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9 noteworthy in-house career moves

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

Paul Kaleta


GC Appointments

As solar power becomes more prevalent in the United States, solar-based energy companies are beginning to see more legal work on their plate. So it makes sense that First Solar has turned to an energy industry veteran, Paul Kaleta, as the company’s newest general counsel. Before First Solar, Kaleta served as GC and chief compliance officer of NV Energy, Inc. He has also served in a variety of roles, including general counsel, of Koch Industries, Inc. “Paul’s notable experience in the energy sector is a considerable asset to First Solar,” said First Solar CEO Jim Hughes in a press release. “He is a seasoned professional, with more than 20 years of experience as a general counsel, who brings highly relevant, market-specific depth to our leadership team.”

Karen Kaiser

 

It’s a promotion to general counsel for Karen Kaiser of the Associated Press, and it comes at a time when the company is facing unique legal pressures. According to an AP release, Kaiser helped lead the company’s legal strategy against the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2013 after the DOJ revealed it had seized records from 20 AP phone lines as part of a leak investigation. Kaiser previously had held the associate general counsel role with AP since 2011, as well as the assistant general counsel role since 2009. Before that, she worked as senior counsel at the Tribune Company. “Karen’s expertise and her commitment to freedom of the press have proven how important it is to maintain vigilance so that the public right-to-know is protected,” said Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt. “As general counsel, she will continue those efforts while also putting her experience to work for AP in other critical areas.”

Richard Silfen


It’s a move in house for Richard Silfen, as the current Duane Morris partner is becoming general counsel for American Realty Capital Properties, the real estate investment trust started by Nicholas S. Schorsch. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Silfen held ARCP as a client with Duane Morris, helping represent the company through a $3.2 billion “reverse” merger to acquire American Realty Capital Trust III, followed by a $3.1 billion deal to acquire American Realty Capital Trust IV. Silfen’s main work in the corporate world came through a stint as president and chief financial officer of Cangen Biotechnologies from 2004 to 2007. He also has worked in the law firms of Fox Rothschild, Wolf Block and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

Peter Heilmann

 

Shipping company Matson Inc. is ready to set sail with a new leader of its legal division, and it’s Peter Heilmann who has been tapped as captain. Heilmann first joined Matson in 2012 as vice president and deputy general counsel, serving under the now-retired Peter O’Rourke. During that time, Heilmann helped Matson transition to becoming a publicly-traded company, with a press release stating that he handled all aspects of SEC and NYSE responsibilities for Matson. Before Matson, Heilmann worked in private practice, including 10 years as a partner with Gibson Dunn. “In the past two years, Peter Heilmann has demonstrated his capabilities in managing and directing a number of high profile legal matters. We are pleased to have him on our team,” said Matson CEO Matt Cox.

James Kerr

 

Who has the (generating) capacity to lead the legal team of the Southeast United States’ leading energy company, Southern Co.? That task now falls to James Y. Kerr II, who has been named the company’s  general counsel, chief compliance officer and executive vice president effective on March 8. Kerr comes to Southern Co. from McGuireWoods LLP, where he co-chaired the firm’s energy industry team. He also was a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission for eight years, including serving as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2007 to 2008. “Jim is an excellent addition to our leadership team, bringing more than 20 years of legal and regulatory experience in the energy sector to Southern Company,” said Southern Co. CEO Thomas Fanning. “He is recognized in the industry for the solid counsel he provides.”

Thomas G. Seaman

 

Moving from one health-related company to another, Thomas G. Seaman continues his work as an industry veteran by taking over the roles of senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for the nation’s largest telehealth provider, Teladoc. Seaman previously worked as GC of Best Doctors, Inc., a medical information services and health insurance company in Boston. He also has served as GC of San Francisco-based BenefitPoint Corp. “His experience and knowledge of the health care field, technology and corporate transactions will benefit Teladoc as we grow and evolve to face new market expansion and growth,” said Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic.

Monique Cormier

 

Aptean’s software goal is to give small businesses an edge, but if it’s the company’s legal department that is in trouble, it’s Monique Cormier that they will now be turning to. According to Foster’s Daily Democrat, Cormier has joined Atlanta-based Aptean as vice president and general counsel. She has worked in-house in the technology sector before, most recently service as associate general counsel for the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), a non-profit organization representing 800 mobile operators worldwide. She also has served as GC of software application and hosting services company NaviSite.

Harvey Anderson

 

Between Target, Neiman Marcus, and possibly other companies getting hit with data breaches, Internet security is top-of-mind for many in-house counsel. However, the legal ramifications of Internet security is not a new topic to Harvey Anderson, who takes his expertise in the technology arena to online security company AVG as chief legal officer. Anderson comes to AVG from Firefox browser creators Mozilla, where he worked as senior vice president, business and legal affairs. Over the course of his career, Anderson has also worked for Seven Networks, Flywheel Communications, Medscape and Netscape. “He brings a wealth of legal and policy experience in the public and private arenas as well as a strong technical understanding of products and engineering,” said Gary Kovacs, AVG Technologies CEO. “This gives him a unique foundation to help lead AVG into the next stage of our growth.”

Noah Hanft

 

Other In-House Moves

For Noah Hanft, who will retire as MasterCard’s GC effective April 1, the next move will be into the non-profit arena to help businesses and lawyers resolve disputes more efficiently. Hanft has been named the new President and CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), taking over from the retiring Kathleen A. Bryan. Hanft had worked with MasterCard since 1984 and had served as the company’s general counsel since 2001. “The global implications of increasingly burdensome litigation are undeniable,” said Hanft in a press release. “I passionately believe in the mission of CPR to drive alternatives to costly litigation and am honored to have been chosen to lead CPR, the preeminent organization in the field.”

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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