SAN FRANCISCO — Expanding to more than 300 cities throughout 57 countries requires a little legal work. So does raising a couple billion dollars. To carry that load, ride-hailing service Uber has built a 43-lawyer legal department almost overnight. Thirty-three of the company’s 36 U.S.-based lawyers have joined since Jan. 1, 2014, according to a Recorder analysis of bar records and LinkedIn profiles. The 70-person department includes 20 paralegals and seven admins.
The company’s longest serving lawyer, general counsel Salle Yoo, has her hands full. The private company’s disruption of regulated taxi businesses, controversies over its handling of customer data and security, and its independent contractor model have all drawn regulatory scrutiny—and lawsuits. In the last year, Yoo has hired a pair of lieutenants, one for corporate work, another for litigation. Earlier this year, Uber brought in a former federal prosecutor to serve as chief security officer. Both Yoo and the new CSO, Joe Sullivan, report in to CEO Travis Kalanick.
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