Bird Global Appoints New Legal Chief Upon Closing SPAC Deal

Bird Global Inc., one of the largest electric scooter rental companies, appointed Lisa Murison as a new General Counsel and Corporate Secretary prior to going public last month.

Bird recruited Murison after serving as chief legal and people officer and executive vice president of operations at Inc., a Santa Monica, California-based online automotive information service.

Bird, based in Santa Monica, went public after completing a merger agreed in May with Switchback II Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company. The deal advised by Latham & Watkins valued Bird at around $ 2.3 billion.

Despite growing fears about the possible spread of other Covid-19 strains, Bird has touted its e-scooters as a natural form of social distancing in a post-pandemic world of public transportation.

Bird did not respond to a request for comment on his hiring of Murison, which was confirmed by the company’s security filings, her own LinkedIn profile, and Murison’s registration with the New York State Unified Court System.

Murison oversees Bird’s legal affairs, including business transactions, compliance, corporate governance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, and regulatory affairs, as security filings show.

She succeeds former Bird General Counsel Wendy Mantell, a former Greenberg Traurig partner, who joined the company as Deputy General Counsel in mid-2018 after interning at FanDuel Inc. and Hulu LLC.

Mantell led Bird’s legal role from Series B funding to “Closing a SPAC Transaction” and began “transitioning” from her day-to-day duties as General Counsel in October, according to her LinkedIn profile.

According to her LinkedIn, she is now a consultant with the company. Mantell did not respond to a request for comment.

Founded in 2017, Bird hired Mantell to assume his ultimate legal role after the departure of the company’s former General Counsel, David Estrada, who is now Legal and Policy Chief at Nuro Inc., a self-driving vehicle startup, in late 2019.

Bloomberg News reported in August that Bird’s revenues have returned to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, whose municipal lockdown orders hit the urban micromobility market hard. Bird laid off 30% of its workforce due to Covid-19.

Bird, whose backer is venture capitalist David Sacks, currently operates in more than 300 cities, including New York, where a new generation of e-scooters is now taking to the streets.

Product liability lawsuits and varying local laws are some of the myriad legal and regulatory issues that Bird and other e-scooter startups have faced in recent years.

Murison, a native of South Africa, began her legal career two decades ago as an associate in Johannesburg with Bowmans, one of the largest law firms in the country.

She joined Edmunds in 2016 after working as a Corporate Partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth in California and as Special Counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell in Los Angeles and New York.

During her nearly six years with Edmunds, Murison led the company’s legal, human resources, corporate development, facilities and procurement functions.

Edmunds spokeswoman Talia James-Armand confirmed Murison’s departure, saying the company has yet to appoint her permanent successor. “We have a well-trained legal department that continues to provide solid advice and advice to our company,” said James-Armand.

J. Mac Stuckey III, vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary of Edmunds’ parent company CarMax Inc., currently leads the legal department at Edmunds, said James-Armand.

CarMax, which paid $ 50 million to acquire a minority stake in Edmunds in 2020, agreed earlier this year to buy the remainder of the company that it did not already own for $ 404 million .

Bird’s addition of Murison follows the appointment of Sarah Binder by e-scooter rival Lime as its new Global General Counsel in June. Bloomberg News reported in November that Lime took on $ 523 million in debt as the company prepares to go public next year.

Wheels Labs Inc., an electric bike startup that agreed to pay $ 300,000 in October to settle a consumer protection lawsuit filed by the city of Santa Monica, hired former Zipcar Inc. division advisor Leonard Ho that same month as Chief Legal Officer.

Ho succeeds Todd Maron, a former top attorney at Tesla Inc. who left Wheels earlier this year to become legal chief for medical technology startup FIG Inc.

New Lectric eBikes LLC, an e-bike startup founded in 2018, announced on September 14th the hiring of COO Jeffrey Frehner, a former General Counsel and HR Director at Quality Bicycle Products Inc. Frehner takes over the helm of a Phoenix-based company that has sold more than 100,000 e-bikes in the past two years.

Comments are closed.