May 23, 2018 – The Calgary Airport Authority has tapped recruiting firm Pekarsky & Co. to lead its search for a new general counsel. Founding partner Adam Pekarsky is heading the assignment. Reporting to the authority’s vice president of finance and the CFO, the general counsel will be responsible for the delivery of internal services and managing the delivery of external legal services to the organization, said the search firm.
This is “a unique opportunity to be the organization’s first-ever general counsel, to help lead and build the legal function and cause a broad cross-section of stakeholders within the organization to soon ask, ‘What did we ever do before this person arrived?’” said Pekarsky & Co.
The Calgary Airport Authority is a not-for-profit, non-share capital corporation, incorporated under the Province of Alberta’s Regional Airports Authorities Act. Since 1992, the authority has been responsible for the operation, management and development of YYC Calgary International Airport and, since 1997, Springbank Airport, under a long-term lease from the Canadian government.
General Counsel: A New Pathway to CEO
The general counsel role has been vital for companies maintaining an international presence. “The role and stature of the general counsel position has expanded globally,” said Paul Williams, a partner in MLA’s Chicago office.
Mr. Pekarsky, who has been recruiting executives in Western Canada for over 17 years, is widely regarded as a top connected person in the Alberta legal community, although not as a lawyer. Prior to founding Pekarsky & Co. in 2009, Mr. Pekarsky was a client partner in the Calgary office of Korn Ferry, where he was a member of the firm’s global industrial markets energy sector, as well as the legal center of expertise.
Legal recruiting generally has been booming this year. According to Hunt Scanlon Media, lawyers employed by government agencies in particular have been on the move as a result of changes in government administrations. 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.
Executive search firms have been called in to find new general counsel for various organizations in recent months. Here is a look at a few from the Hunt Scanlon news archives:
Recently, recruiters Deborah Ben-Canaan and Michael Sachs from Major, Lindsey & Africa helped place Traevena Byrd as vice president and general counsel at American University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Byrd previously worked at Towson University where she was VP for legal affairs and human resources and general counsel.
Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search has placed Sandhya Subramanian as general counsel of Dartmouth College. Vice president and senior consultant William Howard led the recruiting process, which included reviewing institutional needs, candidate recruitment, candidate assessment & selection, interviews and overall talent management guidance.
The McAulay Smith Firm recruited Meredith Lackey as senior vice president, corporate secretary and general counsel of Georgia Power. Search firm chairman Al McAulay led the assignment. Ms. Lackey came to Georgia Power from Colonial Pipeline Co., where she served as VP and general counsel since 2012.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media