American Airlines finds new general counsel

Aug 26, 2019
Paul Jones retired from American as its top lawyer earlier this year

American Airlines Group has hired Priya Aiyar as senior vice president and general counsel.

In her new role, Aiyar will head up the airline’s legal affairs team and its legal strategies, including corporate governance, securities and corporate finance, business and commercial, litigation, competition and antitrust, compliance, privacy, environmental, employment and intellectual property matters.

She succeeds Paul Jones, who retired from American earlier this year. Aiyar reports to Steve Johnson, executive vice president of corporate affairs. A spokesperson declined to confirm her start date with the company.

She was previously a partner in the litigation department and global trade and investment practice group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in Washington, DC. According to the law firm’s website, Aiyar’s experience covers the financial services, energy, technology and communications industries, having advised clients on regulatory and enforcement matters, trial and appellate litigation and internal and government investigations.

Before joining Willkie in 2017, Aiyar was acting general counsel and deputy general counsel for the US Department of the Treasury and deputy general counsel for the US Department of Energy. Earlier in her career, she held senior legal roles within the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Federal Communications Commission, and was a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel.

Aiyar began her legal career as a clerk to Judge Merrick Garland of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and to Justice Stephen Breyer of the US Supreme Court.

‘We are thrilled to welcome Priya to American Airlines,’ Johnson says in a statement. ‘Priya is an outstanding lawyer and an extraordinary intellect, and her strategic perspective, integrity, energy, unique experience, passion for the law and demonstrated ability to build and inspire teams make her the perfect person to lead our legal strategy and team over the coming years.’

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