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Jan 16, 2024

General counsel at Jack Daniel’s parent company to retire

Mike Carr will be promoted to succeed Matthew Hamel

Matthew Hamel, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Brown‑Forman Corporation, home to alcoholic drinks brands such as Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve and Coopers’ Craft, will retire from the company on May 1.

Mike Carr, who is at present vice president and associate general counsel for regional and corporate development at Brown‑Forman, will succeed Hamel at that time.


Hamel joined the company in 2007. During his tenure as general counsel, he has led Brown‐Forman’s legal, compliance, risk and public affairs teams, overseeing activities related to corporate governance, regulatory compliance, trade practices, trademarks, litigation, acquisitions, enterprise risk management and government relations.

According to his LinkedIn profile, before joining Brown‐Forman Hamel was associate general counsel and vice president for law with the enterprise media group at Dow Jones & Co. Before that he was vice president, general counsel and secretary at Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive and division general counsel for international business development at Colgate Palmolive. He was previously an attorney at White & Case.

Matthew Hamel
Matthew Hamel


Brown-Forman president and CEO Lawson Whiting says in a statement: ‘Matt has led the global expansion of [our] legal department, further deepened our strong culture of ethics and compliance and helped root key business decisions in our values. His counsel is evident not only in our daily practices and thoughtful corporate and board governance, but also in the long-term positioning and strategy of our company. We thank Matt for his years of service and wish him well in retirement.’

Carr has been with Brown‑Forman for more than a decade, holding positions such as associate general counsel for Europe. Among other things, he has played a leading role in negotiating global agreements such as the Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola ready-to-drink relationship and the acquisitions of Gin Mare and Diplomático.

Whiting adds: ‘Mike’s deep expertise and influence spans every market where Brown‑Forman conducts business. He has been instrumental in overseeing legal affairs and providing sound, strategic legal guidance for large and complex matters… I look forward to partnering with Mike as we continue to grow the business for the long term.’