Little did Michael Paradise realize that someday he would work for the acquaintance he once knew growing up in the same Long Island town. But today, Paradise does just that as the executive vice president and general counsel at the eponymous footwear and fashion company Steve Madden.

A longtime corporate lawyer who once founded a hedge fund and venture capital firm, Paradise was working as outside counsel to Steve Madden at mid-sized New York firm McLaughlin & Stern when the opportunity to become the top lawyer arose in May 2016. For the past three years, Paradise has overseen Steve Madden’s team of three in-house lawyers, including one who oversees the company’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility division and one who manages the worldwide intellectual property department.

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