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Name and title: Douglas G. Bain, senior vice president and general counsel; member of the executive council Age: 56 Aerospace leader: Based in Chicago, The Boeing Co. is the world’s largest aerospace company and a leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. It has nearly 12,000 commercial jets in service, representing 75% of the world’s fleet. Boeing is the No. 2 defense contractor and is acknowledged as the leading U.S. exporter in terms of sales. It operates a quartet of business units: Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Boeing Capital Corp. and Connexion by Boeing. It conducts space operations involving satellites, missiles, the International Space Station and, with Lockheed Martin Corp., the space shuttle. The publicly traded company has more than 153,000 employees working in 48 states and 67 countries. Boasting customers in 145 nations, Boeing’s most recent annual sales were a reported $52.5 billion, placing it 25th on the Fortune 500. Day-to-day duties: Bain starts his day by “getting rid of the schedule [I] had planned the day before.” He described a typical day as attending to specific legal matters, dealing with governance issues, managing the law department and making personnel-related decisions. He conducts regular meetings with his direct reports (both lawyers and administrators), and communicates with the public relations staff. Asked whether he is either a generalist or a specialist, he responded with a resounding “Yes!” A large portion of Boeing’s work is done in unionized facilities, so Bain interacts with union officials. Many engineers, scientists and “others in skilled positions” are foreign-born, resulting in immigration issues that require his attention. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent weakening of the domestic airline industry, Boeing’s sales to foreign countries have increased dramatically. Contracts are under U.S. jurisdiction, but Bain must be familiar with nuances of foreign financing and local culture. Some aspects of dispute resolution are also approached differently abroad. Work generated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is “not as heavy lately,” according to Bain, and Boeing has “a good system of internal controls in place.” He dispenses legal advice to intellectual property and finance specialists. There is interaction with various aviation, military and security regulators, but Bain said his “highly skilled team” does the bulk of it. Due to USA Patriot Act concerns, Boeing must now carefully vet recipients of its charitable gifts. Bain stays current through Continuing Legal Education seminars, and participates in general counsel organizations. He also relies on his team to keep him up to speed. A general counsel’s goal is to make his or her business a success within the law, Bain said. A GC must, however, balance two conflicting aspects of the role: the need always to maintain independence and the duty owed the client. Litigation and deals: Bain declined to discuss current litigation, but recent cases faced by the company include one in which residents of El Segundo, Calif., alleged that exposure to nuclear pollutants and other byproducts of rocket engineering from Boeing’s Santa Susana Field Lab caused cancer. Last September, a $30 million settlement was brokered. Two months later, Boeing settled for $72.5 million a sex discrimination suit filed on behalf of more than 20,000 current and former female employees. At Seattle-area plants, such employees claimed that they were paid up to $2,000 less than their male counterparts. Bain and Boeing are working on a proposed joint venture with Lockheed to build “huge” rockets to launch satellites. Faced with antitrust concerns because there would be just one launch provider if the deal comes to fruition, the legal team is seeking approval from the Department of Defense and federal trade authorities. Details surrounding a new Boeing 787 composite plane are also on the GC’s plate. Intellectual property issues must be addressed, factory locations are to be confirmed, new relationships with suppliers are being worked out and a sales campaign is on the launch pad. Some commercial planes are now being used as “platforms” for military products, including the 737, which has morphed into a submarine hunter. Accordingly, the legal group is reviewing areas of law pertaining to Boeing’s role as a government contractor. Legal team and outside counsel: Boeing’s GC manages an estimated 260 employees, 145 of whom are attorneys. He reports to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer W. James (Jim) McNerney Jr. Between 65% and 70% of the legal budget is earmarked for outside counsel, “overwhelmingly” for litigation. With input from Bain, and adhering to company guidelines, the appropriate legal personnel perform the hiring. Attorneys from Perkins Coie of Seattle and Bryan Cave’s St. Louis office tackle “general practice” matters. For major litigation, Bryan Cave; Perkins Coie; Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (in Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles); Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr; and Los Angeles’ Munger, Tolles & Olson get the call. Route to present position: Boeing’s legal department has been Bain’s home since 1982. He spent 14 years as senior counsel, then assistant general counsel, as well as three years as vice president of legal, contracts, ethics and government relations. Bain served as legal adviser during labor talks with the International Association of Machinists, and also negotiated with the European Commission for approval of the 1997 merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas Corp. Previously, he had two stints as a labor litigation attorney with San Francisco’s Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, and from 1975 to 1977 was stationed at the Pentagon with the U.S. Air Force general counsel’s office. Personal: Golf and furniture making consume Bain’s spare time. He and his wife, Cindy, are parents to Tyler, 28; Emily, 18; and Allison, 13. The native of Charlottesville, Va., achieved dual degrees from the University of Virginia: a bachelor’s in history in 1971 and a juris doctor in 1974. Last book and movie: The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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