Each issue of the CLO Executive Bulletin features the perspective of a leading CLO on a pressing legal issue, and how that CLO’s company has dealt with its inherent challenges. These insights include best practices and effective management strategies.
Melissa Kennedy of Sun Life Financial on the Importance of Sustainability and Diversity Initiatives in Strengthening Your Legal Department
2017 Nov 15
Melissa Kennedy, Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer and Public Affairs of Sun Life Financial is proud to lead a legal department that provides a strategic voice for a company that serves nearly 37 million clients worldwide. What's step one in this process? "Remaining ahead of the curve," Kennedy answers.
2017 Oct 27
John Harrison, general counsel for aeronautics group Airbus, has been a longtime advocate for the importance of the general counsel's position within the company. At Airbus, John has worked to help secure the company's global image as an innovator in aviation, and believes that the key to success also lies in the ability of the legal department to provide a strong, unifying voice.
2017 Sep 28
Brian Salter, group general counsel of Australian wealth manager AMP, is the new chair of ACC Australia's GC100. The GC100 is a membership organization that was established to support general counsels at companies on the ASX top 100, Australia's stock exchange, and equivalent offshore organizations.
2017 Aug 18
When Dr. Friederike Rotsch assumed her current role as Group General Counsel of Merck KGaA in 2014, she commenced a major initiative to create a single legal team, free from silos. Under the tagline "One Team, One Mission, One Voice," Rotsch developed the team to work as one team that has a common mission and speaks with one voice.
"My objective was to bring colleagues together, to work together more closely, so that in the end they are able to better serve the client," she says. "It's also more fun now for colleagues to work as part of one team. They still have their reporting lines, but the mindset has changed dramatically. Now it is clear that everyone is responsible for the success of the entire team."
2017 Jun 21
As executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of WEC Energy Group in Milwaukee, Susan Martin leads a legal and governance services department of more than 25 professionals who are responsible for providing legal services, corporate governance services, and corporate records management for the company.
She leverages alternative fee arrangements with external firms, especially the ones with which WEC has longstanding working relationships, including fixed fees for a fixed book of work or negotiated up-front fees for a specific matter. "Cost control is a core value at this company, and that carries right on over to my outside legal spend," she says.
2017 May 25
Michael Tucker has served since 2010 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Avis Budget Group (ABG), which owns the Avis, Budget, Zipcar, Payless, Maggiore, France Cars and Apex brands, and has just been named a 2017 ACC Value Champion.
Tucker heads up a legal department of 52 globally, including four compliance professionals and 16 paralegals. The department is organized by regions and subject matter expertise, inclusive of three regional leads based in the United States and England, and other country leads in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Brazil.
Although it sounds draconian, the zero-based budgeting process is something every company should do once in a while, says Tucker, who notes that it also helped him get his arms around his company's global in-house and outside counsel spend.
Lincoln Financial Group’s Kirkland Hicks, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, on the Changing Role of the Chief Legal Officer
2017 Apr 18
"The role has changed in terms of putting the general counsel in the crosshairs," says Hicks. "General counsel now are viewed as true gatekeepers by regulators and stakeholders. They are held accountable for business failures—there is greater risk, but there are many more rewards."
thyssenkrupp's Arne Wittig, Group General Counsel and Head of Legal, on Elevating the Legal Department
2017 Mar 21
Shortly after Arne Wittig joined thyssenkrupp, the global company underwent a fundamental shift in management philosophy and structure that required an integrated legal department. For him, this challenge made the job opportunity all the more attractive.
2017 Feb 14
Faced with both the challenge of creating a new legal department from scratch and the opportunity that the blank slate of a start-up afforded him, Michael Finn set about structuring a department that not only would service the legal needs of the company, but also create unique development opportunities for members of the legal staff.
2017 Jan 26
Although Maria Varsellona joined Nokia only a little over three years ago, she says that it is a very different company today. Varsellona came on board in 2013 as group general counsel for Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens of which Nokia soon became full owner. She cites that acquisition as the source of her greatest satisfaction thus far.
