GC Appointments

Ad technology company Rocket Fuel announced the appointment of JoAnn Covington as general counsel. Covington comes to the company after almost 14 years at Electronic Arts Inc., where she most recently was division counsel for the company’s Maxis Label division. In her new role, she will oversee Rocket Fuel’s international expansion, IP strategy, regulatory and legal compliance, mergers and acquisitions and more


ConvergEx Group hired Steven Heineman as general counsel. Heinemen previously worked for Société Générale, where he served as director of litigation and regulatory affairs for the company’s U.S. business lines and, most recently, as general counsel in the Americas region. Other prior work experience includes stints at Debevoise & Plimpton and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.


Burford Group named Melissa Sobel its inaugural corporate counsel. Sobel joins the litigation funding firm from Time Inc., where she served as associate general counsel. She previously was a senior corporate attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she specialized in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, securities offerings and private investments.

Craig Prusher joined Church’s Chicken as senior vice president and general counsel. Prusher most recently worked at Burger King Corp., where he oversaw legal issues related to franchising, real estate and government and industry relations. His prior work experience includes stints in the corporate departments of Warner & Stackpole and Nutter, McClennen & Fish.


YuMe, a video advertising provider, appointed Paul Porrini as general counsel and secretary. Porrini comes to the company from Hewlett-Packard, where he was vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary. He previously held a general counsel posting at Bluestone Software, where he was also senior vice president and secretary.

Jonathan Sprole was named general counsel of Freedom Group Inc., which manufactures firearm brands such as Remington Arms, Bushmaster and DPMS. Sprole previously was general counsel and chief administrative officer of the private equity firm Versa Capital Management. He also has held senior legal positions at Bristol Meyers Squibb, where he was vice president and deputy general counsel, and GE Capital Corp., where he served as general counsel and managing director of GE equity and corporate finance.


Yahoo! Inc. named Ron Bell general counsel. Bell joined the company in 1999, and has served as interim general counsel since the July departure of longtime GC Mike Callahan. He also was a deputy general counsel for 11 of his 13 years with the company. In his new, permanent role, he will head up the Internet giant’s global compliance programs and legal affairs.

Other In-House Appointments

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. appointed Roderick Palmore to its board of directors. Palmore currently is the executive vice president, general counsel, chief compliance and risk management officer and secretary of General Mills Inc. He previously led Sara Lee Corp.’s legal department, worked at a series of law firms and served in the U.S. Department of Justice for nearly 20 years.

Stéphane Lemay was named vice president, general counsel and secretary of Power Financial Corporation (PFC). Lemay joined PFC’s parent company, Power Corporation of Canada, in 2005 as vice president, assistant general counsel and associate secretary. He brings years of legal experience in the telecommunications and manufacturing sectors to his new role.


NV Energy Inc. promoted Paul Kaleta to the post of executive vice president, general counsel-shared services and secretary. Kaleta joined the company six years ago, most recently serving as senior vice president, general counsel-supply chain and secretary. His 30 years of legal experience includes in-house positions at INVISA, BV; Koch Industries Inc. and Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., and a stint as a partner and associate at law firm Swidler Berlin.

Firm News

H. David Kotz, former inspector general of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), joined consulting firm Berkeley Research Group as a director in its financial institutions practice. During his four-year tenure at the SEC, Kotz investigated the SEC’s failure to detect Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and issued a 477-page report describing his findings.