GC Appointments

Maureen A. Phillips has been appointed as senior vice president and general counsel of OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd. Phillips has years of experience in the insurance industry, including stints at St. Paul Travelers, Fairview Health Services and—most recently—Allianz Life Insurance, where she spent four years as chief legal officer.

Vito Peraino is the new general counsel and senior vice president of American Financial Group Inc., an insurance holding company based in Cincinnati. He previously held the post of senior vice president and assistant general counsel in the company’s major insurance division. Before joining the company, Peraino spent 18 years in private practice.


Union Pacific Corp.’s board of directors has named Gayla Thal senior vice president – Law and general counsel. Thal has been with the railroad for nearly 32 years, most recently serving as vice president – Law and chief compliance officer. She also has prior experience in law, claims and risk management. Outgoing GC Michael Hemmer will remain in an advisory role until his official retirement later this year.


Other In-House Moves

After 31 years with Ford Motor Co., Peter Sherry Jr. is retiring from his post as general counsel and corporate secretary. Sherry joined the company as a staff attorney in 1980 and ascended to the GC spot in 2003. He was the lead attorney during Ford’s acquisition of both Volvo Cars and Land Rover. His retirement will be effective on April 1, 2012, after which Bradley Gayton will assume the GC role.


Apparel maker VF Corp. announced the retirement of general counsel, vice president and secretary Candace S. Cummings. In her 17 years with VF, Cummings established the company’s global law department and oversaw more than 20 acquisitions. Cummings will be succeeded by VF’s deputy general counsel Laura Meagher.

Law Firm News

Kent Magill has joined the corporate finance division in the Kansas City offices of Stinson Morrison Hecker. Magill comes to the firm from Hostess Brands Inc., where he worked for nearly 12 years, most recently as general counsel, executive vice president and corporate secretary. In his new role, he will practice in the areas of corporate governance, securities, finance, mergers and acquisitions and legal compliance.

Leonard Charles Suchyta has accepted a position as counsel in the Washington D.C. office of Hunton Williams. Suchyta previously served as the vice president and associate general counsel of Verizon Communication’s intellectual property department. He has more than 40 years of experience in intellectual property matters, at companies including GTE, Bellcore and Data General.