United States 2014 – GC Powerlist

United States 2014

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Alex Dimitrief

Senior vice-president and general counsel | General Electric Company

Alex Dimitrief spent more than 20 years at Kirkland & Ellis before making the leap to in-house, and he hasn’t forgotten his roots. ‘I remember how demanding clients were, and...

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Alfred Pollard

General counsel | Federal Housing Finance Agency

Alfred Pollard displayed ‘boldness and vision in partnering with outside counsel to launch what may be the largest collection of securities cases in history’, opines Peter Calamari of Quinn Emanuel...

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Amy Schulman

Vice-president and general counsel | Pfizer

As the brains behind Pfizer’s much-lauded Pfizer Legal Alliance, Amy Schulman’s inclusion here is somewhat inevitable. The alliance, created shortly after she joined the company in 2008, was set up...

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Anastasia Danias

Senior vice-president and chief litigation officer | National Football League

Anastasia Danias’s background is in IP, but since moving in-house, she’s discovered that her skills can be utilized in a number of different ways: not only has she been managing...

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Angela Hilt

Vice-president, corporate secretary and associate general counsel | Clorox

Angela Hilt has played a leadership role in Clorox’s diversity initiatives; the company’s legal team has a strong record of retention rates, and the wider group has a solid corporate...

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Ann Miller

Vice-president and general counsel | Converse (wholly owned subsidiary of Nike)

When iconic brand Converse set out to “claim back” its market in each key jurisdiction (having previously used a royalty model outside of the US), its legal department needed to...

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Barry Beldin

Vice-president and senior counsel | TD Bank

Financials

Barry Beldin’s workload is described by one observer as ‘insane’. His responsibilities include supporting numerous special assets team members across the states, from Florida to Maine, and works very closely...

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Bill Daly

Deputy commissioner and chief legal officer | National Hockey League

Bill Daly is in the enviable position of being able to combine his passion – sport – with his day job. He also happens to be one of the most...

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Bob Marin

Vice-president and general counsel | Panasonic Corporation

Bob Marin says his greatest achievement at Panasonic has been ‘survival’. Given that his brief is to look after the North America region for a complex global organization, his comment...

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Bob Zeitler

Vice-president and general counsel | Molex Incorporated

The actions of one of Molex’s employees recently caused a major headache for the legal time as a potential crisis loomed. But Robert Zeitler coordinated a fast-paced and thorough investigation,...

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Bradley Turk

Managing director and regional general counsel | Tishman Speyer Properties

When Bradley Turk made his first move in-house to Tishman Speyer in October 2007, he was unaware of the crisis that was about to hit the global real estate market...

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Bryan Supran

Senior vice-president and associate general counsel | Pfizer

Given Bryan Supran’s leading role in two major M&A transactions for Pfizer recently, his inclusion here should come as little surprise. The sale of its global nutritional buiness to Nestlé,...

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Carlos Hernandez

Senior vice-president, chief legal officer and secretary | Fluor

Carlos Hernandez’s background is in engineering, and although he ended up on a different career path than originally planned, his interest in the manufacturing and construction industry has served him...

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Christina Ibrahim

Vice-president, corporate secretary and public law group lead | Halliburton

As one of seventeen board members for the Houston-based Association of Women in Energy, which is paving the way for women in the sector through peer-to-peer learning, Christina Ibrahim is...

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Colleen Batcheler

Executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary | ConAgra Foods

Colleen Batcheler, who has worked for ConAgra since 2006, has been a driving force in the expansion of its legal department, which had previously been wholly outsourced. Batcheler has also...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Curtis Hall

Vice-president and chief legal officer | Stryker Corporation

Curtis Hall’s name springs to the mind of many law firm partners when asked who they recommend. He is widely credited with guiding the company through remarkable growth in the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

David Cohen

Assistant general counsel and chief trademark counsel | Honeywell

Given Honeywell’s vast array of brands, responsibility for its portfolio of trademarks, copyrights and domain names is surely not a straightforward task. But David Cohen handles it with aplomb, additionally...

