17 July 2019

Around the house

Two women general counsel take top non-lawyer jobs, while two finance firms appoint their first-ever general counsel, in a busy week around the house.

Estée Lauder has also looked to a top lawyer to take a leadership role as vice chairman. Sara Moss, executive vice president and general counsel at the cosmetics giant since 2003, has been promoted to the newly created vice chairman role. Effective July 1, 2019. Ms Moss will continue in her role until a successor is named at a later date. She will serve as a senior advisor to executive management, the board of directors and the Lauder Family on issues critical to the business; act as a liaison between the Lauder Family and the Board of Directors, while also helping to advance a framework to enable the company’s long-term, sustainable success as a family-controlled, public company; and, work collaboratively with senior leaders across the organization to drive the company’s global programs focused on developing women as exceptional leaders, as well as women’s focused initiatives.

Former general counsel Julie Sweet will become the Accenture chief executive officer on September 1, 2019. She is currently chief executive officer of Accenture North America. Ms Sweet, who was hired in 2010 as general counsel at the global consulting firm, left her role in 2015 to become the global consulting firm’s chief executive for North America. An outspoken advocate on public policy matters, before joining Accenture she was a partner in the Corporate department of the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Also turning to a lawyer for a non-layer role, biosciences company Ideaya has appointed its general counsel to takes on the additional role of chief financial officer. In addition to overseeing the legal department for the California-based biotechnology company, Paul Stone will lead the finance, investor relations and public relations functions of the company.

Robert Makowski has been appointed legal department executive director at Goldman Sachs. Mr Makowski, who is based in Warsaw, joins the company from WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr, which he joined after spending seven and a half years with Linklaters. He will work on challenging legal matters across Europe and be part of the expansion of internal legal support and the Goldman Sachs presence in Poland.

Schneider National has hired Thom Jackson as general counsel. Mr Jackson has a quarter-century of in-house experience and most recently served as senior vice president and general counsel of the Knowles Corp., a Chicago-based electronic manufacturing company. Schneider National Inc is the largest truckload carrier in North America.

Global health care company Cantel Medical has looked in-house to find its next general counsel, tapping the company's deputy general counsel and vice president, Jeff Mann. He will take over as the firm's top lawyer on Aug. 1, following the retirement of longtime executive vice president, general counsel and secretary Eric Nodiff.

Franklin Financial Network is to get its first general counsel. Steve Groom is joining the Tennessee bank from private practice. NYSE-listed Franklin Financial Network, the parent company of Franklin Synergy Bank, has hired Mr Groom as executive vice president and its first general counsel. According to the bank, chief legal counsel Julian Bibb oversaw the process of recruiting Groom and will remain at the company as senior vice president and deputy counsel. Mr Groom most recently worked at Nashville, Tennessee law firm Neal & Harwell. In addition to time in private practice, he has spent more than 27 years in executive and general counsel roles at large public companies.

Another first general counsel is at Wedbush Securities, which has hired Andrew Druch to join the Los Angeles-based firm after a lengthy career as an in-house leader and lawyer in the financial industry. A provider of private and institutional brokerage in the US, has announced the appointment of Mr Druch as executive vice president and general counsel. In his new capacity, he will oversee the company’s legal, compliance, surveillance and regulatory practices, and also help maintain ties with domestic and international partners within the financial services industry. Mr Druch’s career spans over three decades, encompassing several stints at ING Bank, Rabobank, and most recently with Norway’s largest financial services group DNB.

The former Rosetta Stone general counsel Sonia Galindo has joins FLIR Systems to oversee FLIR’s worldwide legal issues, from mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property matters and corporate governance to data privacy, cybersecurity and global trade compliance. Ms Galindo, is appointed the new senior vice president, general counsel, secretary and chief ethics and compliance officer of FLIR Systems.

The former Staples chief legal officer has been appointed senior adviser at BarkerGilmore. Michael Williams has served for more than 25 years in chief legal officer, corporate secretary, and outside counsel leadership roles, advising Fortune 500 CEOs, senior executives, and boards of directors on strategic corporate growth and restructuring in the United States and abroad. Most recently he was the executive vice president, chief legal officer & secretary of Staples, leading all legal, compliance, and secretarial functions while the Massachusetts-based company was the largest office product company in the world with customers in 25 countries and was taken private.

Another former general counsel, the ex-Shake Shack associate general counsel has joined AXS. Andrew Cromer said he plans to put the business skills he developed in-house to use for a multitude of clients as a corporate and transactional attorney at AXS Law Group in Wynwood.

Law firm Kensington Swan has welcomed back a top construction and infrastructure lawyer, Katrina Van Houtte, from Fletcher Building, where she has spent the last few years providing in-house legal support to Fletcher Construction in both front-end and back-end matters. Ms Van Houtte started her career at Kensington Swan in 2006 and has a strong background in construction, litigation and public law. During her time at Fletcher Building, Katrina worked on some of New Zealand’s largest construction and infrastructure projects. She joins the Kensington Swan construction and major projects team.

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