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Q&A Websites, Looking for Counsel, Add Law Department Leaders

Nov. 12, 2021, 11:00 AM

Privately held online question-and-answer platforms JustAnswer.com and Quora Inc. have both brought on new top lawyers within the past two months.

Daniel Cunha, who most recently led the in-house legal team at restaurant booking service OpenTable Inc., joined Quora in late August as general counsel. Cunha confirmed in an email to Bloomberg Law his new role at Quora, a Mountain View, Calif.-based online learning platform that in 2019 was valued at $2 billion.

“I’m really excited to have joined this great company and team,” said Cunha, who spent more than nine years at San Francisco-based OpenTable, most recently as a vice president of legal and deputy general counsel.

JustAnswer, a competitor to Quora, announced Oct. 28 its hire of chief legal officer Jeremy Liegl, who spent nearly the past two years as general counsel and corporate secretary for location-sharing technology company Life360 Inc. The latter landed Liegl in 2020 after he served as general counsel for Pandora Media Inc., a music-streaming service sold in early 2019 to Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

Liegl, who wasn’t available for comment, has already started building out his legal team at JustAnswer, which like other online Q&A websites has in the past run into ethical issues over lawyers answering questions on its platform.

Quora has had legal issues of its own, including litigation related to a 2018 breach that compromised the data of nearly 100 million users.

Cunha succeeded Karen Kramer, a former in-house lawyer for the Washington Post and TiVo Corp., who had been Quora’s general counsel since 2017.

At JustAnswer, Liegl replaced former general counsel Leah Shough, who is now head of legal for San Francisco-based marketing software company AnyRoad Inc.

In a post last month to his LinkedIn profile, Liegl said he was looking for a contract lawyer to join him JustAnswer. “While I want to move quickly, I also want to take some time to learn the business before I fill any long-term roles,” he wrote.

Liegl noted that the job would be “tempting for someone who is currently between engagements.” JustAnswer has since hired former Uber Technologies Inc. lawyer Alexandra Sepulveda as a contract senior counsel, according to her LinkedIn profile and registration with the State Bar of California.

Sepulveda, who joined JustAnswer last month, came aboard after serving as a deputy general counsel for Baron App lnc., the company behind video-sharing startup Cameo. She’s not the only notable lawyer involved with JustAnswer.

The San Francisco-based company, which is owned by founder and CEO Andy Kurtzig’s Pearl.com LLC, on its website lists Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati founding partner Larry Sonsini as a board observer. Sonsini has previously been part of private investment rounds by JustAnswer.

Liegl said via LinkedIn that JustAnswer, which connects its members to certified professionals in various fields, is backed by Charles Schwab Corp. chairman and billionaire Charles Schwab, as well as Crosslink Capital and Glynn Capital Management LLC. JustAnswer didn’t respond to a request for comment about its ownership.

As for Quora, which provides answers to questions like “What kind of a lawyer becomes a general counsel?,” its new legal chief has already been replaced by his former employer.

OpenTable tapped Cunha to take over leadership of its legal team in 2018 from Connie Chen, who earlier this year became the new top lawyer at software company Corel Corp. OpenTable—owned by travel technology company Booking Holdings Inc.—over the summer hired Grace Fu to succeed Cunha as its legal chief.

Cunha said the New York-based Fu now leads a legal team comprised of lawyers from OpenTable and sibling company Kayak.com. Fu, a former chief legal and administrative officer for Barneys New York Inc., spent the past year as a deputy general counsel and corporate secretary for cosmetics giant Revlon Inc.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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