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David Jaffe

Vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Guardian Industries

For David Jaffe’s busy and growing legal department, receiving value for money from outside counsel is paramount. He recently conducted an experiment with his team, asking each to identify a...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

David Sorkin

Member and general counsel and secretary | KKR & Co

KKR & Co’s transition to a public company has seen David Sorkin take an instrumental role in navigating it through this transitional phase in its life. Sorkin was its first-ever...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

David Wermuth

Senior principal and general counsel | Stone Point Capital

Following a three-year stint in BigLaw, David Wermuth moved in-house in 1999 and has not looked back since. ‘Early on, he quickly became indispensable to the execution of every transaction...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Deryl Couch

Managing director and general counsel | Sun Capital Partners

Deryl Couch sets a fine example to many in-house lawyers, who are often required to do more with less. Working with a relatively small team, he oversees acquisitions, divestitures, and...

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Donald Rosenberg

Executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary | Qualcomm

Donald Rosenberg was the brains behind two new divisions of Qualcomm’s legal team, that have since ‘taken intellectual property protection to a new level’, observes Bill Urquhart of Quinn Emanuel...

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Ellen Padesky Maturen

Vice-president and associate general counsel | PulteGroup

The impact of the recession has seen homebuilder Pulte’s workforce reduce from over 16,000 to just over 3500. But not only has its legal team successfully worked to avoid litigation,...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Ethan Orlinsky

Senior vice-president and general counsel | Major League Baseball Properties

It was Ethan Orlinsky’s passion for baseball that led him down the path of patents and trademark law. Prior to taking on the hard-won position at his dream organization, he’d...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Gary Martz

Executive vice-president and general counsel | Greif, Inc

Just over ten years ago, Greif did not have a legal department. Today, it has an in-house team to serve all its operations in over 50 countries. The department has...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Gerson Zweifach

Senior executive vice-president, group general counsel, and chief compliance officer | 21st Century Fox and News Corp

Gerson Zweifach showed just how much he loves a challenge when he stepped into his first ever in-house role for Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-hit news empire. He started in early 2012,...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Gisèle Sutherland

Vice-president and Associate General Counsel | BMO Financial Group

Gisèle Sutherland appears to be justified when she describes her specialist employee benefits team as a ‘jewel’ within BMO, as she recently led it through an immensely challenging period, when...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Harry Mixon

Vice-president and corporate counsel | Prudential Insurance Company of America

Insurance

A partner at a global firm recently mused that no-one could stay ahead of, or out-smart, Harry Mixon. He’s developed a reputation for being able to cut straight to the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Heidi Chen

Executive vice-president and general counsel | Zoetis, Inc

Formerly one of Pfizer’s ‘star lawyers’, when Zoetis was spun out recently, Heidi Chen found herself involved in building a public company operation from scratch. As a result, she now...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jaeleen Araujo

Vice-president and general counsel | Sealaska Corporation

Alaskan native Jaeleen Araujo has been advising Sealaska for a number of years in a number of different capacities. She used to advise the corporation, which has some 20,000 tribal...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

James Mercer

Executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary | HCP

James Mercer cares deeply about environmental issues, and in just over two years at HCP, has demonstrated this by driving forward the company’s sustainability efforts alongside its CEO. This included...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

James Shea

Chief tax officer | Prudential

James Shea utilizes his expertise not only within his organization, but outside of it too. He is known as an active participant in Washington DC, where he takes part in...

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Jan Reed

Corporate vice-president and deputy general counsel | Walgreen Company

If Walgreen exercises its option to acquire the remaining 55% of Boots in 2015, it is expected to generate some $130bn in revenue, and its legal department will grow from...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jay Stephens

Senior vice-president and general counsel | Raytheon Company

Jay Stephens has been with Raytheon for just over a decade, and in that time has successfully transformed the department from a reactive one to a proactive one. Not only...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jay Yano

General counsel and secretary | State Auto

State Auto has a unique corporate structure: 62% is publicly owned and 38% is owned by private shareholders. James Yano has been credited with developing practices and procedures to address...

