Around the house: Sword Health appoints experienced startup GC, ResMed replaces retiring legal head

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at the UK Payment Systems Regulator, RAPT Therapeutics and the Girl Scouts of the USA
Headshot of Beth Stevens

Sword Health's Beth Stevens Courtesy of Sword Health

Healthcare unicorn unveils ‘uniquely positioned’ startup specialist lawyer as legal head

US pain prevention and treatment startup Sword Health has named Beth Stevens as its chief legal officer.

Stevens joins from Mayer Brown where she was involved in its recently launched Technology General Counsel in Residence programme. She was previously GC at Walmart-backed fintech company One. At Sword, Stevens will lead the company’s legal team and oversee its regulatory initiatives, as well as support the company’s leadership team on its growth objectives.

Virgílio Bento, CEO and founder of Sword, said: “Beth is uniquely positioned to take on this role as she has served as the general counsel for several hyper-growth companies operating in highly-regulated categories and we are excited to benefit from her leadership across our team.” 

Prior to her time at One, Stevens spent almost five years at online real estate business Opendoor, where she was head of legal and corporate secretary. She also had stints as GC at fintech lender Earnest and ride sharing startup SideCar. Before pursuing her in-house career, Stevens worked in private practice at firms including Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Paul Hastings, having started her career at consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton. 

Stevens said: “To join one of the fastest growing healthtech startups at such a critical stage, on a mission that I truly believe in, is incredibly exciting and I look forward to bringing both my legal expertise and personal passion for the future of healthcare to this role.” 

Founded in Portugal in 2015, Sword Health achieved unicorn status in November 2021 when its Series D funding round valued it at $1.8bn.

ResMed promotes from within as GC retires after 21 years

US medical equipment-maker ResMed has promoted current deputy global general counsel Mike Rider to the GC role, replacing David Pendarvis who is retiring at the end of next month.

Rider joined ResMed 11 years ago, first as GC for the Americas region, before becoming deputy GC in 2019. The company previously said it was seeking an internal replacement for Pendarvis, with Rider coming out on top. During his career at ResMed, Rider has provided counsel to the company’s sleep and respiratory care business and helped transform the business into a global digital health leader.

The company also promoted Dawn Haake to a newly created role as chief quality officer.

Mike Farrell, ResMed’s CEO, said: "Mike and Dawn are both longtime industry experts, celebrated team leaders and relentless drivers of ResMed’s culture of excellence, always putting the health, safety and wellbeing of patients, providers and our employees first."

Prior to his time at ResMed, Rider’s in-house career involved spells at Callaway Golf as GC and at American Airlines as a senior attorney. He also worked in private practice at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Pendarvis is retiring after more than 21 years at ResMed, who he joined from legacy firm Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. Like Rider, he also worked at Gibson Dunn, where he worked for 14 years between 1986 and 2000.

PSR takes on former CMA legal director as GC

The UK Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has hired Alex Olive as its general counsel as part of a broader shake up of its organisational structure.

Olive joins from the Cabinet Office’s Investment Security Unit, where she has worked since November leading national security risk identification and analysis for M&A transactions. Prior to that she was legal director at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In her new role she will be responsible for leading the PSR’s legal team and providing legal advice and risk management across the business. She will join the regulator in June and will also sit on its board and executive committee.

Natalie Golding has also been appointed as chief operating officer as part of the organisational changes.

Chris Hemsley, managing director at the PSR, said: “With the rapid pace of change in the payments sector, and the impact that our work has on supporting the UK economy and society more generally, Alex and Natalie join the PSR at a key time. To deliver against our ambitious strategy, the PSR needs to invest in and attract the right skills and experience for our teams and continuously improve how we deliver our projects.”

Prior to her almost seven years at the CMA, Olive spent just under a year as senior legal advisor at healthcare business Monitor (now part of NHS Improvement), having previously been at Hogan Lovells for more than nine years, working her way up to senior associate.

RAPT Therapeutics eyes commercial push with new GC hire

US listed biopharma company RAPT Therapeutics has named Michael Listgarten as its new general counsel.

Listgarten previously worked at Adamas Pharmaceuticals, where he was vice president for healthcare law and chief compliance officer, leaving in November 2021. Bringing with him more than 25 years of legal experience, Listgarten has particular expertise in helping biopharma companies transition from late-stage clinical development to commercial operations.

Brian Wong, president and CEO of RAPT, said: “As we advance from development toward potential commercialisation, Michael’s deep legal expertise and organisational leadership experience from a broad spectrum of biopharmaceutical companies will be instrumental in our growth.”

Prior to joining Adamas, Listgarten worked for healthcare companies including Principa Biophama (as VP of healthcare law), Genentech (as senior associate GC) and Shaklee Corporation (as senior counsel). He started his career in private practice at Covington & Burling.

He said: “It’s an exciting time to join RAPT. We have two promising product candidates in development and we have potential pivotal trials on the horizon. I look forward to contributing to the continued advancement of the pipeline and the growth of the company as we look to provide broad access to our innovative oral therapies.”

RAPT (previously known as Flx Bio) was formed in 2015 following Bristol Myers Squibb’s acquisition of Flexus Biosciences, with BMS spinning out the immuno-oncology assets it didn’t want into a separate company. RAPT listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2019.

US Girl Scouts hires former White House legal advisor

The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has named former White House lawyer Diana Beinart as its new general counsel, replacing Jennifer Rochon who was recently appointed as a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Beinart joins from the NYC Department of Finance, the city’s tax collection agency, where she spent nearly 10 years as deputy commissioner and GC. In her new role at GSUSA, Beinart will join the organisation’s executive leadership team and oversee its legal, risk and insurance functions, reporting directly to CEO Bonnie Barczykowski.

Barcyzkowski said: “[Beinart’s] exceptional track record of leading organisations through complex legal and financial matters and advising on short and long-term strategy will be invaluable to our organisation as we continue to fulfil our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character.”

Before joining the NYC Department of Finance, Beinart spent three years in The White House as a special assistant and associate general counsel to President Barrack Obama. She also spent five years as a tax prosecutor at the US Department of Justice and had spells in private practice at Caplin & Drysdale and Williams & Connolly.

Beinart, herself a girl scout, said: “I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated team at GSUSA to support the organisation’s mission and help build the next generation of female leaders.”

Rochon left GSUSA in May last year after almost 10 years with the organisation. She was previously a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.

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