2016 Dec 15
Since Kirstin Gould joined the legal department of XL Capital Ltd in 2000, the company has grown exponentially, primarily through a series of mergers and acquisitions. During this time, Gould has had a wide variety of job responsibilities, including a stint overseeing marketing and communications in addition to the legal function.
2016 Nov 21
As senior vice president and general counsel of GSK – a company that employs 100,000 people in 150 countries – Dan Troy understands that communication, trust, and careful planning are key to making an organization of this scale work cohesively.
Chief Legal Officer Mark Holden of Koch Industries talks about striving to be the "counterparty of choice."
2016 Oct 28
In 1995, Mark Holden was offered a job as a litigation attorney at Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries. Although he and his family had a life in Washington, DC, Holden decided to leave his position as an associate with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and relocate to Kansas.
2016 Sep 19
When Bob Bostrom joined Abercrombie & Fitch in January 2014, an activist hedge fund was pushing for changes to board makeup, executive roles, and governance policies. Bostrom, an expert in those issues, was brought in to help the company respond to the external challenges.
2016 Aug 15
When Kristin Campbell joined the legal department at Hilton Worldwide five years ago, she seized the opportunity to remake the department in the image of the business it serves: the largest, fastest-growing hospitality company in the world.
2016 Jun 16
Since joining Luxottica as general counsel for North America in 1993, Michael Boxer has seen his role, the legal department and the company change considerably, although his mission and that of his department remain steadfast: to be a trusted strategic advisor to the business.
2016 May 16
Diane Bailey Morton has pursued what she calls a "passion-based" career. Every job she has accepted has appealed to her personal mission to promote progressive values. In her role as general counsel and chief human capital officer at NYSE-listed C1 Financial, she has joined an organization that is as driven by passion and idealism as she is.
A Conversation with Antonino Cusimano, General Counsel and Vice President Legal Affairs and Secretary to the Board of Directors of Telecom Italia
2016 Apr 12
Antonino Cusimano discusses his role at Telecom Italia, departmental mandates, compliance issues, value proposition and more.
Mahindra’s Naveen Raju, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Legal Embraces the Evolving Role of In-house Counsel in India
2016 Mar 24
It must have been "Perry Mason." Or maybe it was those other Stanley Gardner novels. But whatever it was that generated Naveen Raju's interest in law from a young age, despite having zero lawyers in the family, it was a powerful and lasting influence. In Raju's nearly two-decade career, that interest has deepened into a calling.
2016 Feb 22
Sylvia Fang only planned on staying in-house for a few years before returning to private practice. Two decades later, she serves as general counsel – a testament to the rewarding nature of working at a company founded on strong values.
2016 Jan 15
Amyli McDaniel is general counsel of Tasktop Technologies, a venture capital-funded start-up that helps companies improve their software development capabilities. But her presence in the legal and business community encompasses a great deal more than that.
2015 Dec 04
As Group General Counsel of Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis, Felix R. Ehrat faces numerous challenges – but none are greater than inculcating in his function's culture what he views as the appropriate attitude toward taking and accepting corporate risks.
2015 Nov 02
As executive vice president for the legal, commercial and governance group at AngloGold Ashanti, the world's third largest gold producer, Ria Sanz finds her South Africa-based company is constantly under the eye of one government or another, and she finds that her industry carries a set of complex challenges.
Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel of Cummins, Inc. on Assessing and Converging Outside Counsel
2015 Sep 28
As vice president and general counsel of Cummins, Inc., Sharon Barner has reduced the number of outside counsel law firms from 150 to 22.
2015 Aug 06
As general counsel and corporate secretary of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., that nation's largest conglomerate -- a company with more than 260,000 employees worldwide and business interests in 52 countries.
2015 Jun 18
As general counsel of Bauer Media Group (Australia), that nation's largest magazine publisher, Adrian Goss faces all the complex issues of publishing in the digital age.
2015 May 26
As General Counsel of Qatar Foundation Endowment since 2011, David Mee sees his responsibility as nothing less than lending major support to his nation's effort to transform itself from a Gulf state dependent on petroleum products into a modern, knowledge-based economy.