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Jeffrey Ferguson

Managing director and general counsel | The Carlyle Group

Jeffrey Ferguson is a fine example of someone whose career has grown in concert with the organization he works for. He first began working with Carlyle as outside counsel, then...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jeffrey Zimmerman

Senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Hertz Global Holdings

When Hertz acquired Dollar Thrifty recently, it was the culmination of a long-fought battle of which Jeffrey Zimmerman was a key player. The transaction was littered with complexities; two different...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jennifer Clark

Senior vice-president, chief legal officer and secretary | REIT Management and Research

During Jennifer Clark’s tenure, RMR has increased its assets under management from $6bn to over $18bn, and its client base has multiplied substantially; it therefore goes without saying that its...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jill Centella

Senior vice-president and head of litigation | JPMorgan Chase

According to Matthew Previn of BuckleySandler, Jill Centella has all the qualities required to make a great litigator: ‘she is a tremendous tactician and has superb judgment. She knows when...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jill Wallach

Managing director and partner | BTG Pactual

When BTG Pactual tasked Jill Wallach with creating an international legal department to support its global expansion, it was a coup not just for the company, but for many junior...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

John Lynch

General counsel | BP

When the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe first hit BP in 2010, it was impossible to predict the breadth of issues that would befall the company. Fortunately, John Lynch had the foresight...

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John Reilly

Associate general counsel, litigation | Lorillard

Working for a tobacco company means product liability litigation is something of an inevitability, and John Reilly has worked tirelessly to ensure it is handled in an efficient and cost-effective...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

John Wombwell

Executive vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Plains Exploration & Production Company

John Wombwell’s skills are impressive: he recently led the restructuring of the company to focus on offshore exploration (including significant acquisitions from BP and Shell in the Gulf of Mexico)...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Jonathan Drimmer

Vice-president, deputy general counsel | Barrick Gold Corporation

Jonathan Drimmer has demonstrated real commitment to human rights issues, having joined the company in 2011 when it announced it would be implementing a new HRC program, to not only...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Joseph Impicciche

Executive vice-president and general counsel | Ascension Health Alliance

Joseph Impicciche has been advising non-profit organizations for the bulk of his career, both as outside and inside counsel. At Ascension, his role involves coordinating legal services for many major...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Joshua McMorrow

Vice-president, secretary and general counsel | PSC

By his own admission, Josh McMorrow is ‘half-lawyer, half-businessman’, and there’s an abundance of evidence to support this. ‘I am not accepting the notion of a legal department as a...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Katherine Adams

Senior vice-president and general counsel | Honeywell

Not only is Katherine Adams responsible for the legal, governmental, and security departments of a multibillion-dollar company – including close to 1,000 staff under her watch – but she’s also...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Katherine Adkins

Vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Toyota Financial Services

Katherine Adkins has a passion for innovation – so much so that she serves as executive sponsor of her company’s creativity and innovation efforts. This has seen TFS introduce workshops...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kathryn Park

Senior counsel, advertising and IP | General Electric Company

As Kathryn Park runs one of the world’s most substantial trademark portfolios, she has experience and knowledge that, fortunately, many others benefit from. As a past president of INTA, the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Keith Agisim

Chief IP counsel | Bank of America Corporation

Financials

Corporate America has much to thank Keith Agisim for; as chairman of the Financial Services Round table’s IP committee, he has played a key role in assisting Congress with the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kelly McNamara Corley

Executive vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Discover Financial Services

Kelly McNamara career history is both remarkable and rare. From her humble beginnings as an unpaid summer intern, she went on to become Discover’s general counsel (the company was spun...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kenneth Schwartz

