Head of legal, North America
Paulette Fox has served as the head of legal, North America for Agoda since April 2018, where she is responsible for establishing an in-house counsel presence for worlds leading online travelling agencies in the US. Her areas of expertise include regulaton, compliance tax, litigation and transactional matters, overseeing all legal matters in the company’s remit. Agoda employs over 3,500 professionals from 70 nationalities across the globe, which requires Fox to keep on top of the large range of entwined global legal complexities, ensuring legal alignment with business strategies and projects. Fox previously served as senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance and BSA AML officer for HSH Nordbank, an international commercial bank, headquartered in Germany with a focus on shipping, transportation, real estate and renewable energy. As the former general counsel for HSH New York, Fox initially managed the bank’s US litigations and then gradually expanded to include responsibility of a variety of legal matters related to corporate governance, covering the legal management, strategy and oversight of the bank’s US operations. ‘The initial promotion to general counsel, after only two years with the bank, triggered an unexpected but welcomed opportunity to expand the breadth of my legal career from litigation-focused to a true legal generalist’. In December 2015, HSH Nordbank’s New York branch surrendered its banking license back to the New York State department of financial services. Amongst her career achievements, Fox was a key part of the executive teams tasked with a nearly two year wind-down process, including direct involvement with the US regulators, which resulted in a successful closure of the New York branch. When asked what advice she would give to another in-house lawyer, Fox explains, ‘While a general counsel is expected to be a “generalist,” we cannot be an expert in everything. Lawyers often have a difficult time admitting that they do not know the answer to a question asked of them. As a result, they end up giving advice that is responsive but not necessarily thorough or accurate. A good general counsel should be comfortable in admitting that they may not have an immediate answer to a questions asked of them. But that they can instead look into it and get back to that colleague after some research’.