Who Is Clover 's In-House Counsel Richard Fischer?

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Who Is Clover 's In-House Counsel Richard Fischer?

 news 2015-02-03 at 11:08:57 am Views: 366
  • #41901

    Who Is Clover 's  In-House Counsel Richard Fischer?
    By Lisa Holton, The National Law Journal

    February 2, 2015 COMPANY PROFILE Clover Technologies Group LLC, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., claims to be the world's largest remanufacturer of printer ink and toner cartridges and is a growing player in the refurbishment market for small electronics, particularly cellphones. Founded in 1996, Clover has 18,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $1.1 billion. Privately held by Golden Gate Capital LLC and members of Clover management, the company recently acquired competitor Micro Solutions Enterprises.


    General counsel Richard Fischer runs his department on what he calls the "working foreman" model. In addition to offering legal advice, "I also roll up my sleeves and handle a variety of matters big and small with all parts of the enterprise," he said.

    Hired as Clover's only attorney in 2012, he now is one of four lawyers in a department that also includes three paralegals, a sustainability director and a safety coordinator.

    Acquisitions was the biggest item on Fischer's list in 2014, but the department also handles regulatory compliance, contracts, litigation supervision and human resources, which reports directly to Fischer.


    The department uses Reed Smith for mergers and acquisitions; Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg of Chicago for ­litigation; and Kerns Frost & Pearlman of Chicago for enforcement work involving restrictive covenants and collections. Fischer said his hands-on approach to the daily workload and his hiring of in-house counsel has significantly cut outside legal bills involving contracts, real estate, regulatory compliance, dispute resolution and all of the company's intellectual property work.


    Fischer begins his day by answering emails from home and typically arrives in the office by 7:20 a.m. "I leave around 5:30 p.m., but handle issues that crop up throughout the evening from home." Departure time is important because Fischer has four teenage boys; his oldest, a daughter, is at college.

    He only travels occasionally — "technology makes a lot of travel optional," he said.

    He reports to chief executive officer Jim Cerkleski.


    Fischer earned a bachelor's from Notre Dame in 1983 and worked for four years with troubled adolescents and young adults in acute and long-term facilities — "Invaluable experience," he said. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1990 and joined Sidley & Austin. He moved to Chicago-based Advocate Health Care in 1994 and in 1996 joined Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and later Foley & Lardner.

    In 2000, he returned in-house at Sears, Roebuck and Co. then Navigant Consulting Inc. In 2008, he opened his own law firm.

    He saw an invitation to join Clover "as a unique opportunity" to "help run a high-growth company on a partnership model. Opportuni­ties like that are extremely rare and make the work very gratifying."


    Fischer is a board member of Gigi's Playhouse, which runs Down syndrome centers and, chairs the audit committee for Alexian Brothers Health System in the Chicago area.


    The general counsel has been reading "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. Christensen.

    Richard X. Fischer, EVP and general counsel of Clover Technologies Group.