Vice-president and assistant general counsel | Avery Dennison

Kenneth Schwartz is incredibly focused on providing legal services in the fastest, and most cost-effective way, to his organization. To achieve this, he favors an approach of consolidation and segmentation...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kent Magill

Executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary | The Hillshire Brands Company

When Kent Magill joined Sara Lee just prior to the spin-off of its tea and coffee brand, he was immediately thrown into the deep end when the newly spun-off company...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kent Walker

Senior vice-president and general counsel | Google

Information technology

The culture with Google’s in-house team, as one might expect, is very much in line with the rest of its business. Kent Walker acknowledges it may be viewed as ‘quirky’,...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kevin Heiser

Senior counsel | Wells Fargo Bank

Financials

As counsel for a company that serves around one in three households in the United States, Kevin Heiser has responsibility for a huge docket of cases. He is said to...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Kirkland Hicks

Vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Towers Watson

Kirkland Hicks describes his company, created via a merger in 2010, as ‘well run, with a great leadership team and an engaged and supportive board of directors’. His own leadership...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Larry DeRespino

General counsel | U-Haul

Larry DeRespino has a long track-record as a skilled commercial litigator, and he brought those to bear when he moved in-house at U-Haul. However, recognizing that he lacked the transactional...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Larry Thompson

Managing director and general counsel | DTCC

Larry Thompson’s typical working day is a hectic mix of complex negotiations, overseeing litigation, and negotiating collective bargaining agreements. But he somehow still finds the time to ensure that the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Laura Buckland

Vice-president and chief litigation counsel | T-Mobile

Heading up T-Mobile’s major litigation team means Laura Buckland is tasked with a vast array of complex issues, and her approach has impressed the outside counsel she’s worked with. She...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Lesley Rosenthal

Vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Lincoln Center

And corporate counsel working for a non-profit organization could do well to take inspiration from Leslie Rosenthal. The Lincoln Center first tapped her in 2005 to oversee its transformation from...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Lily Chang

Principal and associate general counsel | Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Financials

Lily Chang is admired for her ability to deal with the many complex issues involved in working for a major financial institution. Joy Gallup of Paul Hastings LLP says ‘she...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Luke Mette

Deputy general counsel, litigation | AstraZeneca

Luke Mette, like so many of his peers, has a hard task on his hands to try to reduce legal spend. Recognizing that the billable hour cannot be abolished in...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Mallory Garner

General counsel, mortgage operations | PennyMac Loan Services

It was something of a coup for PennyMac Loan Services when Mallory Garner agreed to come on board in early 2011. Garner has serious credentials when it comes to mortgages...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Mark Finkelstein

Executive vice-president - corporate development, general counsel and corporate secretary | Emeritus Corporation

As a former M&A lawyer, Mark Finkelstein has an excellent head for business, making him a valuable asset for this highly acquisitive company. He believes the fact he had no...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Mark Holden

Senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Koch Industries

Mark Holden, general counsel of one of the largest private companies in the US, is no stranger to publicity and controversy; Koch regularly makes headlines for its political stances on...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Marta Beckwith

Senior director, IP litigation | Cisco Systems, Inc.

Marta Beckwith has previously been recognised as a rising star by the industry and been held up as an example to other aspiring women lawyers, via her inclusion in Inside...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Mary Leheny

Chief trademark counsel | Novartis Consumer Health

Mark Engelmann of Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu describes Leheny as ‘vastly experienced and very highly regarded, both within her company and in the trademark community generally’. Responsibility for protecting...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Matthew Biben

General counsel, consumer and community banking | JPMorgan Chase

Acting for an organization going through a major legal challenge is not for the faint-hearted, but it is testimony to Matthew Biben’s abilities that he not only managed tricky negotiations...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Michael Blum

Senior vice-president, business and legal affairs | Quantcast Corporation

Any company that inhabits the world of digital advertising needs a privacy expert on their side, and in Michael Blum, San Francisco-based Quantcast has just that. Blum serves on the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Michael Sosso

Managing counsel, antitrust | BP America, Inc.

