In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Recently in Corporate News Category

GM Leaves Venezuela in Wake of Financial Crisis, Seized Assets

Like a tornado sweeping through town, a government can take out a company in a moment that instantly reminds people they are not in control. If any survive, they are left to pick up the pieces and to try to rebuild their lives.

In Venezuela, General Motors employees are dealing with a financial crisis sweeping the country. The government seized the automaker's factory, leaving thousands jobless and wondering about how to pay for their next meal.

The seizure resulted from a decades-old lawsuit, but came to a head because the country is fighting for its political and economic life. Venezuelans are dying in protests over the conditions, and American businesses are also falling victim to the crisis.

It is a reminder to companies doing business abroad that everything can change in an instant.

Discovery Communications Names New General Counsel

Savalle Sims has been named the new general counsel for Discovery Communications.

Sims, formerly deputy general counsel, will lead the company's global legal teams and manage legal issues worldwide. In the new position, she reports to Bruce Campbell, chief development and legal officer.

"Savalle is a strong leader, with an incredible legal mind and strategic approach that has served Discovery exceptionally well," Campbell said in announcing her promotion.

In January, the Department of Labor sued Google, accusing it of withholding information on pay disparities from federal regulators. Then, last Friday, the DOL accused Google of "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce."

Now, Google is pushing back, arguing that its internal analyses ensure that "our pay practices remain aligned with our commitment to equal pay."

What's the cost for overseeing a program where fraud was rampant? About $75 million and counting. That's the amount that Wells Fargo's board announced it would "claw back" from two executives this morning, sending them the bill for the bank's account fraud scandal. The bank agreed to pay $185 million to regulators in September, after it was accused of fraud that saw 2 million fake bank account and credit card lines opened in customers' name.

But the bank isn't just laying blame on the two executives alone. Today's massive report from the bank's board, based on months of internal investigation, says that the structure and culture of the bank made it prime territory for such fraud.

SCOTUS to Decide If U.S. Corporations Can Be Liable for Overseas Terrorism

Arab Bank in New York thought it couldn't be held liable for customers overseas -- even those who were known terrorists.

After all, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that liability presumptively does not reach corporations in America for human rights violations committed in other countries. Moreover, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals had thrown out the cases against Arab Bank based on that ruling.

But that was then, and this is now.

"[T]his case presents the issue in as gripping a context as this Court is likely to see: proven corporate financing of terrorism, partly from a perch in the United States that was indispensable to the terrorist scheme," the petitioners said in urging the Supreme Court to hear Jesner v. Arab Bank.

Yahoo Names New General Counsel, Arthur Chong

Yahoo has named Arthur Chong to replace Ronald Bell, who resigned as general counsel after a report that the company's legal team failed to properly investigate a huge data breach disclosed last year.

That data breach of 500 million Yahoo accounts contributed to a $350 million discount in Verizon's offer to purchase the company's internet business. It also resulted in federal indictments against two Russian spies and mercenary hackers.

As Yahoo prepares for the transition with Verizon, Chong will have his work cut out for him.

Meet the New General Counsel at Pinterest

Pinterest has hired as new general counsel Christine Flores, who had been working as Google's vice president of legal.

Flores worked for Google 10 years and led several corporate teams, including mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate governance, real estate, and ethics and compliance. At Pinterest, she will lead the company's legal and public policy teams.

"Christine is a proven leader with a decade of experience in corporate law, and has tackled some of the most challenging projects in the business world -- from the Alphabet reorganization to large international acquisitions and investments," Pinterest cofounder and CEO Ben Silbermann said in a statement.

It seems like not a week goes by without a new Uber story to cover -- and they're rarely good ones. Just in the past few weeks, Uber has been hit with an unpermitted self-driving car scandal, a #deleteuber campaign, a sexual harassment scandal, a related workplace culture scandal, another sexual harassment scandal, and a CEO cursing at drivers scandal. Today, there's one more to heap on the pile.

This afternoon, the New York Times revealed that Uber has been using, for several years, a secret program designed to evade regulatory authorities.

Yahoo has wrapped up its investigation into the 2014 data breach that saw 500 million accounts compromised. Now the heads have started to roll, but they're not the heads you might have expected.

Yahoo general counsel Ronald Bell seems to have taken the blame for the hacking, resigning on Wednesday after the investigation concluded that his legal team had enough information to justify further investigation but did not take action.

Verizon Drops $350 Million From Offer to Buy Yahoo Because of Data Breaches

When Yahoo disclosed last year that hackers had compromised 1.5 billion email accounts, Verizon saw a silver lining in the cloud over its offer to buy the company. Let's make that about $350 million worth of silver lining.

Verizon had offered to pay $4.8 billion for Yahoo's core internet business before the data breaches were discovered, but now the parties have agreed to $4.48 billion. According to reports, the deal will go to shareholders for approval in April.

"We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense," said Verizon's Marni M. Walden. "We look forward to moving ahead expeditiously so that we can quickly welcome Yahoo's tremendous talent and assets into our expanding portfolio in the digital advertising space."