Vice president and general counsel
Michelle Fang started her career as a trademark and business litigator at Quinn Emanuel in 2000 before moving in-house in 2004, first doing litigation at NBC Universal and then at eBay in 2006. During the next nine years she served in various legal leadership roles at eBay, including head of North America litigation, head of global IP, and finally general counsel of an eBay subsidiary, StubHub. She joined Turo as general counsel in the summer of 2015 and continues to lead the legal affairs of the exciting start-up company. Highlights of her impressive career include winning of the landmark Tiffany Inc. v. eBay Inc., trial which set the legal standard for trademark infringement for the sale of counterfeit goods in the online world. Fang identifies that, ‘the case was closely watched by brand owners and technology companies alike and there was a lot riding on this outcome for the entire technology industry. Winning the case at trial and going on to have the victory affirmed on appeal was very professionally validating’. Additionally, realised her ambition to be a general counsel of a start-up company when she joined Turo as its first and only attorney as well as the only woman on the company’s executive team. There had been a lot to attend to in terms of establishing the legal function, getting engrained in the business, and rolling out the fundamentals as well as hiring a full time vice president of government relations to focus on the company’s pressing government relations work. She highlights that ‘the company is getting more accustomed to considering legal risk when making business decisions. As a disruptive sharing economy company, the entrenched incumbents have taken notice of Turo in the last two years and endeavoured to create legal and regulatory hurdles for the company to protect their own dominant market position. Having the opportunity to tell our powerful story of creating economic opportunity has enabled Turo to defeat the efforts of our traditional non sharing economy competitors thus far in a number of states. We have also increased our retention of outside lobbyists and joined political and advocacy groups to enhance our impact and GR dollars’.