Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Name and Title: Daniel J. Churay, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary. Age: 44 On the road: The trucking business entails driving a load from one shipper to one receiver. The logistics business is about filling a truck with small loads from many shippers to many receivers. Since the mid-1990s, YRC Worldwide Inc., previously Yellow Roadway Corp., has married the two businesses to transform itself from an ailing trucking company to a $9.9 billion, Fortune 500 leader in nationwide less-than-truckload transportation. “The company had a long history of being regulated. Even when it was no longer regulated it had a regulated mindset,” Churay said. “By 1995, the company was in very bad financial shape.” Against that backdrop, Chief Executive Officer William D. Zollars “wanted to change this from a trucking company to a transportation company.” Churay came onboard in 2003 and oversaw a series of acquisitions that created a web of roughly 670 terminals linked by 17,500 tractors and 64,200 trailers. The company employs approximately 66,000 people, about 65% of them members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “If you need somebody to run your shipping and transportation needs, we can go in-house and do it,” Churay said. “We are getting deeper and deeper into helping people with their supply chain. We have 64 offices in China. We can manage people’s supply chain from Shanghai to St. Louis.” Route to present position: Churay graduated in 1986 from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in economics with an emphasis in computer science and minors in government and English. He worked during college as a program analyst for the university’s Applied Research Laboratories. He did the same job at Houston’s city Department of Aviation for a year after graduation, before entering the University of Houston Law Center. “You’d be surprised at the parallels between computer science and law,” Churay said. “In programming, you pick a set of variables. When writing a contract, you define terms. In programming, you pick a set of rules called a programming language to build a result. In drafting a contract, you do the same thing, but you are applying law. They are very similar skills.” Churay went to work in Fulbright & Jaworski’s Houston office following graduation in 1989. In 1995, he moved in-house at Baker Hughes Inc., a multibillion-dollar oil-field services company. “It was a classic track. After about seven years a good client, Baker Hughes twisted my arm to come in-house.” In 2002, Churay returned to Fulbright & Jaworski as senior counsel, but then came the opportunity with what was then Yellow Corp. “I was very interested in Bill Zollars’ vision of growing this freight company into a transportation and logistics company,” Churay said. Legal team and outside counsel: YRC has a scant 17 attorneys in-house, but the company’s mesh with outside counsel is tight. “We partner very deeply. When I first got onboard . . . we had 722 law firms working for us. We are not into vendor management, we are into talent management, so we now have 11 relationship firms that we treat as an extension of our staff. We review individual lawyers who work a lot of hours just as if they were an employee. Some firms have offices here in our offices. We’ve dropped our outside spending [by] $6 million a year.” Specifically, YRC turns to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld for commercial litigation plus local matters in Mexico, Texas and New York. Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin of Kansas City, Mo., handles litigation, corporate, securities and real estate. Labor and employment counsel is shared by Baker Hostetler; Cleveland firm Frantz Ward; Lathrop & Gage of Kansas City, Mo.; and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Those firms also supply counsel on bankruptcy, insurance, litigation, immigration and labor negotiations, as well as representation in specific states. Howrey of Washington advises on antitrust and intellectual property issues. Personal injury defense goes either to Lynberg & Watkins in Los Angeles; Chicago-based Williams Montgomery & John; or Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Fulbright & Jaworski helps with a range of areas including corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, governance, intellectual property, environmental, tax and labor law, while also advising on the company’s operations in China and local matters in Texas and New York. Daily duties: Churay oversees the legal risk and compliance group, which includes legal, audit, external affairs and indirect oversight of the securities group. Of necessity, risk management is a major emphasis. “When you have 66,000 people in your work force and drive more than 2 billion miles a year, there is going to be the occasional accident. Acquisitions in China have required us to build good accounting systems and controls so we are comfortable we have good numbers.” Regulatory compliance requires constant work. “We are regulated by a thousand cuts,” Churay said. “Everybody regulates us.” That would include the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Maritime Commission. Additionally, “a school district might require us to have identifications of a certain sort, so they regulate us. We probably have 50 or 60 agencies that each has two or three pages of regulations we have to deal with.” Churay sits on the strategic leadership team. His office is two doors from that of Zollars, the chief executive. “We sort through the best opportunities with the highest return at a reasonable level of risk,” Churay said. “Those opportunities are clearly in China and other areas of Asia. We are basically following our customers.” Personal: Churay and his wife, Lynn, have three sons: Ryan, 17; Addison, 15; and John, 9. “Baseball is a big part of life,” he said. “They all play ball. We love to travel and watch movies.” Churay is a backpacking enthusiast and treasurer of his church. Last book: Einstein, by Walter Isaacson. Last movie: “The other night with my boys I watched a frightful horror movie called The Hitcher. The last movie my wife and I chose was The Good Shepherd.”

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.