February 5, 2020 – Legal recruiting continues to be a hot area for search firms. Lawyers employed by government agencies in particular have been on the move in recent months, according to Hunt Scanlon Media. Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent through 2022. Demand for legal work is expected to be robust as individuals, businesses and all levels of government require legal services in the U.S. and internationally as global economies expand.
A general counsel, chief counsel or chief legal officer is the chief lawyer of a legal department, usually in a company or a governmental department. In a business, the person holding the position typically reports directly to the CEO. The role involves overseeing and identifying the legal issues in all departments and their interrelation, including engineering, design, marketing, sales, distribution, credit, finance, human resources, production, as well as corporate governance and business policy.
Recently, executive search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) placed Christine Castellano as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at The Andersons Inc. in Maumee, OH. The assignment was headed by Mindy Crandus Sircus, managing director with MLA’s in-house counsel practice in Chicago.
The Andersons Inc., traded on NASDAQ and founded in 1947, is a diversified company rooted in agriculture that conducts business across North America in the commodity trading, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail sectors.
“For the last 70 years, The Andersons has prided itself on building enduring relationships through extraordinary service, a deep knowledge of the market and a knack for finding new ways to add value,” said Ms. Crandus Sircus. “With this background, Christine was the ideal choice for this highly competitive, national search. In addition to the relevant industry and legal leadership experience Christine brings to the role, she is a bright, forward-thinking and collaborative executive who will seamlessly fit with The Andersons’ culture. She will be a strong, strategic and valued contributor from day one.”
Ms. Castellano has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, food ingredients and the agribusiness space. Most recently, she served as senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance office for Ingredion Inc. She was legal advisor to executive leadership, corporate committees and the board, managing a global legal team; directing global litigation, claims and matters; and leading the legal team in M&A in the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Castellano started her career as a litigator with McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago, where she was later elected an income partner.
In her new position with The Andersons, Ms. Castellano will have full responsibility and accountability for the legal, compliance and regulatory matters of the company, including the entire spectrum of corporate and securities matters facing a publicly-traded company, corporate secretarial reporting and litigation matters. She will also advise the board on legal and business items and will be a member of the company’s executive team.
Founded in 1982, Major, Lindsey & Africa is a legal-focused search firm with more than 25 offices worldwide. It has a track record of general counsel, corporate counsel, partner, associate and law firm management placements. The firm also provides law firms and companies with highly specialized legal professionals on project, interim and temporary-to-permanent hire basis.
Ms. Crandus Sircus works closely with corporate legal departments and in-house candidates to forge relationships that are professional and cultural fits for both sides. Prior to joining Major, Lindsey & Africa, she spent 17 years as a legal recruiter with the Zenner Consulting Group in Chicago, specializing in both law firm and in-house placements. Before becoming a recruiter, Ms. Crandus Sircus practiced corporate and securities law at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, where she was a partner, and as an associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media