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Uber Hires Top Law Firm in India Rape Case

Is there anything dirtier, uglier, or more noxious than the grime on the underbelly of a road-worn car?

You might expect to find it on a car coursing the muddy, unpaved roads of India, but not the shining streets of the Silicon Valley, home to the world's largest car-hailing service.

So it would seem. But a top law firm may find out whether Uber has been hiding a most ugly detail for years.

CVS General Counsel Prepares for Major Health Care Changes

Tom Moriarty, general counsel for CVS, has a prediction and a prescription for general counsel.

Moriarty predicts that healthcare companies will need more legal help as state and federal governments deal with changes from the Affordable Care Act to the American Health Care Act. He says companies will need to give their general counsel larger roles because law and policy are intertwined in public health.

"In healthcare, more so than other areas, the role that general counsels will play will be much more central to the strategy of a company for the next five to seven years," Moriarty said in an interview with Big Law Business.

Verizon Completes Yahoo Deal, Creates New Company 'Oath'

Verizon has acquired Yahoo's operating business and formed a new company called "Oath."

"Oath" as in swear an oath, like "I'll be damned if I give up my Yahoo email!" Fortunately, nothing is likely to happen to your Yahoo email after all.

Oath, which includes Yahoo and AOL, will focus on advertising. It won't impact the law business directly, although 2,100 workers will be laid off in the transition.

CRISPR Therapeutics Appoints New GC

James R. Kasinger will take over as general counsel for CRISPR Therapeutics at a time when the company's fate depends on the biggest legal battle in the biotech industry.

The case involves the patent rights to CRISPR-Cas9, a technique that has the potential to transform the biotechnology and genetic engineering industries. The genome editing tool can splice DNA faster, cheaper, and more accurately than other existing methods.

Kasinger, a rising star in his own right, will have to get up to speed.

Who Wants Uber's General Counsel Role?

Looking at Uber's legal organization is a little like looking at an incomplete schematic for a car.

If you are not an electrician or really good at sorting out a tangle, you may have trouble figuring out how the company's legal team even works. There are definitely some missing connections.

Last week, the San Francisco-based company moved its general counsel to chief legal officer. Days later, the company's top attorney for basically the rest of the world quit.

In the meantime, there's a big hole at the general counsel position. Does anybody know where this car is going?

Will Pandora Internet Radio Go Up for Sale?

With all the excitement about innovation, sometimes it leaves companies and even industries behind like dead bodies in unmarked graves.

Pandora, the first radio music service online, has fallen victim to innovations by Apple and Spotify. The rumors of its demise are exaggerated, but Pandora may soon be taken over by another company or be forced to borrow more money to survive.

The company reportedly is "confident" that it will be sold in the next 30 days, even as it announced an agreement to take a $150 million investment from a private equity firm. The reports have caused Pandora's stock to rise and fall, and it signals some significant changes ahead.

Microsoft's Legal Team Adds New Role: Privacy Lawyer

As hackers continue to attack companies everywhere, Microsoft has appointed a privacy lawyer to lead the company in the battle against cybercrime.

Julie Brill, a former Federal Trade Commissioner, will oversee privacy and regulatory affairs for the company. She will have other responsibilities, including telecommunications regulations, corporate standards, and internet governance, but her appointment highlights Microsoft's emphasis on cybersecurity.

"As a company, the problem that perhaps concerns us the most in the cybersecurity space is the growing rise of nation state attacks," said Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, during a recent speech in Brussels.

Legal Ops Taking Aim at Changes in 2017

‘Legal ops’ can conjure up the image of a sniper, clothed with clandestine legitimacy and a laser-focused rifle.

It’s a fair analogy, as legal operations professionals gain more power in corporate legal departments around the world. Ten years ago, not many corporate counsel knew they existed. Today, they are key members of legal teams trained to work fast and cut costs.

With the formation of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, there are more than 600 card-carrying members of the organization. This is an account of who they are and what they can do:

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.