9 noteworthy in-house career moves

Charting some of the most recent GC and in-house appointments

GC Appointments

Kimberley Harris is now executive vice president and general counsel of NBCUniversal, replacing long-time GC Rick Cotton. Harris comes to the company from Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she was a partner in the litigation department. From 2009 to 2010, Harris was senior counsel to the assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Cotton, meanwhile, will remain with the company as senior counselor for IP protection.

Ivan Smith was promoted to executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. Smith joined the company a decade ago as associate general counsel and director of litigation, before being named assistant general counsel and vice president in 2009. He previously was a litigator at Jones Day.

Weatherford International Ltd. hired Alejandro Cestero as vice president and co-general counsel. Cestero joins the oilfield service company from Lufkin Industries, where he was vice president, general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer. His prior work experience also includes a stint as the general counsel and chief compliance officer of Seahawk Drilling Inc.

Francis B. Barron joined Cimarex Energy Co. as senior vice president and general counsel. Barron most recently worked at Bill Barrett, where he served as CFO and—since 2004—general counsel. He previously was a partner at Patton Boggs and Bearman Talesnick & Cowdus Professional Corp.

Former Yahoo Inc. general counsel Michael Callahan was named executive vice president and chief legal officer of the online real estate marketplace Auction.com. Callahan previously spent almost a decade as GC of Yahoo before leaving the company in July 2012. He started his career as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

oDesk, an online workplace that helps businesses hire remote workers, appointed Brian Levey general counsel. Levey previously spent seven years as vice president, deputy general counsel, and corporate and assistant secretary at eBay Inc., where he also served for six years as associate general counsel. His prior in-house experience also includes a three-year stint as vice president of legal at Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Inc.

Jill Simeone was hired as general counsel of KCAP Financial Inc. Simeone previously counseled American Express Co. on digital and technology mergers and acquisitions. She has also served as North American general counsel at the building materials supplier CEMEX SAB de CV.

Fowler White Boggs named firm shareholder Thomas Dearing general counsel. Dearing is a shareholder at the firm and the managing shareholder of its Jacksonville, Fla. office. His practice focuses on commercial and business litigation, specifically disputes related to real property, insurers and lending institutions.

Law Firm News

Amy Pocklington joined Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart as a shareholder in its Richmond, Va. office. Pocklington most recently was a senior counsel at McGuire Woods. Before going into private practice in 2010, she worked in-house as the vice president and general counsel of Performance Food Group.

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