When Google changed its policy in 2020 to require all businesses selling apps through the Google Play Store to use Google’s electronic bill pay system, officials at Match Group quickly realized that this meant hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. The alternative was even more devastating — being booted off Google Play, which generated billions in revenues from Android users for Match brands, such as Tinder, PlentyofFish and Match.com. The Match legal team — including Chief Legal Officer Jared Sine, Associate General Counsel Jeanette Teckman, Senior Litigation Counsel Stephen Myers and Litigation Counsel Katie Johnson — tried to work with Google on a resolution for two years, but finally decided in March 2022 to sue its largest business partner on allegations of market manipulation, broken promises and abuse of power.
The challenges for the Match legal group included Google’s extraordinarily positive public reputation and its army of successful lawyers, three million documents of discovery to review, an expedited trial plan set by the judge and co-plaintiffs combined into the litigation that did not always see eye-to-eye with Match on all issues. Winning at trial was anything but a sure thing. In fact, Apple had defeated a nearly identical lawsuit in 2021 and 2023. Efforts to reach an out-of-court agreement were fruitless.
Just days before trial was scheduled to start in November, Match scored an historic settlement agreement with Google that brought, according to an earlier Texas Lawbook report, an estimated $300 million and other benefits to the Dallas company.
The Lawbook visited with the 2023 DFW Corporate Counsel Award honoree about criteria Teckman considers when hiring outside counsel and pet peeves.
Texas Lawbook What do you look for in hiring outside counsel? Do you have specific criteria?
Jeanette Teckman: I want lawyers who continuously deliver on the following: understood goals, find solutions that align with our company’s goals, tenacity, effectiveness, predictive accuracy, efficiency, cost control, creativity, listen to the client voice and responsiveness. I want lawyers who, like me, wake up in the morning and go to bed at night thinking about how to win the case.
Lawbook: What does outside counsel need to know about you?
Teckman: I do not take a backseat on any matter. I will spar with and challenge outside counsel to make sure they have left no stone unturned. I do not like a firm to just take the same path that every firm before them has taken, but rather try to see if there is a path that no one has tried before and will it lead to a better outcome.
Lawbook: What are your pet peeves with outside counsel?
Teckman: Lawyers who tell me how we can’t meet our objectives instead of telling me how we can; lawyers who lack the self-confidence to accept ideas from the client; lawyers who point out problems, without providing real solutions.
Lawbook: What am I not asking that I should be asking?
Teckman: I think some things about me that you haven’t already asked, but might want to know, are that I teach boot camp five days a week, love to run marathons, triathlons and mud runs to stay balanced and let off steam. In fact, I qualified for the Boston Marathon and ran it just a few months after giving birth.
Click here for the full profile of Teckman and the Match legal team’s Business Litigation of the Year Award.