Wells Fargo & Co. general counsel Allen Parker had just arrived at his office and was taking off his jacket when he received an urgent cellphone call from CEO Tim Sloan. A big class action lawsuit over Wells Fargo’s phony account scandal was about to settle, Sloan told him, and Parker needed to get a grasp of the case immediately. The GC, who joined the bank in March, had only been on the job a few days. He barely knew what Sloan was talking about. “I did not get much of a period to break in,” Parker recalls. “I had to learn very quickly the general lay of the land.”

And for Parker the pace has only quickened. From that moment on he says he has been juggling the day-to-day workload— “what you would expect a general counsel to do in a complex financial institution”—along with the legal havoc that comes in the aftermath of major corporate wrongdoing. That means enduring state and federal investigations, fighting class action lawsuits, and negotiating settlements all while rebuilding a damaged legal department and shoring up a riddled risk-and-compliance system.

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