BarkerGilmore Fills Legal Post for Bragg Companies

April 22, 2024 – Boutique search firm BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams, has recruited Chris Connelly as the new vice president and director of legal for Bragg Companies in Long Beach, CA. The search was led by Max Gelernter, managing director of BarkerGilmore. “Chris’s unique blend of legal expertise spanning over two decades and his immersion in the construction industry perfectly align with Bragg’s vision,” said Mr. Gelernter. “We are confident that Chris will play a pivotal role in advancing Bragg’s mission and contributing to the company’s ongoing success.”

Mr. Connelly has been in the legal field for over 20 years and in the construction industry for about 10. “This is his first general counsel role, and with his proven track record of success, all parties agree that he will be an excellent business partner to Bragg for the years to come,” BarkerGilmore said.

Mr. Connelly formerly served as assistant general counsel of McCarthy Building Companies. Before this, he was a senior consultant with Land Use Consultants. Prior to that, Mr. Connelly was a litigation attorney at Newmeyer & Dillion. Earlier in his career, he gained experience with Johnson & Johnson and Prindle, Goetz, Barnes & Reinholtz.

“At BarkerGilmore, we take pride in identifying top talent to meet the evolving needs of our clients,” Mr. Gelernter said. “Chris Connelly’s appointment exemplifies our commitment to excellence in executive search. Chris’s extensive legal background and commendable achievements in the construction sector make him a strategic addition to Bragg’s leadership team. We are excited about the positive impact he will bring to the organization.”

Founded in 1946, Bragg Companies’ mission and core values are to remain leaders in the crane, heavy construction, equipment, and transportation industries by exceeding expectations and upholding the highest standards of business conduct.

BarkerGilmore is a boutique firm specializing in executive search and selection in law and compliance. With a network of advisors and recruiters spanning the U.S., BarkerGilmore consistently places talent at leading consumer, energy, financial, healthcare, industrial, and technology companies.

Legal Search Consultants

John Gilmore, co-founder and managing partner, has over 30 years of executive search experience. He has developed trusted relationships with general counsel and C-suite leaders across the country. With a profound institutional understanding of how in-house legal and compliance departments function most effectively, Mr. Gilmore has earned a reputation as one of the top executive search consultants for general counsel and chief compliance officer placements.

Related: BarkerGilmore Recruits Chief Compliance Officer for ChristianaCare

Bob Barker is co-founder, managing partner, and chair of the industrial practice at BarkerGilmore. He brings over three decades of executive search and international business experience to his clients. Mr. Barker has successfully managed general counsel and chief compliance officer engagements for mid-sized to Fortune 500 companies, including consumer, energy, financial, healthcare and life sciences, industrial, non-profit, technology, and private equity industries. Clients rely on Mr. Barker for advice and counseling both during and after the engagement.

Inside the High Demand for General Counsel Leaders
The legal and compliance market is booming. The number of in-house lawyers and law firm partners with aspirations of becoming a general counsel is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, landing the position is a challenge. Every search has specific criteria established by the executive leadership team and board which must be met. Some of the criteria could include specific industry experience or business knowledge, a background in public company securities and governance, as well as expertise in regulatory, compliance, litigation, M&A, employment/labor law, intellectual property, government relations, leadership, career track record, law firm training, law school ranking, and the list goes on, according to Robert Barker, co-founder and managing partner of BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams.

“Keep in mind cultural fit and soft skills which cannot be found on the resume are equally important,” he said. “And diversity can play a major factor in the CEO and board’s final decision. Most are using the general counsel position as a means of adding diversity to the executive leadership team,” he added. The demand for excellence is understandable as the general counsel plays such a critical role. One wrong answer or move during the interview process can lead to immediate disqualification. “Even after an offer is made, any red flag demonstrating a lack of judgment or ethics discovered during the background investigation will lead to a retraction,” said Mr. Barker.

Mr. Gelernter specializes in placing attorneys of all levels into prominent in-house legal and compliance positions. He has extensive experience working with C-suites in a variety of sectors to help place general counsel, chief compliance officers, and their direct reports. Mr. Gelernter has recruited for a diverse client base, including private equity firms as well as privately held and publicly traded technology, industrial, consumer, insurance, and travel & leisure companies.

Past Assignment

BarkerGilmore recently assisted in the recruitment of Kate Kimball as general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer of Ardent Mills in Denver, CO. “We are thrilled to have Kate join us as we continue to evolve and grow as a company,” said Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills. “Kate’s expertise in legal and regulatory matters, specifically related to manufacturing and environmental, social and governance, will be a tremendous asset to our team. Furthermore, Kate is a mission-driven individual who shares Ardent Mills’ commitment to our core values.”

Related: BarkerGilmore Recruits General Counsel for Malta

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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