WeWork appoints new global GC

This article was written by Gabriella Kane for TheLawyer and can be found at: https://www.thelawyer.com/jared-dematteis-wework-general-counsel/

WeWork continues to rejuvenate its legal team, appointing a new global general counsel just a month after it took on Sarah Nelson Smith as its first ever European GC.

The collaborative workspace giant has found its new GC within its in-house team, picking Jared DeMatteis for the role.

DeMatteis has been with WeWork since February 2015, where he most recently served as deputy general counsel. He started his legal career at Cravath Swaine & Moore between 2008 and 2012, before joining WilmerHale as a counsel.

The company’s former global GC, Peter Greenspan, has stepped down to be WeWork’s global head of real estate and special counsel, overseeing all of WeWork’s real estate endeavours.

It is understood that Mark Lapidus, WeWork’s former head of global real estate and one of the company’s earliest employees, has left amid a leadership shakeup in the real estate department.

Greenspan was promoted to the top job at the start of 2017 after Jen Berrent became chief operating officer at the company.

Berrent also joined from WilmerHale in 2014, while Greenspan is a seasoned in-houser having moved over to WeWork that year after nearly a decade at NBC Universal.

DeMatteis will be based within the legal team’s core base in New York, where the company has its headquarters. It was founded in the city in 2010.

As it sets out to ramp up its legal capabilities outside the US, WeWork appointed Sarah Nelson Smith as its first ever European general counsel in September.

Nelson Smith will be taking on WeWork’s first ever regional counsel role, assuming responsibility for matters arising in Europe, in which WeWork now has 11 different bases in the UK, France, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Spain. She will also lead legal teams in Australia and Israel, which account for two and five offices respectively.

When it started the hunt in April, WeWork stated that a separate regional head was needed as part of its “aggressive growth plans for the foreseeable future”.

Earlier in October, it was revealed that Japan’s SoftBank and its Saudi Arabia-backed Vision Fund was in talks to take a majority stake in the company, with a $15bn to $20bn investment.

In the UK, WeWork has been sprawling out over London since 2012, leasing property amounting to 2.6m sq ft. In April, it snapped up a 10 per cent share of Devonshire Square in the City. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher advised WeWork, headed by real estate partner Alan Samson, while Herbert Smith Freehills advised private equity firm Blackstone.

Due to a surge in demand for flexible co-working, WeWork is now the now the largest corporate office occupier in central London, as well as Manhattan, where it rents 5.3m sq ft. When it moves into its new residence, it will be shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow tenants Squire Patton Boggs at 7 Devonshire Square, as well as rival office company Regus.

WeWork currently operates within 77 cities in 23 countries.


This article was written by Gabriella Kane for TheLawyer and can be found at: https://www.thelawyer.com/jared-dematteis-wework-general-counsel/

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