Lee Reichert, Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer and Secretary of Molson Coors Brewing Company, recently spoke with Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law The Journal: Transactions & Business (PLJ) about the legal department’s top goals, what a law firm needs to do to impress him, and why cooking is so important to him.
PLJ: How is the legal function structured?
Reichert: Our group is structured to mirror our company’s structure, with separate teams supporting the corporate center and each of our four operational business units (Molson Coors Canada, Molson Coors Europe, Molson Coors International, and Molson Coors US). Additionally, our Legal and Corporate Affairs, Communications, Corporate Governance, Risk Management, and Ethics and Compliance functions operate as one integrated team.
PLJ: What are the top goals or areas of focus for the legal department?
Reichert: We strive to be the first choice for our consumers and customers, who are the people who drink our products, as well as the distributors and retailers that sell directly to those consumers. As a result, our group’s top focus is assisting Molson Coors in delivering on this ambition.
To achieve our first choice agenda and to delight the world’s beer drinkers, our group needs to be as diverse as our ever-evolving consumer base. We are proud to have diversity at all levels of the legal team, including at the senior leadership level. In addition, we have supported innovative efforts to help build a diverse talent pipeline, such as creating a multi-year fellowship program for recent law school graduates.
PLJ: What three things does a law firm need to do to impress you?
Reichert: 1. Deeply understand our business, consumers, industry, and the challenges we face. It also helps to appreciate our many fine products!
2. Work well with others. Law firms must be able to work collaboratively with our internal team and other law firms that may be working on a project or litigation matter.
3. Provide value. This can take many forms, from delivering innovative solutions to difficult or unique problems, to ensuring that projects are delivered on time and on or under budget, to demonstrating good judgment.
PLJ: If not an attorney, what would you wish to be?
Reichert: If not an attorney, I would want to be a chef. As my family will attest, I love to cook and watch all kinds of cooking competition shows. Cooking is a relaxing way for me to express my creativity, while simultaneously enjoying one of life’s simplest pleasures — sharing a beer with friends. Cooking allows me to endlessly experiment in pairing meals with our numerous brands.
PLJ: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Reichert: My predecessor and mentor often noted that the goal of any General Counsel should be to build a team so strong and talented that you would have a hard time being hired to be on it. There is no better legacy to strive for.
Read the full interview in the February issue of Practical Law The Journal: Transactions & Business.
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