Around the house: new GCs for ABC and Adtalem Global Education

PacWest Bancorp and Yumanity Therapuetics are among the companies welcoming new legal leaders in this week's collection of senior in-house hires

Douglas Beck of Adtalem Global Education and ABC's Ingrid Silver Images courtesy of Adtalem Global Education and ABC

Reed Smith media partner for ABC

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s Sydney-based national broadcaster, has named Reed Smith partner Ingrid Silver as its new general counsel.

“This is a key role for the ABC and in many ways a unique role in the Australian media landscape,” said ABC managing director David Anderson. “Ingrid will bring great depth to the work we do here and is perfectly placed to continue the work done by current general counsel Connie Carnabuci.”

Silver brings more than 25 years’ experience in media and the law to her new role, with the majority of her career so far spent in the UK and Europe. Currently based in London, Silver is co-head of Reed Smith’s film and TV group within its global entertainment and media practice, clients of which include broadcasters, studios, production companies, streamers, social media platforms, advertisers, talent and tech companies.

Prior to Reed Smith, she spent 12 years as a partner at Dentons in London and also had stints at Taylor Wessing and Ashurst.

In a statement, ABC called Ms Silver a digital media, broadcast and communications transaction and regulatory expert, noting that her range of skills and experience make her “perfectly placed to lead the ABC’s legal team at this important time”.

Jacquie Foord and Grant McAvaney have each been appointed to the position of associate general counsel. They will have specific focus on regulatory and editorial matters, respectively and will each act as general counsel pending Silver’s arrival in late September.

Hub Group GC moves to Adtalem

Listed workforce solutions provider Adtalem Global Education, headquartered in Chicago, has made former Hub Group GC Douglas Beck its new senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

Beck began his legal career as an associate at Seyfarth Shaw before moving in-house to Allegiance Healthcar, Navistar and Alberto-Culver. He joined listed transportation management company Hub Group in 2011 as assistant general counsel and was promoted to the top legal spot four years later.

Adtalem chairman and CEO Lisa Wardell described Beck as having “an impressive track record of leveraging his deep legal expertise, thorough understanding of the business and strong client relationships to deliver business results.”

At Adtalem, Beck is responsible for commercial, corporate governance, IP, labour and employment, litigation, M&A, real estate, regulatory and compliance, and securities. He has taken over from Chaka Patterson, who resigned after a little more than a year as GC.

Pharmacueticals veteran for Yumanity Therapeutics

Biopharma company Yumanity Therapeutics, which went public last December through a reverse merger with struggling cystic fibrosis biotech Proteostasis Therapeutics, has made Devin Smith its new senior vice president and general counsel. The Boston-based outfit develops therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, with its most advanced product candidate currently in Phase 1 clinical development for Parkinson’s disease.

“We are delighted to welcome Devin as our general counsel at Yumanity Therapeutics,” said Yumanity president, CEO and director Richard Peters. “His experience providing legal counsel to public emerging life science companies will be important as we advance three clinical programs, move new assets into our pipeline, look to expand corporate partnerships and strengthen our balance sheet.”

Smith has joined Yumanity from a three-year stint at fellow Massachusetts-based listed pharmaceuticals company Minerva Neurosciences, where as SVP and GC he provided strategic legal advice and was responsible for corporate governance and SEC compliance. Prior roles have included as general counsel and corporate secretary for immunology company Stallergenes Greer and as vice president and general counsel at EMD Serono, the US-based biopharma business of German pharma giant Merck. Before going in house, Smith was a partner at the international law firm Nixon Peabody

“Yumanity has made outstanding advances since its public debut at the end of 2020,” said Smith. “I am looking forward to working with the executive team to help achieve the company’s vision of a future free from neurodegenerative diseases.”

CPS Energy looks in-house for next legal leader

San Antonio-based municipal electric utility CPS Energy has made Shanna Ramirez interim chief legal and ethics officer, general counsel and board secretary. She has replaced Carolyn Shellman, whose departure was announced 2 June, and reports to president and CEO Paula Gold-Williams as a member of the company's senior executive team.

Ramirez joined CPS Energy in 2015 as director and senior counsel and most recently served as the company’s vice president and chief integrated security officer, where she oversaw physical and data security, cyber, incident response and business continuity. Prior to CPS Energy she was vice president and deputy general counsel for publicly traded Fiesta Restaurant Group, where she led complex litigation mandates, and also spent five years practicing employment litigation at Hayes & Boon in San Antonio.  

In a statement, CPS Energy said that in the immediate term Ramirez is expected to help to drive the company’s efforts to “protect its customers from excessive, illegitimate and illegal prices” stemming from Winter Storm Uri. She is also expected to help oversee the implementation of cybersecurity best practices within the legal department and play a leading role in the utility's adoption of key environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

Gold-Williams commented that Ramirez’s experience leading CPS Energy's security infrastructure and business continuity programs – combined with her experience in complex litigation – give her “unique insights that will be invaluable to CPS Energy and our customers as we continue to fight the ongoing negative implications of Winter Storm Uri."

Entertainment industry experience for Broadside Enterprises

Los Angeles-based listed development stage venture company Broadside Enterprises has appointed Harris Tulchin of entertainment and multimedia law firm Harris Tulchin & Associates as general counsel.

An entertainment industry veteran, Tulchin has served in roles including senior vice president of business affairs and general counsel for Cinema Group, general counsel and head of business affairs for KCET Television and director of business affairs at MGM Television. He is concurrently serving as chief business affairs and legal officer of ClubHouse Media.

Broadside Enterprises acquires and develops businesses across a number of industries including media, entertainment, sports and real estate. CEO Michael Taverna commented on the appointment: "Harris brings the company a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience and relationships as we seek acquisition opportunities to grow our business in the coming years."

PacWest Bancorp shift

Nasdaq-listed PacWest Bancorp, a bank holding company with more than $32bn in assets headquartered in Los Angeles, has hired Angela Kelley as its new EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary. She will also serve as the EVP and general counsel for its wholly owned banking subsidiary Pacific Western Bank.

Kelley comes to the company with more than a decade of legal experience primarily in the banking and finance sectors. She has spent the past two years as the general counsel and corporate secretary for NBT Bancorp in Syracuse, New York and prior to that was the deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at Heartland Financial USA. She began her legal career in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels, where her practice focused on contract negotiation for large commercial real estate transactions and complex commercial litigation.

"We are pleased to have an individual with Angela's depth of experience and knowledge of the commercial banking industry joining our executive team," said Matt Wagner, President and CEO. "She will bring a fresh legal perspective to our company as we continue to grow and expand our offerings to serve our business clientele across the country."

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