Taylor English Duma LLP is pleased to announce the creation of T|E General Counsel, its fractional general counsel solution. The practice is an additional option to the firm’s full service offerings, and focuses on providing support to start-ups, early/growth stage companies, and midsized organizations. Companies best suited for this offering are companies experiencing growth and those companies that could benefit from experienced legal counsel advising their management teams but are not quite ready to hire a full-time general counsel (or additional in-house counsel). As former in-house counsel, the attorneys in this practice group advise clients across a variety of industries and substantive disciplines, bringing to the table a wealth of legal and business experience.
Because of their in-house experience, T|E General Counsel is comprised of attorneys who understand the dynamics of an in-house legal department and who know how to be business partners. These attorneys have acquired a level of business acumen that distinguishes them from others and encourages them to be true counselors to the company. Additionally, they are well-versed in topics such as strategic growth, compliance, and risk management.
“T|E General Counsel evolved from the nearly four dozen Taylor English attorneys sharing their meaningful in-house experience,” said Joseph English, partner at Taylor English. “Our in-house alums have ‘been there’ and ‘done that.’ They understand the challenges business owners, CEOs and GCs face on daily basis and are ready to roll-up the sleeves and be part of the executive team.”
The practice is led by Allen W. Nelson and Gray McCalley, and currently includes a dozen team members who have in-house experience with diverse legal and industry skill sets.
“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to grow our fractional general counsel offering,” said Nelson. “We have created a unique model to provide legal resources to companies that need legal services to help drive their growth but may not want to bring on (or add additional) full-time legal department employees.”
T| E General Counsel’s full team includes:
Nelson was the General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRD.A and CRD.B), a global claims administration firm. Nelson previously served as Chief Compliance Counsel for BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS), which at the time was a Fortune 100 telecommunications company. He most recently served as the General Counsel of 8 Rivers Capital, LLC, an early stage company in the zero carbon emission energy space. Nelson’s experience includes a wide range of topics, including complex governance and compliance issues; international legal and business matters; mergers and acquisitions; employment matters; dispute resolution; and many other strategic matters.
McCalley has more 30 years of in-house experience handling domestic and international operations of global companies, including The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and Printpack, Inc., a billion-dollar packaging company. McCalley has extensive experience creating business relevant solutions in domestic and foreign legal affairs and guiding mergers and acquisitions; complicated commercial transactions; labor and employment; compliance; and dispute resolution.
Harold M. “Sonny” Cohen is former General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of publicly traded AFC Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFCE) and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. He has extensive experience leading legal teams and guiding investors, senior management and boards of directors on a wide range of legal topics and business strategies.
Deitra Crawley Deitra Crawley brings extensive domestic and international experience advising clients in complex and strategic governance, regulatory and compliance, and mergers and acquisitions. Having built and led quality legal teams as Generals Counsel of three minority or woman owned companies, including Concessions International, LLC, a food and beverage operator in Atlanta, Georgia; LogiCore Corporation, a technology services company in Huntsville, Alabama; and UNITECH, Inc., a defense contractor in Northern Virginia acquired by Lockheed Martin Corporation, Crawley has advised executive management teams and boards of directors; given sound legal counsel for joint ventures, assets and interest only acquisitions, employment matters, export compliance, government investigations, franchisor/franchisee relationships, restaurant operations, government and commercial leases, entertainment contracts and construction and design contracts, all lending Crawley a firm understanding of the needs of business owners.
Jonathan D. Crumly Sr. served as general counsel for LakePoint Sports, a mixed-use development creating the premier sports vacation destination. In this role, he drafted, negotiated and provided legal support for all sports operations, hospitality developments, retail developments, entertainment developments, construction and design contracts from infrastructure and vertical construction.
Ryan Owens served as the chief legal officer of DS Services, a beverage manufacturer and retailer with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion, where he advised senior management and the board of directors on SEC reporting, compliance, corporate governance, commercial transactions, real estate, intellectual property, and litigation, among other matters. Mr. Owens was an early stage investor and general counsel for Kredible Technologies, an Atlanta-based SaaS start-up.
Tim Reis was general counsel for companies both public (EMS Technologies Inc.) and private (Inmar Inc.), and as in-house counsel for Fortune 100 companies (United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) and Manufacturers Hanover Corp.). Reis’ experience includes mergers and acquisitions, corporate securities, corporate finance and governance, intellectual property licensing, telecommunications, defense contracts, defense security, media and entertainment, reinsurance contracts, environmental compliance, and labor and employment counseling.
Nida Rizvi was an Associate General Counsel at Drax Biomass Inc., a manufacturer of compressed wood pellets, where she provided legal advice on commercial contracts, state and federal contracts, and various manufacturing agreements. As Associate General Counsel and Compliance Officer with Oak Hill Advisors, L.P., Rizvi provided legal and regulatory advice on the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Securities Act of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Her unique, first-hand experience enables her to effectively guide and manage the merger and acquisition process and provide legal advice on a wide range of corporate work.
Scott Tobin previously served as General Counsel to software provider Industrial Computer Corporation, both preceding and following its acquisition by GenRad (NYSE: GEN). He subsequently served as Senior Vice President for Global Strategies for then publicly traded enhanced communications service provider Premiere Global Services (NYSE: PGI), as Chief Executive Officer of formerly publicly traded manufacturer Wellington Hall Designs, and then as President, General Counsel and Principal Financial Officer for molecular diagnostics innovator Health Discovery Corporation (HDVY).