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Some observations from the merger of Bank of New York and Mellon’s law departments

When the Bank of New York — Mellon Corp. merger closed in July 2007, Carl Krasik, the general counsel, had to meld 150 lawyers from two very anxious, legal departments into one legal team.

According to an article on, Krasik structured the merged department based on merit, lawyering skills and the company’s needs. He named three deputy general counsel and divided the legal duties among them — Matthew Biben (from BNY) would oversee all litigation and corporate governance; Raymond Dorado (from BNY) would be legally responsible for all nonasset-and-wealth management businesses; and James Gockley (from Mellon) would preside over asset and private wealth management.

In naming those three, Krasik properly started from the top down with his deputy general counsel (See my post of Nov. 9, 2005: Miriam Rivera, Deputy General Counsel of Google; Jan. 4, 2006: Nancy Anderson, DGC of Microsoft; Aug. 14, 2006: the former chief auditor of Mellon Bank; March 6, 2007: Mark Morril of Viacom; April 13, 2007: William Mostyn of Bank of America; Nov. 27, 2007: Lucy Fato of Marsh McLennan; and Nov. 20, 2007: ConocoPhilips.).

I have made other references to the position of deputy general counsel (See my post of Nov. 6, 2007: value of long-term compensation; March 13, 2008: gaps in cash compensation; April 15, 2006: deputies often have major responsibilities; and April 27, 2008: small department with three deputies.).

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