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In the latest edition of this briefing we look at how to make it as a GC in the emerging crypto space and parse some of the differences in legal tech adoption across international borders. Read on…
How to Be a Crypto GC
This past week, reporter Caroline Spiezio did a Q&A with Adele Faure , one of the top lawyers at Silicon Valley fintech company Robinhood. Faure has gone through quite the career transition lately, as she’s now in charge of running the legal side of the company’s crypto investment platform. She has had to learn relatively quickly about this emerging tech (with the help of the internet and her “cryto nerd friends,” of course). The interview made me wonder: How does one get hired as a crypto GC? I asked Caroline to reach out to some recruiters to get their take. She got the following note from Nicole Lipman , a partner at Major, Lindsay & Africa in San Francisco: “The crypto GC searches that I’ve worked on all require someone who’s done work in a heavily regulated industry (most typically financial services), and can be flexible and creative in navigating new areas of the law while working with and educating regulators. They have to be comfortable with ambiguity. They have to love the thrill of solving new and interesting problems. They need to have a good mind-meld with the executive team on their risk tolerance. They have to be super smart with high intellectual horsepower.” We’ve seen many folks with these characteristics hired in-house in crypto lately. Take Mary Beth Buchanan , who recently landed at Kraken , a cryptocurrency exchange operator. Buchanan was a U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh, and a defense lawyer working on white-collar and securities cases at Bryan Cave before going crypto.There’s also Marco Santori, who joined Bitcoin wallet startup, Blockchain as CLO earlier this year. A veteran of several firms, most recently Cooley, Santori has represented international financial institutions and fintechs, with a focus on “crafting new regulations where required.”
Is Legal Tech Adoption Slower in UK?
This week, reporter Dan Clark took a look at legal tech adoption across the pond via Acritas’ 2018 Sharplegal Report , which gathered responses from more than 1,139 senior in-house “buyers” in the U.S., U.K. and mainland Europe. Brits might be upset to find that the data says U.K. law departments seem to be trending behind in implementing this technology.✤ Twenty-five percent of legal departments in the U.K. are not using any legal technology while only 11 percent of legal departments in the U.S. are not using any.✤ U.S. legal departments are more likely to use e-signature and e-discovery tools compared to their counterparts in the U.K. and in Europe. Sixty-one percent of U.S. legal departments surveyed use e-signature technology while only 49 percent of legal departments in Europe and only 37 percent of legal departments in the U.K. use it.✤ E-discovery technology is used in U.S. legal departments almost four times more than it is used in the Europe and U.K. This could be because it appears that companies in the U.S. face more litigation than their European counterparts, as legal operations expert Gary Tully of Gilead Sciences told Dan back in June. But wait up… It appears that the government in the U.K. has taken an interest in expanding the use of legal technology . Artificiallawyer.com reported last week that the British government announced a £20 million fund to “boost legal technologies.”
Spartans In Trouble
After months of research and countless phone calls and FOIA requests, reporter Sue Reisinger published a deep dive into the legal mess at Michigan State University after the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal shook the school. The school has hired a new GC and top compliance official and agreed to pay $500 million to settle suits filed by 332 Nassar victims , but as Sue reports, the legal and PR recovery is going to be a much longer haul. Here’s more from her big story:➤ Legal bills for MSU go far beyond just the settlement. The school has paid at least $10 million in legal fees around the scandal to firms including Latham & Watkins, Skadden and Akin Gump. There’s also crisis PR costs, Weber Shandwick , for instance, has charged MSU more than $800,000 to help the school clean up.➤ MSU has been under no fewer than 11 investigations into its handling of the Nassar scandal. Everyone from the state of Michigan to the U.S. Department of Education to the NCAA has opened probes. MSU’s law department has also been criticized for doing an inadequate internal investigation of a Title IX complaint filed with the school against Nassar back in 2014.
Wednesday, July 25. Global Leaders in Law is holding a series of sessions in July titled, “What To Do If Your CEO Resigns?” starting on the 25th in Mumbai. There will be another event on this topic Thursday, July 26 in Gurgaon and then on Friday, July 27 in Bengaluru . GLL is an invitation-only membership group offering GCs a global platform for in-person collaboration to exchange ideas and receive advice and guidance from peers. For more information, contact Meena Heath at email@example.com. Thursday, September 13-Friday, September 14. Prominent in-house lawyers will meet to discuss disruption and the changing role of GCs at Corporate Counsel Forum Europe 2018 . The conference, which is co-chaired by two prominent general counsel, Sabine Chalmers of BT and Phillip Bramwell of BAE, will take place in the U.K. at Pennyhill Park, Surrey. Wednesday, September 26- Thursday, September 27. GCs from all over the country and beyond will gather in New York at the General Counsel Conference . Expect to hear about risk and regulation, executive leadership strategies, cybersecurity and technology and much, much more. Speakers include top-level in-house lawyers from AIG, AT&T and News Corp . Wednesday, September 26-Thursday, September 27. Or if you’d prefer to network and learn from GCs in the hedge fund space, you might want to attend the Hedge Fund General Counsel and Compliance Officer Summit in New York . Panels include a discussion on AI and machine learning for hedge funds as well as on sessions about corporate governance and regulatory examinations. Thursday, October 4-Friday, October 5. Where can you find a group of high-powered female in-house legal leaders getting honest about the challenges that women face in the profession? Check out Women, Influence & Power in Law, a summit in Washington, D.C. this fall. There are sure to be plenty of educational and networking opportunities, and speakers include big time in-house leaders from Pfizer,MetLife , Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and more.
On the Move -
Hailing a Compliance Chief. Uber pulled off a major hire this week with the announcement that it is bringing on Scott Schools as its new chief compliance and ethics officer. Schools, who was most recently the U.S. Department of Justice’s highest ranking career lawyer, is moving from a troubled DOJ to a legal department trying to recover from serious compliance and image issues. Schools will join former Justice colleague Tony West, who was named as Uber’s chief legal officer late last year. Time to Fold. Late last week, Wynn Resorts revealed in a filing that Kim Sinatra , who has been with Wynn since 2004, will leave the GC post at the global gaming and hospitality company. She’s been under scrutiny as of late, as she was named in legal proceedings resulting from harassment and assault allegations levied against her former boss, Steve Wynn . Plaintiffs claimed that Sinatra had helped cover up a $7.5 million settlement over Wynn’s misconduct, though the GC, who leaves her job July 15, has denied the allegations. It’s unclear whether Sinatra will stay at the company in another capacity. An In-House Asset. Global management investment company Janus Henderson Group, headquartered in London , has announced that it has promoted Michelle Rosenberg to the position of general counsel. The company, which as of March had about $372 million in assets under management, is saying goodbye to former GC, Jacqui Irvine , though it’s unclear where Irvine is off to next. Served Up. There’s a new CLO on the menu at CKE Restaurants , the global company behind chains like Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Kerry Olson , a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels and a veteran of legal departments at Dairy Queen and Buffalo Wild Wings has been tapped to take the role vacated by C harles “Chip” Seigel. IPO Ace. Silicon Valley cloud data management company Rubrik is growing fast, and its CEO has projected an IPO in the company within two to three years. So it’s no shock that the company brought in a CLO with experience leading a company through this process. Peter McGoff , who helped Box go public in 2015 as its GC, is joining Rubrik as its top attorney.