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May 06, 2019

Boeing names new general counsel

Michael Luttig appointed to new position managing legal issues related to recent accidents

Boeing has moved Brett Gerry from his post as president of Boeing Japan to become the company’s general counsel. He succeeds Michael Luttig, who has been appointed to the newly created position of counselor and senior adviser to Boeing chair, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg and the Boeing board of directors.

Both changes took effect on May 1.

As general counsel, Gerry heads Boeing’s law department and is a member of the executive council. He reports to Muilenburg. Gerry has served as president of Boeing Japan since 2016 and is relocating from Tokyo to Chicago for his new assignment.

In his new role Luttig manages all legal issues related to the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes. He had been general counsel since 2006, when he joined Boeing.

Muilenburg and the Boeing board reportedly faced tough questions at the company’s recent shareholder AGM following the accidents. According to The Washington Post, Muilenburg attempted to reassure investors that the company takes safety concerns seriously and is working with regulators to update the technical features of the plane that contributed to both accidents. ‘When it comes to safety, there are no competing priorities,’ Muilenburg was reported to have said.

Before working for the company in Japan, Gerry held senior posts at the company including vice president and general counsel for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and chief counsel to Boeing's network and space systems businesses.

Before joining the company in 2008, he was chief of staff to the attorney general and deputy assistant attorney general in the National Security Division at the US Department of Justice (DoJ), and in the White House as associate counsel to the president.

He has also worked at Goodwin Procter and as a law clerk at both the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and the US Supreme Court.

Luttig moved to Boeing after serving for 15 years on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, having earlier been assistant attorney general and counselor to the attorney general at the DoJ. He has also served in senior posts at the Supreme Court and White House.

‘During his 13 years of service at Boeing, Judge Luttig has built the finest legal team in the world and delivered an unparalleled record of success for the company,’ Muilenburg says in a statement. ‘Judge Luttig is not only a brilliant legal mind, but also a critical voice on all the important issues and opportunities facing our company.’

He adds: ‘Succeeding in the complex, global and highly-regulated environment in which we operate, requires deep legal expertise and strong judgment. For more than a decade with Boeing, on assignments across the globe, Brett Gerry has demonstrated all the skills and experiences we're looking for in a general counsel.’