Former General Counsel for the Oakland Athletics and Chief Marketing Counsel for Coca-Cola rejoins San Francisco’s nationally recognized municipal law office
SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 7, 2019) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the hiring of George K. H. Schell to lead the office’s Contracts and Special Projects Team. Schell’s title is Chief Attorney, Business Transactions and Compliance. He starts in his new role on Jan. 14, 2019.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome George back to the City Attorney’s Office,” Herrera said. “Adding a legal professional of George’s caliber, particularly given his distinguished background and diverse business experience, is a boon for the people of San Francisco. This is a significant addition that will only enhance the office’s well-earned reputation for depth, innovation and leadership.”
“I am very grateful to City Attorney Herrera for providing me with this opportunity,” said Schell. “I am looking forward to leveraging my business, legal and leadership skills in ways that will benefit the residents and taxpayers of San Francisco.”
Schell and his team will provide legal services to multiple City departments, including the City Purchaser and the Office of Contract Administration. These services will include providing legal advice on compliance with City contracting requirements as well as handling contracts stemming from departmental and legislative requests for various grants, goods and services. The team — in close collaboration with other subject matter expert teams in the City Attorney’s Office — will also be responsible for providing legal advice and drafting expertise for large, complicated contractual matters, particularly those involving emerging issues related to intellectual property, privacy and the new economy.
“George will help us continue building the requisite business knowledge and contractual flexibility to help San Francisco meet the many legal challenges generated by emerging business innovations and operations,” Herrera said.
Drawing on his several decades of business and legal experience, Schell will have primary responsibility for legal management of special projects involving select City business transactions, including major City entertainment and sporting events, as they arise. Schell will also assist litigators in the office with select contract enforcement and consumer protection actions. He will also play a role in helping to grow the office’s strong focus on effective leadership, attorney recruitment, mentoring, diversity and inclusion, and overall staff excellence.
“I am confident that George will be an extremely valuable resource to me, my team and the City as we continually strive to better serve the people of San Francisco,” Herrera said.
In June 2016, Schell wrapped up a 20-year career at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, most recently as Chief Marketing Counsel for Coca-Cola North America, where he oversaw the legal support for the North America marketing and advertising teams. Over his career at Coca-Cola, Schell progressed through several roles within the legal department after spending his first seven years in marketing as a Manager and later a Director of Business Affairs. In those roles, he was responsible for leading negotiations for various sports and entertainment contracts, including the company’s relationships with the International Olympic Committee, the international soccer governing body FIFA, the NBA, Rugby World Cup and numerous Major League Baseball, NFL, NHL and NBA team sponsorships.
Before joining Coca-Cola, Schell worked as General Counsel for the Oakland Athletics Baseball Company. Prior to that he served as Chief of General Litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, a litigation associate at Steinhart & Falconer in San Francisco, and as a Staff Attorney and Team Leader for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Office of Staff Attorneys.
After his tenure at Coca-Cola, Schell founded OfficeSeer LLC, a consulting company that provides a wide array of speaking and management training services. He also became Chief Operating Officer for Beyond Law, a skills and success mindset training program for young lawyers. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian Institute’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Schell received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his law degree from UCLA School of Law.
“I am honored and very pleased to return to work with City Attorney Herrera, his highly-skilled team of legal professionals and the citizens, employees and departments in the City and County of San Francisco,” Schell said. “I hope to play a key role in the office’s focused effort to help San Francisco maintain and grow its position as a world leader in effective municipal interaction with the business community.”
The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been hailed by American Lawyer magazine as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation” and honored by the American Bar Association for outstanding excellence in government law.
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