Appointments: August 2015
1) Barnes Group, the international industrial and aerospace manufacturer and service provider, has appointed James Berklas as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.
Before joining Barnes Group, Berklas served as senior vice president, associate general counsel, chief compliance officer and associate corporate secretary for Los-Angeles-based Herbalife from 2008 to 2015.. Previously, he was general counsel and corporate secretary for Marietta Corp from 2005 to 2008 and, from 2006 to 2008, as Marietta’s senior vice president, hotel division and general manager. He began his career in private practice with three prominent law firms including Vinson & Elkins, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, and Irell & Manella.
Berklas holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He will be relocating to Connecticut from California.
2) Susan Steinthal has been named executive vice president, deputy general counsel and head of legal for consumer banking for Citizens Bank, a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group. She will report to Steve Gannon, general counsel and chief legal officer at Citizens.
Steinthal joins Citizens after spending 11 years at Citigroup in various senior legal and business line positions. Most recently sh was general counsel for Citigroup’s International Retail Banking business, advising on global activities and best practices in traditional deposit and lending, and a range of other transactions and initiatives.She also served as chief of staff to the general counsel, and spent six years in Citigroup’s litigation group. Before joining Citigroup, Susan was an associate at Richards Spears Kibbe & Orbe, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore, both in New York.
Steinthal is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University.
3) General Motors has appointed Jill Sutton as corporate secretary and deputy general counsel for corporate, finance and strategic transactions. Sutton will report to Craig Glidden, executive vice president and general counsel.
Prior to joining GM, Sutton, was executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Tim Hortons, now part of Restaurant Brands International, one of the world's largest quick-service restaurant companies.
Glidden, in a statement welcoming Sutton, cited her role in helping to lead significant corporate transactions such as the Tim Hortons IPO and its eventual sale to Burger King.
Before her tenure at Tim Hortons, Sutton was corporate counsel at Wendy's International and practiced corporate and health care law for Squire Sanders and Eastman & Smith Ltd. She holds a JD, a Master of Health Administration degree, and a BA degree, all from The Ohio State University. In addition to being licensed to practice law in the U.S., Jill is admitted to the bar in Canada as a barrister and solicitor.
4) Heidi Schmid Whiting has been named vice president and general counsel of Graham Media Group, which owns television stations in some top US markets, effective August 31. She will succeed John Ronayne, who is retiring after 14 years in that role and will become vice president and senior counsel of the company.
For the past seven years, Whiting has been with the law offices of Cinnamon Mueller, a firm serving independent communications and technology companies, serving as managing partner for the past four years. She handled transactional, regulatory and litigation matters, and dealt with the FCC, and state and local regulatory bodies. Previously, Whiting spent several years at Mudd Law Offices in Chicago, working for three years before that as a financial analyst in the controller division of Goldman Sachs in New York.
Whiting graduated cum laude from Villanova University with a BA in English and Business and earned her law degree with Honors as a Dean's Scholar from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. A member of the Chicago Bar Association and Federal Communications Bar Association, she is active in several Chicago area trade associations and non-profits.
5) Unwired Planet, inventor of the Mobile Internet, has named Noah Mesel general counsel, corporate secretary and executive vice president, legal and government affairs.
As a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley, with extensive experience in commercializing technologies and intellectual property, Mesel is well suited to the task of helping Unwired Planet expand its licensing business, CEO Boris Teksler said in a statement.
Mesel joins Unwired Planet from ASSIA, where he oversaw all legal affairs, including advising management and the board on intellectual property protection, commercial and strategic licensing transactions, corporate governance and international business. Prior to ASSIA, he served as general counsel at Corsair Components, Ikanos Communications, Riverstone Networks, and Legato Systems, and was corporate counsel at Lucent Technologies.
He previously practiced law for nine years at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a BA, cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College.
6) Mark Harrington has joined United Online, a major provider of consumer products and services over the Internet, as executive vice president and general counsel.
Harrington brings more than 25 years of business experience to United Online, as well as 20 years of in-house legal experience and 10 years as general counsel, corporate secretary and a board advisor. Most recently he was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Guidance Software, a provider of software solutions for digital investigations, where he was the lead legal officer for the company’s 2006 IPO. Prior to Guidance Software, he was the division general counsel and senior attorney for Intel Corp’s communications infrastructure group. He joined Intel after helping successfully complete the merger and integration of Trillium Digital Systems in 2000.
Harrington also held previous legal positions at Munger, Tolles & Olson and Ticketmaster. He received his BA from UCLA and his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law, and is a member of the California State Bar.