The timing of Michael Sosso’s arrival at BP is worth noting: it was June 2011, and the company was embarking on a divestment program to pay off debts associated with...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Neil Rosolinsky

Head of employment law | RBS

Neil Rosolinsky has demonstrated a number of ways in which in-house legal teams can make savings for their company. His first port of call upon taking on his role was...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Noreen Krall

Vice-president and chief litigation counsel | Apple, Inc.

Noreen Krall’s profile is sky high at the moment, due to her prominent role in Apple’s precedent-setting smartphone wars. The company’s very identity hinges on Krall’s decision-making skills, and she...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Parkin Lee

Vice President, chief legal officer, and secretary | Rockefeller Group International Inc.

Parkin Lee’s appointment at Rockefeller five years ago was the latest landmark in a career that began as a design and project engineer for GE’s Aircraft Engine Group, and resulted...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Paul Dacier

Executive vice-president and general counsel | EMC Corporation

Paul Dacier’s track record is nothing short of outstanding; he became EMC’s first ever corporate counsel in 1990, and in the years that followed has guided the company through a...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Paul Petta

Associate general counsel | Mastercard

As anyone who oversees a globally spread-out team will know, it can be a challenge to foster enough camaraderie to make things cohesive. Paul Petta has 55 direct reports sitting...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

PD Villarreal

Senior vice-president, global litigation | GlaxoSmithKline

GSK’s litigation head PD Villarreal is a big believer in early dispute resolution, through use of the MASTER program: ‘with disciplined application of the program, quick and inexpensive solutions can...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Randal Milch

Executive vice-president, public policy, and general counsel | Verizon Communications

When Verizon faced a multi-week strike involving 40,000 employees in 2011, Randal Milch found himself personally reviewing more than 60 pending NLRB unfair labor charges and assessing the litigation suitability...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Rob Hunter

Senior vice-president, general counsel, and secretary | Altec, Inc.

Seasoned trial lawyer Robert Hunter rarely has to step inside a courtroom these days. During his 15 years as the company’s GC, he has overseen the introduction of new safety...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Robert Grey

Secretary and general counsel | PPL Corporation

PPL Corporation recently made headlines around the world when it convinced the Supreme Court to overturn a decision banning its use of foreign tax credits against the UK “windfall tax”...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Robert Sacks

General counsel and secretary | Standard Parking

According to Mark Grossman of Katten Muchin, Robert Sacks is ‘at all times level-headed’. Having served the company since 1987, he has a solid record of experience gained within the...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Robert Weber

Senior vice-president, legal and regulatory affairs, and general counsel | IBM

Robert Weber is something of a non-conformist in his world; he is vigorously opposed to the concept of non-lawyers having a stake in law firms, is open-minded when it comes...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Roderick Palmore

Executive vice-president, general counsel, chief compliance risk management officer and secretary | General Mills

Roderick Palmore is already a household name, having been repeatedly recognized for his efforts in the diversity drive. He literally wrote the book on the topic, in 2004 – A...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Ryan Patch

Vice-president - Law, general counsel and secretary | B/E Aerospace

Ryan Patch is among a group of business leaders at B/E Aerospace who have helped its stock price rise from $6 to $70 per share over the past five years....

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Sabine Chalmers

Chief legal and corporate affairs officer | Anheuser-Busch Inbev

Sabine Chalmers has led her company through two landmark M&A transactions in recent years: there was the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Companies for $52bn in late 2008, and the acquisition of...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Sandra Leung

General counsel and secretary | Bristol-Myers Squibb

By her own admission, Sandra Leung does not fit the typical profile of a GC. ‘I am not male or over 50, didn’t go to an Ivy League school and...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Seth Hoogasian

Senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary | ThermoFisher Scientific

Hoogasian comes highly recommended by Mick Bain of WilmerHale, who says he is ‘one of the most impressive attorneys I have ever met.  He is an amazing tactical, strategic and...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Shar Heslam

