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Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel – Head of Litigation, Employment & Employee Benefits Law

Hartford Financial Services

This is a Full-time position in Hartford, CT posted September 17, 2022.

You are a driven and motivated problem solver ready to pursue meaningful work. You strive to make an impact every day & not only at work, but in your personal life and community too. If that sounds like you, then you’ve landed in the right place.

The Hartford is seeking a Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel – Head of Litigation, Employment & Employee Benefits Law (SVP, DCG, Head of Litigation & EEBL). Reporting directly to the General Counsel, the SVP, Deputy General Counsel will lead and manage the Litigation & EEBL Group of The Hartford’s Law, Compliance & Government Affairs Department (LCGA).  This executive will serve as a senior legal advisor to executive and senior management, including the CEO, CFO and Board of Directors of The Hartford, as well as business and functional leaders across the enterprise.  They will have responsibility for all litigation matters and processes, including the strategic management of litigation outcomes and risks, disclosure of the company’s litigation risk and attendant reserves, and management of key outside counsel relationships.

Within LCGA, the Litigation Group oversees all litigation and pre-litigation disputes affecting The Hartford group of companies, including significant class actions, complex coverage, Group Benefits, extra-contractual and employment litigation.  The Litigation Group also partners closely with other areas of LCGA or leads the response to regulatory investigations.  It handles thousands of cases on any given day internally and closely supervises outside counsel in thousands more.  The EEBL section of the Litigation & EEBL group provides advice and counsel for all employment and employee benefits related matters, including advising on immigration, pension plans, 401(k) and executive compensation.  The Litigation & EEBL Group strives to provide the highest quality litigation, pre-litigation and general legal services to The Hartford in an efficient, cost effective and timely manner. 

The SVP, DCG, Head of Litigation and EEBL, will join the LCGA senior leadership team and have four direct reports.  They will lead a group of approximately 75 attorneys and support professionals.  The Litigation & EEBL Group is currently comprised of three distinct practice areas: Corporate, Coverage and EEBL.  Coverage handles all the Company’s litigated and non-litigated disputes with its P&C policyholders or other third parties involving the Company’s obligations under its P&C contracts, for both current and run-off businesses.  Corporate handles a wide variety of commercial disputes, including class actions, extra-contractual and bad faith matters, employment litigation, Group Benefits litigation, and regulatory investigations.  EEBL handles all non-litigated employment and employee benefit matters for the enterprise. This role is based in Hartford, CT; colocation arrangements may be considered; relocation assistance is available.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead, oversee and set strategy for Hartford’s portfolio of litigation, as well as oversee the EEBL team.  Manage a large inventory of a range of litigation, including routine disputes, commercial matters, and significant cases with potential material impact.
  • Provide leadership and professional guidance to four direct reports, and approximately 75 attorneys and staff, which includes attracting, retaining and advancing top talent.
  • Provide an independent, strategic point of view concerning litigation management for the Company and serve as a senior legal advisor on all litigation matters to the General Counsel, CEO, Board of Directors and other members of executive and senior management.
  • Ensure the Litigation & EEBL Group is providing the highest quality legal services to clients throughout the enterprise, while also efficiently using Company resources, including management of outside counsel
  • Develop and maintain strong partnerships with senior business clients, including Executive Leadership Team members, senior claim leaders and segment leaders
  • Manage litigation specific regulatory and statutory reporting requirements.  Responsible for litigation disclosures in securities filings, including the 10Qs and 10K.  Ensure appropriate and timely disclosure of significant litigation matters to the Company’s auditors and the setting of contingent liability reserves, as warranted.
  • Develop and maintain strong partnerships with colleagues within LCGA, ensuring a continuous feedback loop with a particular focus on business practices and risk assessment.
  • Responsible for the overall health of the talent within the Litigation & EEBL Unit, ensuring coaching, mentoring and development is occurring regularly
  • Responsible for ensuring the Litigation & EEBL group employs a continuous improvement approach with a bias for innovation. 
  • Champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging and a place of purpose regardless of their physical location
  • Provide thought leadership on LCGA and enterprise strategic priorities

Qualifications:

  • 20+ years of relevant professional experience required including significant litigation experience, reflecting a strong record of success and accomplishment, preferably within a large cap publicly traded company or national firm. Experience directly trying cases and/or insurance company experience preferred.
  • Proven track record of excellence in counseling and advising senior management and business leaders on sophisticated commercial litigation and in managing complex litigation and regulatory matters
  • Demonstrated, dynamic leadership capabilities, including a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and equity, team empowerment and motivation.  Confidence and ability to attract/identify top talent and provide significant mentoring and advancement opportunities while driving successful results.  Experience successfully leading and managing other senior attorneys required.
  • Independent, self-directed, creative and strategic thinker who is both collaborative and decisive, uses sound judgment, exhibits a high degree of professionalism, establishes priorities, adheres to deadlines, works independently and motivates others.
  • Intellectual curiosity about changing business priorities and circumstances, legal climate and litigation dynamics around the country, and how these impact The Hartford and the financial services industry.
  • Impeccable integrity and ethical behavior with a strong commitment to transparency.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; track record of a collaborative professional style, with an ability to build strong partnerships with a diverse array of colleagues, clients and other stakeholders.
  • Experience with run-off P&C claims and litigation is a plus, specifically asbestos, environmental and sexual molestation
  • Juris doctorate from accredited law school required
  • Candidate must be currently admitted to the bar in one of the 50 states and able to qualify as authorized house counsel in Connecticut

Compensation

The listed annualized base pay range is primarily based on analysis of similar positions in the external market. Actual base pay could vary and may be above or below the listed range based on factors including but not limited to performance, proficiency and demonstration of competencies required for the role. The base pay is just one component of The Hartford’s total compensation package for employees. Other rewards may include short-term or annual bonuses, long-term incentives, and on-the-spot recognition. The annualized base pay range for this role is:

Equal Opportunity Employer/Females/Minorities/Veterans/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity or Expression/Religion/Age

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Head of Litigation – LC03DE

Skills: