Around the house: McKesson names GoDaddy CLO as next legal chief, US aid agency MCC hires Paul Weiss counsel as GC

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at America’s Public Television Stations, Coincover, Clover Health Investments and Adventist HealthCare

Michele Lau will become McKesson’s CLO at the start of next year JHVEPhoto /

McKesson to replace long-time CLO with GoDaddy legal head

US healthcare giant McKesson has hired Michele Lau as its next legal chief, replacing Lori Schechter who is retiring next year, the company said in its quarterly earnings report and first reported by Bloomberg.

Lau is joining from internet domain provider GoDaddy, where she is currently chief legal officer and will leave later this month. Lau will join McKesson at the start of next year, returning to the company after just over two years at GoDaddy. She was most recently associate GC at McKesson, having spent more than 13 years at the company in a variety of legal roles.

Prior to her first spell at McKesson, she spent just under six years as a corporate attorney at Morrison & Foerster.

Schechter will step down as CLO at the end of this year, though she will remain at the company until June as board and enterprise risk advisor. Schechter has been with the company since 2012 and became CLO and general counsel in 2014. Like Lau, she also joined from Morrison & Foerster, where she spent more than 23 years.

The company is responsible for distributing a third of all pharmaceuticals consumed in the US. It employs more than 78,000 people and generated revenue of just under $264bn in 2022.

MCC names Paul Weiss anti-corruption deputy chair as GC

US foreign aid agency the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has named Peter Jaffe as its general counsel.

Jaffe joins from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, where he was counsel and deputy chair of its anti-corruption practice group. At MCC, he will advise the agency on all legal matters, as well as supporting its mission to provide grants and assistance to developing countries and helping fight corruption and uphold democratic rights.

Alice Albright, CEO of MCC, said: “From emerging markets to Capitol Hill to compliance, Peter brings a wealth of experience to this critical role. Peter will be instrumental in advising the agency on key programmes, policies and procedures and as well as leading engagements with our board of directors.”

Prior to his time at Paul Weiss, where he spent seven and a half years, Jaffe was chief ethics and compliance officer at global power company The AES Corporation. He also spent almost six years as of counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, nearly two years as GC at legal services business USLaw, a year with Mintz Levin as of counsel and more than seven years as a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice, among other roles.

Jaffe said: “MCC’s focus on investing in core infrastructure and policy and institutional reforms to improve the lives of millions of people around the world is needed now more than ever. I am excited to join MCC and contribute to the dynamic and talented team of professionals who consistently deliver exceptional results.”

US public TV network hires experienced media lawyer as GC

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) has appointed veteran media lawyer Michelle Shanahan as general counsel, replacing Lonna Thompson who will now focus solely on her chief operating officer role.

Most recently Shanahan worked for NPR (National Public Radio), where she spent 25 years, the last year of those as deputy GC. At APTS, she will oversee all legal affairs and lead its governance, regulatory, contracting and compliance activities. That includes all Federal Communications Commission (FCC) work for all its member stations. She will also serve as corporate secretary.

Patrick Butler, APTS president and CEO, said: “Michelle brings an impressive background in public media to her new role as general counsel. Her decades of experience will be a valuable asset to our team and she will play an important role in inventing the future of America’s public television stations.”

Prior to her quarter-century at NPR – which also included a stint as acting GC and chief legal officer – Shanahan was an associate at legacy firm Hogan & Hartson, and Cohn & Marks before that.

She said: “America’s public television stations provide unique and vital public service to their local communities. As a longtime fan of public television and advocate for public broadcasting, I look forward to working with APTS member stations to advance their essential missions and support their continued excellence and growth.”

Blockchain startup names ex-Allen & Overy lawyer as legal head

Blockchain security company Coincover has hired Yoann Lewkowitz as head of legal, one of a number of recent senior hires to support its growth ambitions.

Lewkowitz joins from Symmetry Investments, where he worked in its legal and operations department. At Coincover, he will be responsible for all legal issues, including regulatory compliance and strategic matters.

His arrival also coincides with the hiring of chief financial officer Pablo Pinillos, who joins from Bitrise.

Vikki Sly, chief people officer at Coincover, said: “[Lewkowitz and Pinillos’] expertise and track records are precisely what we need at this critical juncture. We’re excited to have them on board and are confident that their contributions will make a significant positive impact on our business, ensuring that we continue to protect our customers’ assets and drive innovation in this ever-evolving industry.”

Prior to his time at Symmetry Investments, Lewkowitz worked in legal and compliance at Credit Suisse Asset Management. He also had a spell at LendInvest as legal counsel and four years at Allen & Overy before that. He started his legal career at Israeli firm Kenigsberg-Darzi Law Office as a paralegal before spending eight years with the Israel Defense Forces.

He said: “I am privileged to join Coincover and support the company’s dedication to legal excellence in the blockchain protection industry. I am excited to see how the digital assets regulatory landscape will evolve and contribute to making Coincover a leader in the industry.”

Coincover raised $30m in funding earlier this year, led by Silicon Valley’s Foundation Capital.

Clover Health Investments promotes deputy to GC

US-listed Medicare insurance provider Clover Health Investments has promoted Karen Soares to general counsel, replacing Joseph Martin who left the company in June.

Soares was previously deputy GC, having joined the company in 2018 as associate GC. In her expanded role, Soares will oversee all corporate legal matters and serve on the company’s management team, reporting directly to CEO Andrew Toy.

Toy said: “Karen has been a tremendous asset to Clover over the years, providing strategic legal counsel and partnership as our business has continued to evolve. I’m delighted to have her serve as our general counsel, as Clover will benefit from her healthcare expertise and deep understanding of our business as we continue to deliver on our mission.”

Prior to joining Clover, Soares spent almost six years as GC and chief compliance officer at Analyte Health and seven years as an associate at Fried Frank. She started her legal career as law clerk to appeals court judge Eugene Davis.

Soares said: “Over the past five years, I have had the privilege of working with the team at Clover as we work toward our mission to improve every life. I am honoured to step into the role of Clover’s general counsel as we continue on this journey.”

Martin, meantime, spent just over a year at Clover before returning to Steel Partners as chief legal officer, his previous employer.

Faith-based US healthcare business names replacement for retiring GC

US faith-based non-profit healthcare provider Adventist HealthCare has announced plans to promote Dwayne Leslie to general counsel, replacing Ken DeStefano who is retiring from the role at the end of the year.

Leslie is currently the company’s deputy GC and chief compliance and integrity officer. He has more than 25 years of experience advising companies on a wide range of legal issues and during his time at Adventist HealthCare has overseen compliance, audit, grants management and research programmes.

Terry Forde, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare, said: “Dwayne’s extensive experience and thoughtful insight has been a blessing over the past four years. I am confident that we will enjoy a seamless transition and that Dwayne will continue our commitment to organisational transparency as we fulfil our mission of extending God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.”

Leslie has been with Adventist HealthCare for almost five years, joining as chief compliance officer in 2019. He was previously director of government affairs at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and CEO and GC of Phase V Pharmaceuticals, which he co-founded in 2004. He has remained a board member since 2011. He also had in-house roles at Vantagepoint Capital Group, Geneva Films and Healthcare Financial Partners. Prior to that he worked in private practice at Mintz Levin and Jones Day.

DeStefano, meantime, is retiring after 25 years as GC at Adventist HealthCare.

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