde Sapte.

Phillips said she already knows the Arqiva business well as ITV is one of Arqiva’s largest customers, adding: “Arqiva’s role in delivering consistently, efficiently and innovatively for its customers cannot be understated and I’m looking forward to helping the wider team to deliver on our ambitious future plans.”

SiriusPoint lands in-house insurance specialist as new CLO

US-listed speciality insurance and reinsurance provider SiriusPoint has named Linda Lin as its new chief legal officer, taking over the role from interim general counsel Jimmy Yang, who has been heading up the legal team since February.

Lin joins from insurance company Coaction Global, where she was GC and corporate secretary, leading its legal, regulatory, compliance, product development and internal audit functions. At SiriusPoint she will be responsible for running the company’s legal function. Lin will be based in New York and will join the company’s executive leadership team (ELT), reporting to CEO Scott Egan.

Egan said: “As a highly experienced general counsel with a broad legal background in the re/insurance and listed environments, I have no doubt that Linda will be an enormous asset in helping us deliver against our ambitious strategy. I am delighted that she is bringing her expertise to SiriusPoint and further strengthening our deep bench of executive talent in the areas of leadership and culture building.”

Lin spent just over two years at Coaction Global, having joined from insurance peer QBE North America, where she spent more than five years, most recently as GC for its business unit support and as co-head of regulatory. She also previously held in-house roles at Berkshire Hathaway Speciality Insurance and Liberty International Underwriters. She started her career in private practice at US firm London Fischer, before becoming law clerk to district court judge Dora Irizarry and then moving to Willkie Farr & Gallagher as a litigation associate.

Lin said: “It is an exciting time for the company, which has a revitalised strategy and executive leadership team, and a keen focus on culture and values. I look forward to working with the ELT and board to contribute to the strides SiriusPoint is making in its performance, and to supporting the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, an area particularly important to me.”

HR platform Bambee eyes further growth with GC hire

US human resources tech platform Bambee has appointed Evan Ferl as its new general counsel and chief strategy officer as the company plans for its next stage of growth.

Ferl joins from social commerce marketplace Poshmark, where he was GC and vice president for strategy and corporate development and helped on its $3bn initial public offering. At Bambee, Ferl will be responsible for heading its legal team and spearheading the company’s development.

Allan Jones, Bambee’s founder and CEO, said: “Evan understands scale, complexity and excellence. The timing of his arrival aligns perfectly with our goals as the business transitions from an early-stage start-up to a more mature technology company. But his energy, creativity, optimism and experience as an operator are why I am so thrilled to have him on the team. Not only from a legal perspective but also to shape our strategy surrounding corporate development.”

Ferl spent two-and-a-half years at Poshmark, having joined from career marketplace Hired, where he spent just under four years as GC. He also had in-house roles at VMware (as senior associate corporate counsel), SumTotal Systems (as corporate counsel) and NASA (working in the office of chief counsel).

He said: “The team’s devotion to Bambee’s mission, and drive to build upon the already great success they’ve achieved, is incredibly motivating and I’m looking forward to being a big part of the business through their next phase of growth.”

Gunmaker SIG Sauer takes on new GC

US gunmaker SIG Sauer has appointed Laurence Grayer as it new general counsel.

Grayer joins from global development organisation Creative Associates International, where he was GC and chief compliance officer. At SIG Sauer, Grayer will be responsible for the company’s legal matters and also serve as chief compliance officer, helping further its business objectives.

Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer and executive vice president for commercial sales at SIG Sauer, said: “As SIG continues our path of unprecedented growth and expansion, Larry’s skills, experience and leadership will be essential in supporting our strategic initiatives.” 


Grayer spent six years at Creative in Washington DC, having joined from Protorae Law, where he spent just over two-and-a-half years as of counsel. Prior to that he spent more than 15 years in-house, including more than eight at DynCorp International and just under seven at Amalgamated Transit Union. He started his career in private practice as an associate at New Jersey firm Hack Piro O’Day Merklinger Wallace & McKenna.

He also serves on the board of directors at non-profit organisation Veterans Moving Forward, which provides service dogs, facility dogs and emotional support dogs to veterans with physical or mental health challenges.

GPS Capital Markets hires experienced fintech lawyer as new global GC

US fintech provider GPS Capital Markets has hired Alice Abbott as its global general counsel, a newly created position.

Abbott joins from Canadian crypto platform Fabriik, where she was chief legal officer and chief compliance officer. At GPS, she will be responsible for establishing the fintech’s legal department and oversee all legal matters as it seeks to grow its business internationally. Abbott will be based remotely in Toronto.

Brandon Parke, president and CEO of GPS, said: “This appointment marks a significant milestone for GPS as we strengthen our commitment to legal excellence and ensure our operations align with the highest standards of compliance. With the increasing complexity of regulations, the need for robust legal guidance and expertise has never been more important. With the addition of Alice and her extensive experience we are bolstering our legal capabilities across the board.”

Abbot arrives after just a year at Fabriik, having previously spent six years at payments business AFEX as global GC. She was also GC and chief compliance officer at Jameson Bank and Mercantile Exchange Corporation and had earlier in-house stints at TD Waterhouse (as senior compliance manager), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (as enforcement counsel) and the Ontario Securities Commission (as investigation counsel). She started her career as a counsel in Canada’s Department of Justice.


She said: “I have been immensely impressed by the professionalism and culture of the company. I look forward to establishing the legal department and supporting the continued success of GPS.”

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