2015 Apr 23
"Google's mission statement is that we want to organize the world's information and make it accessible and useful," says Kent Walker. "The legal department tries to help facilitate that innovation and improve the legal climate for new services that we hope will improve the lives of people around the world. That's our overarching goal."
Jan Alonzo, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of UniGroup, Inc., on Contributing to Global Growth
2015 Mar 30
Jan Alonzo is responsible for 115 people across UniGroup – a clear indication of senior management's confidence in her abilities. Here, she discusses the importance of customer service, her first international acquisition, and staying active in her community.
2015 Feb 24
At the private government-consulting firm, Rath has carved out an unusual and highly valuable role: In addition to the normal duties of a CLO, he has become essentially the company's "chief corporate development officer."
Creating Cohesiveness in a Law Department with Many Arms: CLO Perspective of Tim Lynch, University of Michigan
2015 Jan 14
The general counsel of the University of Michigan describes himself as the "luckiest lawyer in the world." What makes his job so "thrilling and intellectually fulfilling"? Keep reading to find out.
Ira Raphaelson of Las Vegas Sands on Compliance and Tone From the Top in the Highly Regulated Gaming Industry
2014 Nov 03
"The security clearance that is required to be an affiliate of a gaming company such as ours," Raphaelson says, "is greater than what was needed for anything that I ever did for the government."
John Page of Golden State Foods on Fostering a Principled Values-Based Approach to Conducting Business
2014 Oct 02
It's fair to say that not many successful companies with $6 billion in annual sales have fewer than seven in-house attorneys. To John Page that is no accident.
2014 Sep 23
"The most fundamental change we have seen in the legal environment," Desjardins says, "is the remarkable growth of large, global in-house legal departments. They have permanently changed the legal scene."
2014 Jul 31
After Corn Products International acquired National Starch for $1.3 billion in 2010, the combined company, which produces thousands of food ingredients from corn, tapioca, wheat, potatoes and other raw materials, decided to rebrand itself as Ingredion.
2014 Jun 27
When David Cohen became general counsel of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in early 2013, he may have been the best qualified person in the nation for that job.
2014 May 21
Sandra Leung, general counsel and corporate secretary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., says the crucial aspect of her role and that of all the lawyers in her department is that it involves more than just giving legal advice.
2014 Apr 30
When Alan Tse became executive vice president and general counsel for Churchill Downs Incorporated, the company’s CEO who was his new boss had one piece of advice for him: “The Kentucky Derby has been around for 136 years. Don’t screw it up!”
Randal Milch of Verizon Communications on Building a Culture of Good Corporate Citizenship through Leading Pro Bono Initiatives
2014 Mar 28
When Randal Milch took over as executive vice president and general counsel of Verizon Communications in 2008, he saw a legal department that hadn't had a chance to participate fully in Verizon’s longstanding tradition of community service.
2014 Feb 27
As executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Zurich North America, Dennis F. Kerrigan Jr. supervises a staff of 150 from his office in Schaumburg, Ill. near Chicago. But he works routinely with Zurich staffers around the world.
2014 Jan 23
Only a few weeks ago, Larry Parsons became vice president and general counsel of the single largest non-insurance subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, McLane Company based in Temple, Texas.
2013 Nov 15
Matthew Fawcett, Senior Vice President, General'Counsel and Secretary of Sunnyvale, Calif.Abased NetApp,'Inc. an in-house general counsel “usually occupies a special role in a company’s leadership framework.”
Jonathan L. Block of Hot Topic Inc. Serving as an Only Legal Officer at the Crossroads of Law and Business
2013 Sep 30
As Vice President and General Counsel of Hot Topic Inc., Jonathan L. Block is what he and others in his situation like to call an OLO, an “only legal officer.” It’s a position with its own unusual challenges and its unusual rewards as well.
2013 Jul 30
At bpost, the large Belgian postal-service company, Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary Dirk Tirez can say that he didn't just talk a good game about these roles and responsibilities: In 10 years in the job, he has been constantly involved in remaking his company.
2013 Jun 25
Erika Rottenberg, who is Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of LinkedIn, had an idea: Why not bring together the fast-growing company’s key strategic outside counsel and policy partners for a collaborative day-long learning session?