Tasha Grinnell started at Neiman Marcus exactly one year ago. Days after she started, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Stores needed to be closed and some employees furloughed. Two months later, the luxury department store filed for bankruptcy – a brutal and costly process that Grinnell and her predecessor Tracy Preston conquered. “We had a lot of balls in the air, and we still do,” Grinnell, who became Neiman Marcus’ interim GC on Friday, told The Texas Lawbook in an exclusive interview.
For a quarter of a century, Leanne Oliver has been a corporate in-house lawyer for PepsiCo and Frito-Lay. She has been a groundbreaker in developing family leave policies and internal training efforts to eliminate sexual harassment. She’s also a highly successful labor and employment lawyer.
American Airlines and Chuck E. Cheese. Farmer Brothers and HMS Holdings. Southwest Airlines and Aventiv. The CLOs and GCs at these six North Texas companies utilized their legal acumen and business leadership skills to lead their employers through a monumentally challenging year. They are finalists for the 2020 DFW Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards.
For any industry, what goes up must come down. We see this in the airline industry on a minute-by-minute basis as planes take off and land as scheduled. In 2020, COVID-19 brought radical and immediate changes to businesses and their legal departments. Like airlines, the key is to agree on a flight plan and bring everyone in for a soft landing.
Financial services giant Charles Schwab, which just relocated its HQ on Jan.1, is expected to announce next week that it is hiring former Securities and Exchange Commission regional director and former federal prosecutor Shamoil Shipchandler as its new chief counsel.
Houston-based Marathon Oil has chosen Kimberly Warnica, the former general counsel at Alta Mesa Resources, to replace Reginald Hedgebeth as its new general counsel.
Westlake-based Goosehead Insurance terminated the employment Thursday of its assistant GC, Paul Davis, who posted a video on Instagram Wednesday that appears to show himself inside the Capitol building as part of the Trump protest that turned into a riot. Davis, who posted several social media messages claiming the elections were a fraud, said Thursday that he was “fired for exercising my First Amendment rights.”
One year ago, Halliburton Chief Legal Officer Robb Voyles hired Baker Botts litigation partner Van Beckwith to be the oilfield service giant’s general counsel with the idea that he would eventually replace Voyles. Eventually has arrived. In exclusive interviews, Beckwith and Voyles tell The Texas Lawbook about their moves and what is ahead.
Kevin McDonald has experienced extraordinary career successes. He has rung the opening or closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange three times with three companies. In 2019, he helped engineer a $1.8 billion merger between Keane Group and C&J Energy, creating an oil field services powerhouse with more than $4 billion in annual revenues. For those achievements and more, McDonald is the 2020 Houston Corporate Counsel General Counsel of the Year for a Midsized Legal Department. The Texas Lawbook has his complete story – and an amazing story it is.
Everyone has biases. Not everyone tries to identify theirs. Some don’t realize they are discriminatory. And lawyers who see prejudice with judges or other lawyers “need to pushback against it,” U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore told the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Houston Chapter in a CLE webcast last week called “Implicit Bias in the Courts.”