Meet the OGCs: Michael Mendelson
Over 20 years ago, OGC pioneered a new offering in the legal services sector – general counsel services for companies of all sizes provided by a team of partner-level (15+ years) attorneys with significant in-house counsel experience across a wide variety of industries and practice areas. In this new series – Meet the OGCs – we will showcase our incredible attorneys and the unique skill-sets they bring to our clients.
First up is Michael Mendelson. As a veteran GC and international business executive with deep roots in the telecom, IT, aerospace, defense, and manufacturing industries, Michael serves as outside general counsel to startups, SMEs, and high-growth companies, handling a variety of legal issues, such as cross-border transactions, M&A, federal government contracts, export control compliance and licensing matters.
Michael regularly draws on his previous roles as a senior legal executive for three multi-national corporations when advising his OGC clients. He also has a background in mechanical engineering, as well as considerable experience with matters involving international security, export controls, and government contracts. His interest in export controls dates back to law school when he wrote an article on encryption technology and national security regulation. One of the things Michael enjoys most about his work with OGC is that it allows him to leverage his interests, experiences, and skills to provide clients with practical advice and creative solutions, rather than a basic “black letter law” answer.
Reflecting on past roles, Michael is particularly fond of the work he did while in-house with a satellite communications company on a project finance transaction to build and launch a communications satellite for the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Like many lesser developed regions of the world, this area was underserved, lacking such essential services as telecommunications and internet access.
The transaction was multi-faceted, involving project finance, investor relations, international diplomacy, multilateral investment banks, contract negotiations with government and industry customers, export control compliance, and engineering. His primary role was to negotiate the anchor commitment agreements for satellite services to guarantee financing for the project. He also worked with all parties and teams outside the scope of his main focus, which provided valuable context and made his job easier.
During the year-long transaction, Michael honed his ability to communicate both cross-culturally and across national and professional boundaries. Working with engineers and investment bankers, for example, offered unique insight into the motivations of different players and helped him to build a rapport with parties on all sides of the negotiating table. Michael successfully concluded some of the largest contracts in the company’s history, which provided the green light for satellite construction, launch, and eventual services that are still working to this day.
More about Michael Mendelson
In addition to providing outside general counsel services, Michael regularly advises clients on legal and business issues relating to doing business in China (read his latest blog post). Earlier this year, Michael was a guest on the Latte with Lawyer Podcast – we invite you to listen to the episode, where he shares his morning coffee routine, describes the unique model of OGC, and confides that he’s never been happier in his career.
This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances not an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.