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Construction Giant SNC-Lavalin Taps New Legal Chief (Correct)

Nov. 25, 2022, 7:27 PMUpdated: Dec. 1, 2022, 3:59 PM

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., a construction and engineering giant, has looked within for its new top lawyer, promoting associate general counsel Andrée-Claude Bérubé.

Bérubé will start Dec. 1 as SNC’s new general counsel, the Montreal-based company announced this week. She replaces Charlene Ripley, who is leaving SNC for a new role at mining company Teck Resources Ltd.

Bérubé has “successfully led various key initiatives while demonstrating outstanding leadership skills” since she joined the company in 2020, Ian Edwards, SNC’s CEO, said in a statement.

She had spent the previous decade working at Sherritt International Corp., a Toronto-based mining and refining company that hired her in 2010 from large Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault.

SNC’s addition of Bérubé comes a year after it recruited Ripley to be its legal chief as the company was caught up in political scandal related to its settlement of bribery allegations in Libya. SNC named Edwards, its former chief operating officer, to replace the retiring Neil Bruce as its chief executive in 2019.

In 2020, the company announced a restructuring of its resources unit that saw SNC shed roughly 9,000 employees and exit its operations in 21 countries.

SNC’s troubles continued last year when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police hit the company and two former executives with fraud and forgery charges involving a bridge in Montreal. SNC agreed in May to a C$30 million settlement in that case.

In June, Janet Oh, who spent nearly two decades in legal roles at SNC, where she was a former head of the company’s global dispute resolution team, left to become legal chief for WSP Global Inc., a Montreal-based professional services consulting firm.

Ripley said via email she’s leaving SNC to become general counsel at Teck, a Vancouver-based natural resources company specializing in mining and mineral development. She’ll succeed Teck’s longtime head of commercial and legal affairs, Peter Rozee, who is retiring as of Jan. 1, 2023.

“I am very excited about my new role and pleased with what we were able to accomplish at SNC-Lavalin over the past three years,” Ripley said.

Ripley prior to SNC-Lavalin spent nearly two decades as the top lawyer for three different companies—Vancouver-based gold miner Goldcorp Inc., Texas-based energy outfits Linn Energy Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. She is joining Teck after the company recently installed a new top executive.

Teck, which has also faced political entanglements in Canada, agreed last month to the $738 million sale of its stake in an oil sands mine in Alberta.

Earlier this year, Teck joined global mining giants BHP Group Ltd. and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in buying a stake in US copper extraction startup Jetti Resources LLC.

(Corrects Edwards's prior job title in fifth paragraph of story published Nov. 25.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com