Fox News hires Kirkland partner as deputy general counsel

A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City, in New York
A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
  • Potenza was a litigation partner at Kirkland for the past five years
  • He will report to Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar

(Reuters) - Fox Corporation is continuing to grow its legal department, adding former Kirkland & Ellis partner Stephen Potenza as deputy general counsel for Fox News Media.

Potenza, who is based in New York, will report to Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar, the company said Tuesday.

Gugar served as U.S. head of industries for Google Cloud's Deal Pursuit Organization, a team that drives complex cross-industry transactions for the tech giant. He took on his Fox News role in April.

“I am so pleased to welcome Steve to FOX News Media, where he will be a pivotal part of our legal team,” Gugar said in a statement. “He brings impressive and extensive experience across government, litigation and business affairs.”

Prior to the move, Potenza had spent about half a decade at Kirkland, where he was a partner in the firm’s litigation and its government, regulatory and internal investigation groups. He joined Kirkland in 2016 when it absorbed his former firm, Bancroft, the litigation boutique that was founded by Kirkland alum Viet Dinh.

Dinh, a longtime 21st Century Fox board member, became the chief legal and policy officer for Fox Corp. in September 2018. He helped establish the company as it spun off from its parent in connection with The Walt Disney Company's $71 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's media assets.

Kirkland did not immediately respond to request for comment on Potenza's departure.

The hire comes as the Fox Corp subsidiary works to fend off two significant defamation lawsuits tied to the 2020 U.S. elections, one filed by Dominion Voting Systems Corp in March and another filed in early February by electronic voting systems maker Smartmatic.

The company’s legal arm on Thursday also promoted Lisa Richardson to executive vice president of business and legal affairs. Richardson continues to report to Adam Reiss, who serves as executive vice president and deputy general counsel of Fox Corporation, the company said.

Read more:

Fox News names new GC as it battles Dominion lawsuit

U.S. voting tech company sues Fox News for $1.6 billion over election-fraud claims

Smartmatic sues Fox News, Giuliani over election-rigging claims

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Xiumei Dong covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firm strategy and growth, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., legal market. Reach her at