H&R Block hires ex-Coke lawyer as he fights firm Jack Dorsey

H&R Block Inc. hired former Coca-Cola Co. lawyer Dara Redler as chief legal officer after filing a lawsuit against the billionaire for the company’s name Jack Dorsey‘s Block Inc.

Redler succeeds Thomas Gerke, who will retire Jan. 17 after a decade at H&R Block, the company revealed in a securities deposit Monday. After leaving Coca-Cola, Redler spent two years as senior counsel for Toronto-based Tilray Inc., which leads Canada in terms of cannabis market share.

She “brings extensive experience in leading good governance, leading strategic negotiations and handling complex legal and regulatory issues,” Jeffrey Jones II, CEO of H&R Block, said in a statement.

The company, co-founded in 1955 by the late Henri Bloch and his brother, Richard, filed a trademark lawsuit last month against Block Inc., the payments company formerly known as Square Inc. H&R Block claims Block Inc. is a direct competitor after agreeing to ” buy Credit Karma Tax in 2020.

Redler spent two decades internally at Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where the former Alston & Bird partner rose to the level of Senior Advisor for Global Marketing and Growth before joining Tilray in 2019.

Bloomberg Law announced last year that Redler has been appointed Chief Legal Officer and Acting General Secretary of Tilray Brands Inc., a company formed by a $ 3.8 billion merger between Tilray and its legal rival Aphria Inc. Redler had previously served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Tilray. .

Gerke, the current general counsel and executive director of H&R Block, will assist in the transition of his role from America’s largest tax preparer to Redler, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company said in its securities filing .

H&R Block hired Gerke in 2012 to take on a general counsel position that had been vacant for two years. He was interim CEO of the company in 2017 until Jones, a former executive at Uber Technologies Inc., was hired to be the leader of H&R Block.

Gerke received over $ 2.6 million in total compensation in H&R Block’s most recent fiscal year 2021 declaration of power of attorney shows. He owns nearly $ 2 million in H&R Block shares, according to Bloomberg data. Securities filings show Gerke sold $ 4.4 million in company stock last year.

Prior to joining H&R Block, he was Sprint Corp’s top lawyer. 2005 merger with its telecommunications rival Nextel Communications Inc.

Gerke later became President and CEO of Sprint’s spin-off, Embarq Corp., which he led until its sale in 2009 to CenturyTel Inc., now known as Lumen Technologies Inc.

Redler’s compensation at H&R Block was not immediately available. Tilray, in his most recent declaration of power of attorney, failed to list her as one of Aphria’s top eight current and former executives.

Denise Faltischek, former general counsel for the food and beverage company Hain Celestial Group Inc., received nearly $ 1.2 million in total compensation in fiscal 2021 in her role as Chief Strategy Officer and international manager at Tilray. Faltischek was previously Aphria’s chief strategy officer.

Tilray, who seeks to extend beyond its dominance of the cannabis market in Canada, appealed to Global General Counsel Mitchell Gendel to take over Redler’s former role as Chief Legal Officer. Gendel confirmed in an email that he was hired in July 2021 after Tilray and Aphria ended their union. The combined company streamlined its legal team after the merger to five lawyers, including himself, Gendel said.

Gendel was most recently general counsel for salon operator Emerald Holding Inc. New additions to Gendel’s legal and compliance team at Tilray include Deputy General Counsel Edward Cohen, who has joined the team. ‘Last year after serving as a corporate lawyer at Ascend Wellness Holdings LLC, he mentioned.

Christelle Gedeon, former legal director and general secretary of Aphria, left in the midst of the company’s merger with Tilray. She joined Metals Co. Inc., a company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. deep water mining company, in August as principal lawyer and secretary general.

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