Managing director and general counsel | Berkshire Partners LLC

As a lawyer sitting on Berkshire’s board of directors, Shar Heslam is something of a trendsetter in the private equity industry. She was the first specialist (ie not from an...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Simone Wu

Senior vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary | Choice Hotels International

Simone Wu, who joined Choice Hotels in 2012, was recently named one of the nation’s most influential Asian American Lawyers. In her current role, she brings to bear 20 years’...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Stacey Jackson

Senior vice-president of human resources and general counsel | DavCo Restaurants

The number of lawsuits against DavCo – which holds the exclusive franchise in Maryland for Wendy’s Restaurants – has reduced considerably since Stacey Jackson came on board some fifteen years...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Stanton Dodge

Executive vice-president and general counsel | The DISH Network

As pointed out by one of his many admirers, Stanton Dodge’s story is compelling. He is a true home-grown talent within DISH, having started out at its predecessor company as...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Stephen Cutler

Senior vice-president and general counsel | JPMorgan Chase

Stephen Cutler has been working for JPMorgan since 2007, and in that time has greatly impressed many observers. ‘He has a tremendous ability to simultaneously focus at a nuanced level...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Stephen Eisenberg

Senior vice-president and general counsel | Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Stephen Eisenberg’s philosophy is to ‘hit the ball down the middle of the highway’. As GC for the second largest credit union in the US, it’s a worthy mantra for...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Steven Greenspan

Associate general counsel, litigation | United Technologies Corporation

UTC began trailblazing the death of the billable hour as far back as 2005, and Steven Greenspan, who joined in 2011, firmly agrees that the model ‘makes no sense’ as...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Teresa Sebastian

Senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary | Darden Restaurants

Teresa Sebastian says one of the reasons for joining Darden Restaurants in 2010 was that she liked its focus on diversity. ‘I want my team to reflect the restaurant employees,...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Thomas Sager

Senior vice-president and general counsel | DuPont

Thomas Sager has spent the entire duration of his career to date at Dupont, and in that time has certainly made his mark. He helped pioneer the Dupont Convergence and...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Tim Triplett

Board secretary and general counsel | Black & Veatch

Timothy Triplett, President, Legal & Risk Management for Black & Veatch, previously was a name partner at a construction boutique. Since moving in-house in 2008, he has enjoyed inside counsel...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Timothy Pratt

Executive vice-president, chief administrative officer, general counsel and secretary | Boston Scientific

For Timothy Pratt, the decision to move in-house following 30 years in private practice was a risky move. He admits now, ‘frankly, I had doubts whether I could do this...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Todd Molz

General counsel, secretary, managing director | Oaktree Capital Management

Todd Molz heads up a large department, and oversees the legal activities for 13 offices, but in spite of this, is remarkably hands-on. ‘He often engages in direct dialogue with...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

Wendy Schick Dougall

Associate general counsel for compensation and benefits | American International Group (AIG)

Wendy Schick Dougall’s experience in the employee benefits arena is hard to beat – during her career to date she has served as in-house counsel, consultant, legal advisor, policymaker and...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

William Deckelman

Executive vice-president | Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

William Deckelman is unafraid to experiment in his quest for effective outside counsel management. He’s open to exploring non-traditional service providers, often instructs firms that may not be the most...

#GCPowerlist United States 2014

For 28 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. In a new series, The Legal 500 is turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognizing those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. Up first is GC Powerlist: United States, which identifies the most powerful corporate legal advisers in the United States. …read more

We have canvassed opinion from our 2.5 million in-house readers and partners at law firms across the US, to bring you the in-house stars that are driving the profession. The selected corporate counsel are those who are changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; have developed brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; created innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; provided a diversity or business working model that other corporate counsel should follow.

