24 July 2019

Around the house

General counsel trend of ceo appointees continues apace with sodastream, as does jumping the fence, while Eli Lilly seeks new top lawyer and we mark a sad passing in this busy week around the house.

The former SodaStream chief legal officer has been named its permanent chief executive officer. The promotion of Eyal Shohat reflects the ongoing trend of high-ranking lawyers being put into ceo positions. He has served as SodaStream deputy ceo since 2017, having previously been chief corporate development officer. He joined from Frutarom Industries, where he was vice president - legal affairs at the public company listed on the Tel Aviv and London Stock Exchanges. Mr Shohat will become the company’s top executive later this summer.

Not so new is jumping the fence. Haynes and Boone has added former JP Morgan Chase & Co in-house energy veteran Edmund “Eddy” Daniels as partner in Dallas and Houston. Mr Daniels was most recently general counsel and chief compliance officer at Panda Power Funds, a private equity firm. At JP Morgan Chase & Co, he was managing director and served as a general counsel of the Houston office where the firm’s North American power and gas groups and the commodities principal investments group were based. He also held roles at NRG Energy Inc, Reliant Energy, UBS Warburg Energy, and Enron Corp.

Also jumping the fence is Walgreen counsel Rebecca Gerard, who has joined Michael Best’s privacy & cybersecurity practice group as an associate in Chicago. The number of national and global privacy regulations introduced in recent years is cited as the need for Ms Gerard, who served as commercial and regulatory counsel at Walgreen Co., where she advised several business units on matters in connection with marketing, private label brands, and retail products.

Jumping the other way over the fence is Robert Makowski becomes legal department executive director at Goldman Sachs in Poland. Mr Makowski, who is based in Warsaw, joins the company from WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr, which he joined fromLinklaters.

Jeanette K Chan, a former China practice managing partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, is leaving the firm after three decades to take up a role with Tencent-backed fintech “unicorn” Airwallex. Ms Chan will be joining as chief legal and compliance officer. Also joining Ms Chan is colleague Corinna Yu, who has spent over 20 years at Paul Weiss and will be joining Airwallex as director of legal. Airwallex, established in 2015 by four Chinese founders, gained “unicorn” status in March this year after closing a $100 million Series C round that valued its business at above $1 billion.

Global professional services firm Aon has appointed a new general counsel, Darren Zeidel. The move follows the departure of longstanding predecessor Peter Lieb.

Alternative legal services provider Elevate is looking to appoint its first London-based general counsel, amid continued growth in the U.K. and Europe. The new general counsel will oversee EMEA expansion.

Eli Lilly and Company is seeking a new top lawyer as Mike Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel, has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Mr Harrington joined Lilly in 1991 having previously worked as a litigator at Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis. During his lengthy career at Lilly, he has held a variety of business and legal roles including managing director of the New Zealand affiliate, associate general counsel for operations in the Asia-Pacific region and vice president and deputy general counsel of global pharmaceutical operations. He was promoted to general counsel in January 2012 and has been a member of the company’s executive committee since then.

On a tragic note, we mark the death of general counsel Aman Solomon. Mr Solomon practised with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Davis Polk & Wardwell for five years before taking on the role of Asia Pacific general counsel for CBRE Global Investors. Mr Solomon died in Singapore after falling several floors inside the Ngee Ann City shopping mall in Singapore’s Orchard Road commercial district on the afternoon of July 14. A US citizen, aged 35, Mr Solomon moved from Los Angeles to Singapore for the job in early 2018, having joined CBRE in 2013. The police are still investigating Solomon’s death, according to The Straits Times.