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It’s quite possible that Brian Martin is the only general counsel of a major U.S. company who can be seen on a bucking bronco in a video on the Internet. Sure enough, there he was not long ago � indeed, on his first day as GC of semiconductor equipment maker KLA-Tencor � getting unceremoniously bucked off as colleagues shouted, “Go Brian! Go Brian!” The credit for the video belongs to Michael Dillon, GC at Sun Microsystems and Martin’s old boss, who had posted the clip on his blog. That he didn’t tell Martin before putting it online is a testament to Martin’s amiable nature, says Dillon. “He has a wonderful sense of humor. That’s why I don’t have any concerns about the blog item I wrote,” says Sun’s GC. Martin spent the last 10 years on Sun’s legal staff, most recently as vice president of the company’s corporate law group. In that position he oversaw Sun’s legal needs dealing with securities, mergers and acquisitions, alliances, corporate governance and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Martin led Sun’s legal team in the company’s $4.1 billion acquisition of data storage firm StorageTek in 2005. He also spent several years as Sun’s chief antitrust counsel. Although he lives in California, Martin serves as an adjunct lecturer at his alma mater, the State University of New York Law School in Buffalo. He also has previous experience as a litigator. Martin’s extensive securities experience may serve him well at KLA, a San Jose-based company that has been the subject of probes by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission. The company fired its chief executive, Kenneth Schroeder, while its chairman, Kenneth Levy, and general counsel, Stuart Nichols, stepped down last October after the company admitted to improperly backdating stock options. Martin could not be reached for comment when this article was prepared. But Dillon says Martin’s depth of experience would serve him well at KLA. “He has significant business and management experience,” says Dillon. “Also, terrific people skills. The KLA team is going to really enjoy him.” Serious questions have recently arisen about the legal advice and management activities at KLA when backdating occurred there. Earlier this year, The Recorder reported that the SEC had found an e-mail from 2004 between two partners at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati that discussed backdating at KLA. The e-mail refers to the company “using the time machine to pick low strike prices,” according to people who had seen the e-mail. The attorneys had previously advised the company not to backdate, according to sources. Larry Sonsini has served as KLA’s corporate secretary in past years. It’s unclear when he stepped down from that position. Sonsini’s firm no longer appears to be representing the company on SEC issues and has been replaced by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in that role, according to recent securities filings. Prior to the announcement about Martin’s new position, Lawrence Gross had been serving as the company’s interim general counsel, according to the company’s latest proxy statement. KLA has restated its earnings to the tune of $370 million because of backdated stock options. Jessie Seyfer and Kellie Schmitt are staff writers at The Recorder, which publishes GC California Magazine.

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