This week was an active one for leadership changes within law departments of the Fortune 500 and the federal government alike.
An American insurance giant appointed a new general counsel and a number of government agencies from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tapped a handful of high powered associates, partners and general counsel.
Below are some highlights:
AIG Appoints New GC
• Lucy Fato has been named general counsel of American International Group (AIG), the insurance company.
Fato comes to AIG from global investigations firm Nardello & Co, where she served as managing director, head of their North and South Americas practice and general counsel.
Previously, she had served as general counsel of S&P Global. Before that, she was general counsel at Marsh & McLennan Companies according to her LinkedIn.
Fato’s new position is effective October 16 and will replace Peter Solmssen, general counsel since 2016. He is leaving to retire, the company said in a release. Fato will oversee regulatory and government affairs for AIG and will report to Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault.
Possible Departure at Boeing
• Boeing could have a new job opening soon in its legal department.
John Demers has been nominated for assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s national security division.
Demers is an assistant general counsel at Boeing, where he oversees the aerospace company’s government relations and regulatory issues. In the national security division, Demers would oversee a department of over 240 lawyers and is tasked with “ensuring greater coordination and unity of purpose between prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, intelligence attorneys, and the Intelligence Community,” according to its website.
If he is nominated, the job would be a homecoming for Demers. Before joining Boeing, he served as deputy assistant attorney general for the office of law & policy in the national security division of the DOJ, according to his biography on the Boeing website. He also was an attorney at Ropes & Gray in Boston and clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
State Department Beefs Up In-House Staff
• Davis Polk litigation partner Jennifer Newstead was nominated to become a legal adviser at the State Department, a top position in the agency’s legal department. She would oversee about 200 lawyers and 100 staffers.
Another former federal legal department veteran, Newstead has held positions in George W. Bush’s White House and with the Department of Justice.
Upon her appointment, BuzzFeed News pointed out that Newstead was instrumental in developing the Bush era widespread surveillance program, the Patriot Act. Newstead has been a partner at DavisPolk since 2006 and clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
FERC Announces New GC
• In other federal government appointment news, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Neil Chatterjee announced that Skadden associate James P. Danly has been named general counsel at the commission.
Danly is fairly new to the legal world, having only graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2013, according to his biography on the Skadden website.
Before joining Skadden, he clerked for Judge Danny Boggs in the Sixth Circuit and was the managing director for the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank in Washington. Danly served two deployments to Iraq as an Army officer and received both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, according to a release from FERC.
French Energy Company Appoints GC
• French energy company EDF has chosen Julia Pyke, head of power and renewables at Herbert Smith Freehills, as its new general counsel according to Legalweek.
The company reported €71.2 billion in revenue and has over 150,000 employees worldwide. Pyke has worked with EDF in the past at HSF, including on their £18 billion nuclear project, Hinkley Point C in Somerset, England. Pyke was a partner at HSF when she left and had been at the firm for over 15 years. She has a specialty in nuclear energy.
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