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Chief Legal Officer (Silicon Valley, CA) - Sophos Group

Bay Area: South Bay

Sophos is a global leader in network and endpoint security.  More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs – a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at www.sophos.com/company.

Sophos has exclusively engaged Kerwin Associates to conduct their search for a Chief Legal Officer.  Any resumes sent directly to Sophos will be forwarded to Kerwin Associates.  If you are interested in speaking further about or applying for this role, please contact Anne Kerwin Payne (anne@kerwin.com) at Kerwin Associates.

Role/Responsibilities:

  • Manage all aspects of global legal function for 3,400+ person global public company, including corporate, privacy, litigation, compliance, IP, commercial, stock, and board management.
  • Manage, build, motivate and enhance a 30+ person globally-distributed legal team.
  • Serve as integral member of Sophos’ senior executive team.
  • Manage and forecast the global legal budget including achieving the proper balance of internal and external legal resources and their effective allocation.
  • Maintain relationships with outside legal advisors and coordinate provision of internal and external legal advice.
  • Key liaison between legal group and other executive departments.
  • Provide counsel to company executives at the highest level including the Board, CEO and executive leadership team.
  • Oversee and ensure appropriate legal and contractual support for product, sales, marketing, human resources, IT, and finance.
  • Partner with peer executives to reinforce culture of compliance globally, including formulation of and compliance with internal policies and procedures.
  • Monitor, influence, and respond to relevant statutory, regulatory and policy changes.
  • Play active role in M&A activities.

Background/Profile:

  • Minimum of 15 years of legal experience with proven in-house track record and former top tier law firm experience.
  • Previous experience as a Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel with $250M+ revenue public company.
  • Strong preference for experience at scale:  CLO/GC or AGC at $1B+ revenue public technology company.
  • Proven experience with high-growth software/hardware company.
  • Strong international experience.
  • Experience with IT security or software company a plus but not required.
  • Experience with UK-listed public company a plus but not required.
  • LLB/JD from top school; admitted to the MA or CA state Bar.
  • Willingness to travel and work across different time zones.
  • Broad legal experience including governance, corporate, M&A, employment, litigation, and intellectual property.
  • Proven experience in strategy and management of litigation activities.
  • Established network of peer GCs/CLOs at other software/technology companies is helpful
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities, including hiring, managing and motivating a high caliber team.
  • Good judgment and a proven ability to establish strong working relationships with executive teams, adding value in providing legal advice and addressing legal issues.
  • Superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Someone who knows what a best-in-class legal department looks like, and who has worked at a company where the legal function was an acknowledged strength.
  • Someone who knows how to recruit and retain top talent.
  • Strategic vision combined with ability to “roll up their sleeves” and ensure effective operations; identify best practices in legal across other technology companies and apply to Sophos.
  • Ability to operate naturally as a member of our senior executive team and contribute beyond just the legal function.
  • Strong alignment with Sophos culture and values:  simplicity, empowerment, passion, innovation, authenticity; highly capable, a proven “A player”, not arrogant, egoless confidence, collaborative team player with global orientation.
  • Hunger and passion for the craft of legal within a growing technology company; someone who is committed to doing the very best work, bringing all their prior experience to bear to “do it right” and continue to build a world-class legal organization that supports Sophos’ efforts to achieve its goals to reach $1 billion+ in revenue.

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