Grand Circle hires Levi’s Euro counsel

US travel giant Grand Circle Corporation has recruited Levi Strauss’ former chief European counsel – a year after he told The Lawyer he wanted to return to the US.

Scott Squillace is the first general counsel at Grand Circle and will be central to the travel provider’s international expansion plans.

The company employs 2,000 staff worldwide, but at the moment instructs an ad-hoc selection of law firms in each country.

Squillace will be charged with reviewing those relationships and appointing counsel to the company’s outfits around the world.

One year ago, Squillace told The Lawyer he was in discussions with several multinational companies in a bid to get out of his Brussels base, where he had worked for six years (The Lawyer, 19 April 1999).

Because global clothing company Levi’s could not offer him a senior legal position in the US he had to look elsewhere.

He has already started instructing law firms. At Levi’s he worked exclusively with Baker & McKenzie in the UK and used Lovells Boesebeck Droste in Germany. Both have picked up work for his new employer.

Squillace says he chose Grand Circle because it is a privately-owned company with a similar culture to Levi’s, and gave him the opportunity to start a legal function from scratch.

He says: “Grand Circle uses firms all over the map at the moment – in some countries we are using more than one firm which isn’t always the most efficient.

“This is a great opportunity for me to sort of build up my own thing rather than inherit it from someone else.”

Before joining , Squillace worked in the corporate department at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York.