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BofA Is Changing General Counsel ... Again

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on November 05, 2015 4:02 PM

After recently announcing his planned retirement from Ford Motor Company, David Leitch looks poised to fill Bank of America's soon to be vacated general counsel seat, according to the Wall Street Journal

We're guessing that retirement doesn't look quite as alluring as a freshly printed offer with just the right number of perks to go along with it. Our guess is that it's a good deal. If the past is any indicator, Leitch won't have to be BofA's GC for very long.

Zipped Lips

Neither company would confirm nor deny that David Leitch would be moving to Ford, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, Ford did release a statement that said "[Leitch] has elected to retire after more than 10 years at Ford," and that Ford would "defer" to his his stated communications with regards with plans after he left them.

Searching for Lynch's Replacement

BofA had been looking for fresh blood ever since its original GC, Gary Lynch became Vice Chairman. According to The Charlotte Observer, that role is usually the first step for retirement. Heads have either been shaking or rolling at BOFA: its Chief Financial Officer left the company, and its Head of Wealth Management also took his retirement this year.

The "retirement" of Lynch is seen by many as a bit of a ignoble phasing out for the older GC. He previously worked as a former Chief of the Enforcement Devision at the SEC and joined the company in the thick of the financial crisis, helping BofA reach a $16.6 billion settlement over fraud charges with the DOJ that helped dodge dicey charges. In some offhand way, Lynch's skillful navigation of compliance issues only splashed fuel on the public's hatred for the so-called "1 percent." He must have done a good job.

Musical General Counsel

BofA has had four GCs under its roof since 2008. The company's general counsel seat has never been warm for long. In 2008, Mayapolous left when BOFA acquired Merril Lynch when the latter was on the ground writhing after the 2007-08 crisis. Brian Moynihan barely had the seat for several until he was named CEO -- and also Chairman. He later promoted the Assistant GC to GC. Lynch came in take the place of BofA GC during the federal investigations into fraud. Now Leitch will replace Lynch. Whew!

It's almost as if the general counsel at Bank of America is cursed. Any bets on how long Leitch will stay as BofA GC?

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