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White & Case Mexico City partner Alberto Sepúlveda Cosío certainly won’t be putting his feet up during his first week at Wal-Mart de México next month.
The US supermarket giant has been in a rather sticky situation in recent months after its Mexico subsidiary became the focus of bribery allegations published in The New York Times last year, claims which sparked an internal investigation and a tidal wave of structural changes and hires within its legal team.
In an internal email seen by The Lawyer last year Walmart said it was to react by merging its legal team with global compliance, ethics and investigations to gain “closer coordination and integration” of key disciplines, with each unit reporting to chief legal officer Jeff Gearhart. This came alongside various job openings, with Sidley Austin partner Jay Jorgensen, Schlumberger’s former director of compliance Daniel Trujillo, FBI veteran Tracy Reinhold and former US attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Tom Gean all joining the retailer’s widening legal gang.
Sepúlveda, a corporate and capital markets specialist, will be standing into another newly created role, that of executive vice president and general director for legal and institutional matters of Wal-Mart de México, come April. An exciting time to join the retailer, but certainly no easy ride.