General Counsel

Santa Monica, CA
Full Time
Exp.: 10+ Years
The General Counsel serves as a key member of the WSL’s Senior Executive Team; managing the legal department while ensuring that the WSL’s business units and regional offices are operating in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations worldwide. In addition, this position serves as the primary business lead in various deal negotiations and manages the overall Enterprise Risk Management process. This position reports into the Chief Financial Officer and works closely with the business segments and commercial leaders.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
  • Lead the in-house legal team and outside counsel in managing the overall legal function of the world's premier professional surfing league and its supporting business segments.
  • Provide business and legal services on a broad range of corporate, transactional, intellectual property and business affairs, including: event licensing and operations; live event-related agreements; sponsorship agreements; brand and marketing partnerships; content creation & production services agreements, content protection and distribution across social, digital, broadcast and MVPD distribution platforms; league operations, to include compliance with competition rules and athlete wellness (PED testing, etc); human resources matters; regulatory, compliance and governance matters; acquisitions and other day-to-day legal initiatives.
  • Serve as the key lawyer/legal advisor on all major business transactions, including corporate matters, acquisitions and global structuring of operations. Provide proactive counsel on strategic business initiatives while also providing practical, creative and timely advice on legal compliance and the resolution of tactical legal issues that arise.
  • Partner with Business Leads to identify key needs and develop and implement systems, policies, and procedures designed to create process discipline and mitigate risk, in the most efficient manner possible.
  • Ensure that WSL conducts its business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Structure departmental roles and responsibilities and oversee the career development and growth of the WSL’s internal legal function and staff.
  • Manage departmental budget and key performance indicators.
  • Oversee the selection, retention, management and evaluation of all outside counsel, with the aim of judicious, high impact and cost-effective use of such services.
  • Support Human Resources in training initiatives to implement legal compliance guidelines.

  • Minimum of 10 years of combined experience at a top-tier law firm, sports league, sports team or media company; media and/or sports league experience preferred
  • Deep understanding of substantive areas of law related to live event operations, entertainment sponsorship, content production and distribution, intellectual property including copyright, trademark, right of publicity, and privacy
  • Track record of consensus-building and partnership with business and service leads
  • Knowledge of domestic and international media landscape
  • Knowledge of digital media business
  • Experience managing a team of attorneys and support staff
  • Strong negotiation, communication and project management skills
  • Strong work ethic and meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to handle diverse projects simultaneously for multiple stakeholders in a fast paced, high volume environment
  • Direct experience with mergers and acquisition integrations preferred
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Highly effective interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule and travel as needed
  • Partners with his or her management team to drive teamwork and a progressively collaborative, transparent, entrepreneurial and people centric culture.
  • Law Degree; Admitted to the California state bar, active and in good standing

Personal Attributes:
  • Deep interest in surfing and/or love of the ocean and water-based activities is preferred
  • Partners with his or her management team to drive teamwork and a progressively collaborative, transparent, entrepreneurial and people centric culture
  • Above all, integrity and honesty
  • An exceptional work ethic
  • Optimism and energy for the brand and its future
  • An open and collaborative nature
  • Incredibly organized and capable of juggling multiple projects simultaneously
  • A high degree of self-awareness of one’s own personal style, strengths and weaknesses and motivational triggers
  • Intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Enjoys working in a fast-paced corporate environment
  • Action Oriented—enjoys challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; willing to take unpopular stands when necessary

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