All posts by Mike Evers

Congrats Jumoke Onibokun!

Congratulations to Jumoke Onibokun, who started on September 3 as Senior Counsel with Univar Solutions in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Jumoke is a 2007 graduate (cum laude) of Northwestern University School of Law who cut her teeth handling a wide variety of transactional work as an Associate with Mayer Brown from 2007 to 2012. Jumoke makes the move to Univar Solutions from FTD Companies, where her responsibilities ranged from securities to compliance to contracts and more.

Her generalist mindset is an ideal fit for Univar Solutions, where every attorney operates in business team environments and not as siloed subject matter experts.

We thank Jeff Carr and Noelle Perkins of Univar Solutions for retaining our firm to handle this search.

Giving Back

I am very excited about this issue of eNews because it features a person who I admire a great deal … a man who conducts himself at a very high level of consistent excellence. Brandon Smith became the General Counsel of Fortune 500 tier-one auto supplier Tenneco at the age of 37 two years ago.

When I met Brandon in 2011, he was already the No. 2 attorney in Tenneco’s law department, and my main client contact for some Adjunct Counsel work we did for his company at the time. He was a sponge. Brandon and I did the occasional lunch and he would soak up whatever insights I could offer on recruiting and the local law department scene. I just re-read a memo I sent to him in 2012 with a list of my best general counsel contacts so that he could pick their brains. It’s the only memo of that kind I’ve written in 20 years. He will be a CEO down the road if that is what he chooses, or he’ll be a rock star high performing GC for as long as he finds it fulfilling.

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Congrats Robyn Martin

Congratulations to Robyn Martin, who started on August 12 as Associate General Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary with Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN). Knowles is a leading global provider of micro-acoustic, audio-processing, and precision device solutions, serving the mobile consumer electronics, communications, medical, military, aerospace and industrial markets.

Robyn is a graduate of University of Michigan Law school. She began her career with Winston & Strawn for eight years, before moving in-house. From 2014 until starting with Knowles, Robyn held positions of increasing responsibility with Potbelly Sandwich Works.

Evers Legal thanks Knowles Corporation for retaining us to handle this placement.

Ace Hardware / Corporate Counsel

Ace Hardware (The Helpful Place!) has retained Evers Legal to recruit a Corporate Counsel for a direct hire generalist role with promising career path potential. Supporting daily operations, you will learn the business, interface with internal clients routinely, and work in a collaborate team environment.

Specific “to dos” of the job entail the full range of commercial contracts negotiating and drafting, such as supplier/vendor agreements, real estate, NDAs, marketing, media… and much more.

The winning candidate will have 5 – 8 years of legal experience. Although we tend to favor candidates with some in-house experience, this opportunity is also open to straight-from-law-firm candidates. The critical criteria frankly is culture fit… we want the ego-free attorney who plays well with others, including their colleagues in the law department. Commercial/transactional experience highly preferred. Candidates with primarily litigation oriented backgrounds are unlikely to move forward.

Position location is Ace Hardware headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois. Relocation not anticipated. Local candidates preferred. Non-local candidates willing to move at his/her own cost may be considered.

To submit a resume and for more details, please contact Meredith Haydon at mhaydon@everslegal.com and 847-475-4222.

Univar Solutions: Senior Counsel (securities)

Update: Position filled, new hire announcement to be made on September 3.

Evers Legal has been exclusively retained by Univar Solutions to handle all sourcing for the following opportunity:

Senior Counsel with “mini-GC” generalist responsibilities for a segment of the business, and securities subject matter expertise responsibilities across the organization. Securities work will comprise approximately 30% of your time. We view this as an outstanding opportunity for a securities attorney who wishes to broaden his or her career path in a dynamic role that goes beyond just that subject matter focus.

In-house experience is a plus, but we will consider senior law firm Associates for whom this would make an ideal first move in-house. Minimum 5 years out of law school.

The Univar Solutions Legal Team is not your typical law department. The vision of the Univar Solutions legal team is to truly prevent problems. Lawyers at Univar Solutions think critically about their roles as business partners. We seek applicants who embrace process improvement and question professional norms.

Univar Solutions is a publicly traded international leader in industrial chemical distribution, headquartered in Downers Grove, IL. A full-time commitment to the headquarters location is required. For more on the company: www.univarsolutions.com

Interested candidates should please send a resume to mike@everslegal.com, or call 312-225-1144 with any preliminary questions. Any inquiry made directly to the legal team or HR professionals at Univar Solutions will be routed to Evers Legal for vetting.

Associate GC / Asst Corp Secretary: Knowles Corp

Update: Position filled.

Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN) has engaged Evers Legal on an exclusive basis to handle all sourcing for the following position:

Associate General Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary, reporting to the General Counsel and with board level visibility. Ideal candidate will be 10 to 15 years out of law school with experience that includes a focus on SEC public reporting and disclosure. Candidates must have current or past experience working in a corporate law department for a publicly traded company. The winner will be someone who has advised executives and boards on corporate governance best practices.

While this is primarily a securities position, the role includes a healthy dose of interesting M&A work (approx. 20%), some commercial transactions, and some compliance. It can be an ideal position for someone who seeks the kind of resume building role that will lead eventually to a GC opportunity. Or, it can be a long-term and potentially top of career move for an in-house securities attorney who will relish the role.

Compensation on this is very strong, with at-market base and bonus plus an attractive equity component. Local candidates preferred.

Knowles is headquartered in Itasca, IL. Our client is a market leader and global supplier of advanced micro-acoustic solutions and specialty components serving the mobile communications, consumer electronics, medical technology, military, aerospace and industrial markets. Knowles has more than 8,000 employees in 25 locations worldwide. Visit www.knowles.com for more information on the company.

Please note that this is an exclusive engagement. Any resumes or inquiries made directly to the general counsel or HR professionals at Knowles will be routed to Evers Legal for vetting. To apply, please send your resume in confidence to mike@everslegal.com. For additional inquiries, our number is 312-225-1144.


David vs. Goliath

Wish me luck. I spent much of last weekend in RFP hell, but it paid off. I have been invited to pitch Evers Legal in-person for a general counsel search engagement with a financial institution on the East Coast. If we win, you will read the client name when we publicize the opening and start working on it.

Objectively, we might be considered a risky selection. Although we have placed more than 300 attorneys into in-house roles since 1997, the vast majority of those searches have been at other levels of the law department pyramid (from junior corporate counsel up to deputy general counsel).

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Assistant GC (Compliance) / Ubiquiti Networks

Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT) has retained Evers Legal to recruit an attorney with in-house Compliance expertise for a broad ranging role. Ubiquiti Networks is a growing provider of networking products and services with decentralized operations worldwide. It is a design and engineering focused culture with a small employee headcount (about 800), but an impressive market cap of $10B. For more on the product line, visit www.ui.com.

This is a newly created position within the company’s Chicago based law department. You will be tasked with proactively auditing the company’s operational compliance needs, drafting policies where needed, and advising the General Counsel. The role is not specific to any one regulatory area, but rather requires a holistic perspective on preventing problems before they occur. As examples, though, operational compliance needs have included export compliance and compliance with EU privacy regulations.

The winner is someone for whom no task is too small (roll up sleeves!), while thinking strategically, issue spotting, and communicating best practices to company leadership.

Our ideal candidate is an attorney who has compliance experience in-house. If interested, please send your resume to mike@everslegal.com or call 312-225-1144. Note: Evers Legal has been exclusively retained to handle this opening, so inquiries made directly to Ubiquiti Networks would be routed to us.

Assistant General Counsel – Intellectual Property

Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT) has retained Evers Legal to recruit a strategically minded intellectual property attorney. Ubiquiti Networks develops new products continually, and therefore a proactive IP lawyer will find this position exceptionally rewarding. This is a company with worldwide operations and a $10B market cap. It’s an engineer friendly culture. Core products include best in class networking devices. A thorough list of products and enterprise solutions is available at www.ui.com.

The company’s legal department is based in Chicago, and this position will office in downtown Chicago reporting directly to the General Counsel. Ubiquiti Networks’ operations are decentralized, so some travel may be required.

Our ideal candidate is a senior associate or junior partner with experience serving the telecommunications or related industries. Candidates with in-house experience will also be considered. You will be the lead IP attorney for Ubiquiti Networks with potential management responsibilities as growth of the function dictates.

Please send your resume to mike@everslegal.com or call 312-225-1144. Note: Evers Legal is handling this placement exclusively, so any inquiries made directly to the client would be routed to us.

Needle in a haystack: we welcome the challenging search

Dan Clark, a reporter from American Lawyer Media, works the in-house counsel beat for Corporate Counsel and he reaches out to me and other specialists in this space from time to time.

Dan recently posed an interesting question, essentially: “Do certain industries present particularly difficult recruiting challenges?” The conventional wisdom likely holds that recruiting for growing information technology companies is easy, as compared perhaps to smoke stack industries or socially unpopular sectors such as tobacco.

In my experience, however, in-house lawyers are fairly agnostic on industry and tend to focus on the nature of the opportunity. See Cate Flahardy’s general counsel profile of Verona Dorch for an excellent example. I rarely find industry to be a stumbling block when working on a search. In fact, here in the Midwest where I am based, a solid engine manufacturer such as Cummins, or a healthy medical products company like Baxter, have made for much more successful placements when compared to some sexy names like Groupon. I am defining success by the job satisfaction and longevity of lawyers we have placed.

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