TPG Capital LP has hired a new in-house legal chief from The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., four months after the departure of its former general counsel.
Deirdre Harding, who most recently served as a managing director and associate general counsel at Goldman in New York, joined TPG last month. She was a global manager of the financial services giant’s technology, intellectual property, and contracts legal team.
TPG spokesman Luke Barrett confirmed that Harding started as general counsel on May 3. She is now the top lawyer for TPG Capital, the private equity platform of TPG Global LLC, an alternative asset management firm once called Texas Pacific Group.
Harding replaces Adam Fliss, who spent nearly eight years as general counsel for TPG Capital. In January, Fliss became a founding partner and general counsel for Patient Square Capital LP, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based health care investment firm started last year by James Momtazee, a former health care executive at rival buyout shop KKR & Co. Inc.
TPG’s top in-house lawyer remains San Francisco-based general counsel Bradford Berenson. The former Sidley Austin partner and ex-senior counsel for litigation and legal policy at General Electric Co. joined TPG in 2017.
Harding didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new in-house job. In a post to her LinkedIn profile last month said she was “excited to be starting the next chapter in my career as general counsel of TPG Capital and joining such a talented group of people at TPG.”
Harding was one of dozens of Goldman employees promoted to managing director on Jan. 1, 2016. She began her legal career in 2001 as an associate at Sidley, where she spent a little over two years, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where spent five years until moving in-house at Goldman in 2008.
At Goldman, Harding was a lead in-house lawyer for the company’s merchant banking growth area and handled “firmwide strategy on all aspects of principal investments, acquisitions, divestitures, and strategic relationships,” according to her LinkedIn profile.
Barrett, the TPG spokesman, said Harding joins a TPG in-house legal team that earlier this year recruited Kirkland & Ellis corporate partner Nadia Karkar in San Francisco. Karkar is general counsel for the company’s TPG Growth and The Rise Fund, its growth equity investment business and social impact platform, respectively.
In January, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities Corp., a special purpose acquisition vehicle backed by TPG, agreed to take public Live Learning Technologies LLC, the Clayton, Mo.-based parent company of online tutoring platform Nerdy. Vinson & Elkins advised TPG Pace Tech on the $1.7 billion deal.
Goldman’s Changing Legal Group
Harding’s exit from Goldman marks the latest in a series of legal departures from the company, which last week saw its global co-head of government affairs Faryar Shirzad join cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. as chief policy officer.
Steptoe & Johnson announced Tuesday its hire of international trade and regulatory compliance partner David Stetson in New York. Stetson spent nearly the past nine years in-house at Goldman, where he was a vice president, associate general counsel, and senior legal director for the company’s business intelligence group.
Alice Chen, a vice president and senior counsel at Goldman in New York, where she spent three-and-a-half years at the company, in March became a deputy general counsel for corporate governance and securities at media giant Comcast Corp.
In February, Marla Crawford, a former vice president and associate general counsel for legal and regulatory proceedings at Goldman, joined electronic discovery company Compliance as general counsel. Crawford’s departure came after she filed a high-profile lawsuit last year against Goldman and former general counsel Karen Seymour accusing the defendants of covering up sexual harassment.
Goldman called Crawford’s claims meritless and retained a high-powered legal defense team led by litigator Roberta Kaplan to force the dispute into arbitration. Seymour, however, retired from Goldman in March after receiving more than $9 million in total compensation from the company during 2020.
Seymour was replaced as general counsel by Kathryn Ruemmler, whom Goldman hired a year ago as global head of regulatory affairs. Ruemmler, a former global chair of the white-collar defense and investigations practice at Latham & Watkins in Washington, now holds the top legal and regulatory affairs roles at Goldman.
Despite those departures, Goldman has also continued hiring.
The company added Vinson commercial litigation counsel Melissa James in Dallas late last year as a vice president and senior counsel for litigation and regulatory. Mary Sommers, a former tax associate at Weil in Dallas, left the firm in April to become a vice president of tax planning at Goldman.
That same month Goldman also hired Christopher Stevens, a labor and employment associate at Jackson Lewis in Albany, N.Y., as a vice president of employment law in nearby Cohoes, N.Y., where Goldman has an office for Ayco, its financial planning business for corporate executives.
Goldman also announced May 24 its addition of Kimberley Harris, general counsel of Comcast’s NBCUniversal LLC, as an independent member of the company’s board of directors. Harris has also become a member of Goldman’s governance, compensation, and public responsibilities committees.
Harris’ appointment increased the diversity of Goldman’s board, nearly half of which is now comprised of women members.