Around the house: Kim Kardashian’s underwear brand gets first GC, Charter Communications replaces retiring GC

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Seeker Music, Prove Identity, Metropolitan Commercial Bank and Barton Malow

Kim Kardashian Asatur Yesayants /

Kim Kardashian’s Skims hires first legal head

Skims Body, the underwear and fashion label co-founded by US reality TV star Kim Kardashian, has hired Colin Bennett as its first general counsel, Bloomberg reported this week.

Bennett joined in July from meal-kit company Hello Fresh, where he was GC. At Skims, he will also serve as chief compliance officer. He told Bloomberg that he expects to grow the company’s in-house legal team and will report directly to Skims’ co-founder and CEO Jens Grede.

Prior to joining Hello Fresh, where he spent just under six years, Bennett was assistant GC at online marketing company Yext and director for legal at healthtech business Counsyl. Before that he was a corporate associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and at Cravath Swaine & Moore in New York.

Skims was founded by Kardashian, Grede and Grede’s wife Emma in 2019. It raised $270m in a funding round in July led by Wellington Management Group, which valued the business at $4bn. It plans to open its first physical stores next year in Los Angeles and New York as part of its retail expansion. It currently sells its products online and via third-party retailers, including Selfridges and Harrods.

Charter Communications raids Madison Square Garden for GC replacement

US broadband and cable operator Charter Communications has named Jamal Haughton as its new general counsel, replacing Rick Dykhouse, who announced his retirement plans earlier this year.

Haughton joins from Madison Square Garden (MSG) Entertainment, where he was GC, corporate secretary and executive vice president. At Charter, he will also serve as corporate secretary and executive vice president. As head of the company’s legal department, he will oversee all legal and regulatory matters.

Chris Winfrey, CEO and president, said: “Jamal is a proven leader who brings extensive experience managing high-profile corporate legal matters, as well as invaluable industry perspective. As our industry, network and technologies continue to evolve, and the legal intricacies of our business grow increasingly more complicated, we are fortunate to have Jamal joining us in this key leadership role.”

Haughton was at MSG Entertainment for just under two years, having previously spent six years as GC and senior vice president at Samsung Electronics America and almost a decade at Cablevision Systems Corporation as associate GC. Prior to that he spent seven years as an associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore.

Dykhouse, meantime, steps down as legal chief after 17 years with the company. He will remain on as executive counsel to Winfrey and to help support the transition. Dykhouse previously had in-house roles at CNH Industrial and Conseco.

Charter Communication’s serves 32 million customers in 41 US states through its Spectrum brand.

Seeker Music hires experienced entertainment lawyer as GC

Music publishing and management business Seeker Music has hired veteran music lawyer Dan Stuart as general counsel.

Stuart joins from Sony Music’s AWAL US, where he was senior vice president of business affairs. At Seeker, he will be responsible for handling all of the label’s legal matters.

Evan Bogart, Seeker’s CEO, said: “I’ve known Dan for almost 20 years. And what I’ve known about Dan since the day I met him is how dedicated and well-respected he is. He is one of the best in the business, and in my view it’s because he’s not just a lawyer, he’s an OG music guy who really cares about music and music creators.”

Stuart spent almost five years at AWAL, having previously been a partner at Los Angeles entertainment lawyers King Holmes Paterno & Soriano for just under five years and an attorney at Manatt Phelps & Phillips for more than 14 years before that.

He said: “In my role as an attorney, whether my client is an aspiring young musician or a well-funded music company, my goal has always been to ‘represent’ them in the true sense of the word. I aspire to understand what their goals are, financially, in business and creatively, so that I can use my skills and resources to help them achieve those goals.”

Seeker has amassed a catalogue of more than 11,000 copyrights and master recordings, including from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, 2Pac, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Whitney Houston and Nas.

Digital ID startup Prove Identity hires first CLO

Digital verification and ID platform Prove Identity has hired Mitch Bompey as its inaugural chief legal officer, taking over from interim general counsel Lesley O’Neill.

Bompey joins from fintech data platform Addepar, where he was general counsel and chief risk officer, overseeing all legal matters and helping grow the company’s international presence. At Prove, he will assume a similar mandate.

Roger Desai, Prove’s CEO, said: “[Bompey’s] expertise in legal matters, data sectors, privacy and security will be invaluable as Prove continues to grow rapidly and expand our product offerings across the globe.”

Bompey spent just under six years at Addepar, joining from US investment bank Morgan Stanley, where he worked for more than 17 years in a variety of roles. Most recently he was head of technology, data protection and sourcing for legal. Prior to that he spent four years as an associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges and two years as an associate at legacy IP specialists Fish & Neave.

He said: “The leadership at Prove is committed to producing products and solutions that address key business needs for our customers and I am thrilled to be joining at this stage to support the unlocking of these growth opportunities.”

O’Neill, meantime, will resume her role as chief compliance officer. She had been acting as interim GC since February after the exit of former GC Melanie Grace.

New York community bank lands finance veteran as GC

US financial services group Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp has named Frederick Erikson as its new general counsel, replacing Michael Guarino who is retiring from the business next year.

Erikson arrives from Liberty Bank, where he was deputy GC. In his new role, he will also oversee all legal matters for Metropolitan Commercial Bank (MCB), a community-focused bank in New York City and surrounding areas.

Mark DeFazio, president and CEO of the bank and holding company, said: “MCB is very fortunate to have added Fred to our executive leadership team and appointed our general counsel. Fred’s broad banking and legal background and ambition align well with the bank’s strategic initiatives.”

Erikson spent just under two years at Liberty Bank, which he joined from Webster Bank, where he spent more than 20 years, just under five of them as deputy GC. Prior to his time in-house, he was an attorney at legacy firm Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner.

He said: “As a longtime industry professional, I look forward to supporting the growth and innovative strategy of MCB’sleadership team.”

Guarino steps down from the GC role after 15 years with the bank. He will remain on as senior vice president and senior counsel until his retirement at the end of next year. He was previously counsel and compliance officer at the Israel Discount Bank of New York and held the same role at First Fidelity Bank before that. He started his career as an assistant treasurer at Chase Manhattan Bank.

Barton Malow hires Honigman partner as CLO

US commercial and residential construction company Barton Malow has hired Brandon Booth as its chief legal officer, returning to the company after almost 14 years working in private practice.

Booth joins from Honigman, where he has spent the past two years as a partner. He originally left Barton Malow as a project engineer in 2009 before going to law school. He will now lead all legal matters for its construction business and report directly to president and CEO Ryan Maibach.

Prior to joining Honigman, Booth spent more than nine years at national firm Howard & Howard Attorneys. He started his legal career as an attorney at Beals Hubbard, where he worked for just over two years. In addition to his legal credentials, Booth also holds a degree in construction management.

Booth replaces MaryAnn Kanary, who left Barton Malow in August after almost six years with the company, having become CLO in 2020. She is now CLO at Cooper Standard, where she previously worked as associate general counsel and director of global legal compliance before joining Barton Malow in 2017. That was also her second stint at Barton Malow, having previously spent eight years with the company until 2013, five of them as assistant GC.

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