December 9, 2022


Creating Possibilities

Billionaire-Backed Railroad Giants BNSF, CN Title Authorized Leaders

BNSF Railway Co. and the Canadian Countrywide Railway Co., two of the greatest freight railroad organizations in North America, have each named new regulation department leaders for the very first time in much more than a decade.

Roger Nober, main legal officer at BNSF given that 2007, will retire from the Texas-based firm at the end of the year. BNSF explained he will be changed by veteran in-property law firm Jill Mulligan, who most recently was regulatory typical counsel for the enterprise, whose parent is Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC.

“We’re happy to have Jill, with her practical experience and popularity, acquire on this critical job which is critical to BNSF’s ongoing growth and progress,” mentioned a assertion from Kathryn Farmer, BNSF’s president and main government.

Olivier Chouc confirmed by way of e-mail that he grew to become the new major attorney earlier this thirty day period at CN, Canada’s biggest railway. Chouc succeeds Sean Finn, who retired this month immediately after serving as lawful main and corporate secretary for CN since late 2000.

Chouc joined CN that same 12 months. He stepped into his new position at the Montreal-primarily based corporation Sept. 15. CN has also elevated basic counsel M. Cristina Circelli to the additional position of corporate secretary. She reviews to Chouc, he mentioned.

Earlier this calendar year, billionaire Bill Gates‘s personalized financial commitment agency decreased the dimensions of its stake in CN from roughly 13% to considerably less than 8%, for every Bloomberg News. CN serves all of Canada, as perfectly as the Midwestern and Southern locations of the US.

BNSF has been owned given that 2010 by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the keeping organization of a different billionaire, Warren Buffett. BNSF and CN are element of a railroad system that’s become a essential ingredient of the US and Canadian source chains.

GATX Corp., a Chicago-based railcar lessor, announced Sept. 20 that its common counsel Deborah Golden will retire Nov. 30. Golden, who has been GATX’s prime attorney because 2006, will be succeeded on Dec. 1 by deputy normal counsel Brian Glassberg.

Lawful Challenges

Unionized railroad employees utilized by BNSF previously this yr protested at a Berkshire once-a-year shareholder conference in excess of protection challenges and a lack of pay out will increase. This month, BNSF was between several big US freight rail operators to arrive at an 11th hour settlement on a new labor offer to avert a massive strike.

Nober, who recommended BNSF on its $44 billion sale to Berkshire, is a former spouse at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington. He was chairman of the US Area Transportation Board for a 4-12 months sting that finished in 2006. Nober has been dependable for all lawful and regulatory, environmental, communications, compliance, and community affairs matters at BNSF.

“Roger leaves a legacy of contributions in our industry,” explained BNSF’s Farmer.

Mulligan, Nober’s successor as lawful chief, is a former Steptoe & Johnson affiliate who joined BNSF in 2007. She was promoted quite a few teams in subsequent several years, doing the job for the organization in Fort Really worth and Chicago. Mulligan will officially just take over Nober’s prime legal function at BNSF on Jan. 1.

Chouc, her railroad business colleague, termed Mulligan a wonderful preference to do well Nober. Prior to becoming a member of CN, Chouc began his legal job at a Canadian predecessor to Norton Rose Fulbright. He has been CN’s longtime vice president of law.

Finn, CN’s not long ago retired legal chief, didn’t respond to a ask for for remark. He gained practically $3 million in whole compensation—converted at current US-Canadian dollar trade rates—during 2021, in accordance to a securities submitting by the company. Bloomberg facts displays that Finn owns practically $8.5 million in CN stock.

Justin Howell, a former Cravath, Swaine & Moore affiliate now serving as a senior investment decision manager at Cascade Asset Management Co., Gates’s expense company, joined CN’s board past calendar year. A securities submitting shows CN compensated him roughly $186,000 in 2021. Howell owns much more than $400,000 in business stock, for each Bloomberg info.

CN’s advertising of Chouc follows its seek the services of previous 12 months of Cyrus Reporter as vice president of govt and regulatory affairs. Reporter, an Ottawa-primarily based general public coverage pro, is a former associate at Gowling WLG, a global regulation organization with Canadian roots.