If you have feedback on GC Powerlist United States, or wish to nominate other in-house individuals (either in the US or global), please do get in touch at corporatecounsel@legal500.com

David Burgess
Publishing Director

Venable LLP

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Corporate Law & Business Transactions:

Venable represents and advises individual and corporate clients on banking and financial services matters, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, banking regulatory issues, corporate finance and securities, employee benefits and executive compensation, franchise and distribution, mergers and acquisitions, mezzanine finance, real estate and real estate finance, strategic alliances and joint ventures, taxation, technology transactions and outsourcing, and trusts and estates. Venable represents and advises state and local governments and nonprofit organizations on municipal and tax-exempt finance and tax compliance. Clients include Fortune 100 corporations, entrepreneurs, family businesses, venture capitalists, underwriters, investors of all descriptions, state and local governments, and nonprofit corporations and associations, including healthcare and educational institutions.

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Venable advises clients on a wide array of legislative, government contract, regulatory, civil, and criminal matters before state and federal authorities. The Venable team has extensive experience working with officials in the Executive Branch including agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, and Transportation. Venable attorneys also work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Postal Regulatory Commission, U.S. Postal Service, Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, OSHA, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Reserve Board and other financial services regulatory agencies. Venable provides its clients with a full complement of government affairs and legislative support, including political analysis, issue management, and direct advocacy, as well as preparation of draft legislation, Congressional testimony, and committee report language.

Litigation:

Venable’s Litigation Practice is broad enough to handle virtually all areas of civil and criminal law, and deep enough to handle bet-the-company litigation. General Counsel at Fortune 500 companies look to the firm’s trial lawyers on matters ranging from defense of class actions to internal investigations. Venable handles all major areas of litigation including appellate, products liability and toxic torts, commercial disputes, labor and employment, antitrust, construction, intellectual property, class action, and SEC and white-collar defense. Venable’s many former federal prosecutors have considerable experience conducting internal investigations and representing clients in administrative and grand jury investigations.

Technology & Intellectual Property:

Venable’s IP attorneys practice in every aspect of intellectual property law, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, antitrust, and unfair competition. With technical backgrounds extending across a host of industries and technologies, the firm’s attorneys advise clients on all issues pertaining to domestic and foreign patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Venable also negotiates and drafts domestic and international licenses, joint venture and technology transfer agreements, and research contracts. Venable’s IP litigators represent clients before the International Trade Commission and aggressively enforce and defend intellectual property claims in venues across the country.

Culture of Commitment

Each year, Venable attorneys and staff devote thousands of hours of their own time, money and talent to helping the communities in which they live and work. Venable’s commitment to social responsibility includes financial support through The Venable Foundation, one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier corporate philanthropic endeavors, which, in 2012, provided more than $2 million in support to organizations and programs in our local communities.

The Venable Edge

Venable aims to deliver the highest quality legal services for our clients, and we pride ourselves on identifying, recruiting and retaining the best and brightest attorneys and legal staff from all walks of life. Our clients profit from a diverse set of perspectives that, paired with more than a century of proven experience, is unique to Venable.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP logo

Since 1888, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has carried the torch for innovation in the legal industry. The firm’s distinguished history began with founder Charles Evans Hughes, future Governor, Secretary of State, and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. From the beginning, Hughes Hubbard’s goals have always been the same, to do everything we can in support of our clients and to always to do more than is expected of us. At the turn of the twentieth century, a time when most Wall Street firms were focused only on securities work, our founder, Charles Evans Hughes, decided that the firm should partner with its clients in order to meet all of their legal needs. From the start we handled international matters. Our international footprint and collaborative skills enable us to protect our client’s interests in critical disputes around the world. Hughes’ value of client service and his novel thinking about the practice of law have been passed down through generations of the firm’s lawyers. Each of our highly esteemed practices is committed to providing superior, individualized service and adding value to our clients.

Like Hughes, who earned trusted adviser status by immersing himself in his clients’ businesses, we are known for our strong commitment and dedication to our clients. Every attorney in the firm understands that the practice of law requires extensive knowledge, outstanding skills and unwavering responsiveness. We also recognize that it takes more than smart lawyering to cultivate and maintain lasting relationships, which is why some of our client relationships have lasted for more than half a century.

