Being outdoors is what appeals most to Eric, which explains a career path that has taken him from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Coast Range of British Columbia. Born and raised in Chicago, Eric moved to San Diego to pursue his university studies, before landing at the University of Colorado to study law. He would finally make Vancouver his home, after taking up an executive position with ski resort operator Intrawest.
“Everything I like to do is here,” Eric says, “whether it’s mountain biking, hiking, paddle boarding, skiing, road cycling, or trail running.”
Regardless of the business environment, Eric brings a wide range of corporate and commercial experience to the table, with particular expertise in litigation management, the negotiation of complex contracts, and environmental law.
Over the years, Eric has also developed a strong commercial skill set that he applies to his legal responsibilities. In giving advice, he says, it’s crucial that lawyers understand a client’s financial goals and operational framework so that they can provide effective advice on minimizing legal and businesses risks. He has held several non-legal executive roles in his career, spanning several industries (the ski industry, natural resources, construction), with deep professional experience in both Canada and the United States.
In each of my roles, he says, the common thread is that he’s always been “embedded with the business operations.” Eric’s curiosity that has helped him develop a unique set of practical skills, and a clear understanding of his clients’ business goals and objectives. “I pride myself on a maintaining a comprehensive and genuine engagement with operations teams, which I find fosters a stronger relationship between lawyers and clients.”
After graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law, Eric’s first position was as general counsel for the Ute Mountain Indian Tribe in Southwest Colorado. In that role he handled everything from employment law to elections to construction, environment, oil and gas and water rights issues. He then took up a position as Assistant General Counsel with ski resort operator Vail Resorts, where he focused on corporate and commercial matters, as well as environmental and construction issues. In 2007, he moved to Vancouver to become Intrawest’s chief risk and insurance executive. Later, after four years working for Ledcor Construction, Eric decided to return to private practice, eventually joining Simplex Legal as Senior Counsel in 2018.
First and foremost, the people. From the first Zoom interviews I had with Martine and Geoff, I was immediately drawn to their passion for this innovative new approach at “right-sizing” legal services for their clients. Their motivation for continual improvement benefits both clients and our internal team. Combined with the executive and administrative teams, the transition to working for a fully virtual law firm has been incredibly smooth.
At this point in my career, Simplex has proven to be perfect for work-life balance. At the same time, I gain professional satisfaction by value-add services for clients at the exact moment they need help – and at extremely competitive prices.
The role of in-house counsel allows me to be a “solution provider” for clients. I gain real satisfaction from delivering pragmatic and proactive advice and counsel that positively impacts the business. Being embedded with business operations teams on each transaction, agreement, dispute resolution or other matter simply generates better results – knowing that I’m directly helping achieve business goals drives me. Having worked as in-house counsel for most of my career, I’ve been able to shape top-level corporate legal and business strategy. This has been truly rewarding for me, and provided expanded perspectives for my employers.
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