We do best with clients who want to team up with a law firm.

Clients regularly seek our help for their most important matters. In the Vioxx litigation for Merck, we served as co-national counsel. We represent the SIPA Trustee for the liquidations of Lehman Brothers and MF Global. We represent all of the Big Four accounting firms, many of the world’s leading financial institutions and numerous Fortune 500 clients. We also represent sovereign nations such as the Government of Canada in what The Economist called “the biggest trade battle on the planet.”

 

We’ve always had a commitment to things larger than our own pocketbooks.

Hughes Hubbard’s unwavering commitment to diversity and pro bono has distinguished the firm since its inception. From Charles Evans Hughes who campaigned vigorously for women’s suffrage in his run for the U.S. presidency in 1916 to Candace Beinecke, who became the first woman to chair a major New York law firm in 1999, to topping The American Lawyer’s Pro Bono Scorecard, a steadfast commitment to these core values is part of our DNA and has guided the firm’s practice from its beginnings to the present day.

We want to practice only in areas where we can add value

At Hughes Hubbard we strive to provide unparalleled service and exceed client expectations in the most complex legal matters. Our areas of practice include, among others, domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and security law, corporate reorganization, commercial litigation, international arbitration, product liability, antitrust, intellectual property, internal investigations and ethics compliance, international trade, labor, employee benefits and tax. Our approach also includes holistic approaches to specific industry sectors, such as: energy, financial institutions, gaming, life sciences, media and entertainment and transportation.

At Hughes Hubbard lawyers like to work hard and they like hard work. Our clients don’t hire us to do what’s easy. We have more than 350 lawyers practising across the United States from offices in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Miami, Los Angeles, and Kansas City; in Europe through the firm’s Paris office; and in Asia from our Tokyo office.

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling logo

GC Summit Switzerland

On 23rd November, The Legal 500 was in Zurich again to host the GC Summit Switzerland 2022.

The event gathered leading general counsel and private practice practitioners from Switzerland to exchange their views on cutting-edge legal topics. The quality of the discussions was exceptional.

The Summit opened with a session, led by Fabian Martens and Nils Harbeke, of Pestalozzi, focusing on the changes brought by ESG in the legal and tax functions. The panel, which also included Eva Frehner (Sulzer), Romana Giesen (Swisscom) and Matthias Maurer (Lonza), discussed the recent shift in the weight of ESG, changing from being  “best practice” to compulsory legal obligations. Following a comprehensive introduction, the panel explained the key legal ESG-related requirements for companies carrying out business in Switzerland, with a specific focus on competition and tax law.

Daniel Raun and Beda Kaufmann, of Advestra hosted the second panel. Along with Philippe Huber (SIG) and Robert Kuster (Zurich Insurance), they shared insightful comments on how to draft term sheets accurately and the main elements that parties should focus on at this early stage of a prospective deal.

The following session was chaired by Melissa Magliana, Daniel Lucien Bühr and Matthias Gstoehl, of Lalive. The discussion covered strategies to mitigate and manage dispute risks. The speakers examined how companies can prevent disputes, optimize amicable resolutions and prepare for legal proceedings, should they arise. Both litigation and arbitration were discussed, with a highlight on climate change litigation, stakeholder claims, and greenwashing-related enforcement.

To conclude the Summit, Irène Suter-Sieber and David Vasella, of Walder Wyss, moderated a panel that explored key issues of international private law, data protection and secrecy law, and labour, tax, and social security law, which relate to remote working from abroad.

After an excellent afternoon of exceptional panel discussions, attendees continued the conversation and enjoyed a valuable networking opportunity over Swiss gin, wine and canapes.

Thank you again to all our panellists for sharing their insights, and special thanks to Advestra, Lalive, Pestalozzi and Walder Wyss for partnering with us on this enjoyable and successful event in Zurich.