General Counsel File
Regina Bynote Jones, Baker Hughes Company
Career in Brief
Experience: 2020–present: Baker Hughes, Chief Legal Officer; 2018–2020: Delek US Holdings, Inc., Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary; 2005–2018: SLB (various senior legal roles in Paris, France, Kuala Lumpur, and Houston); 1999–2005: Dynegy Inc. (various legal and information technology roles); 1997–1999: Shell Services International, Global Service Development Manager; 1993–1997: El Paso Energy (formerly Tenneco Energy), Senior Analyst/IT Project Manager.
Education: 1998: J.D., South Texas College of Law Houston; 1992: B.S. (General Business), Sam Houston State University.
Location of Company HQ: Houston.
Primary Industry Sector: Energy technology.
Revenues in the Last Financial Year: $20.5 billion global revenue in 2021.
Number of Attorneys Worldwide: Approximately 250.
Legal Department Locations: Baker Hughes operates in over 120 countries, with attorneys in 31 countries.
How is the legal function structured?
As a strategically managed legal function, our headquarters legal department sits at the enterprise level. The legal team is structured with a corporate “center” with several core legal specialties, such as compliance, legal sustainability, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property (IP), securities, and corporate governance. Our operating segments have attorneys embedded within the business that provide tailored support in areas such as contracts, litigation, labor and employment, and oversight of the IP and technology portfolio. Compliance attorneys are aligned at both the corporate and segment level to ensure consistency, targeted training, and management engagement.
What are the top goals or areas of focus for the legal department?
Baker Hughes’s legal department has three pillars: people, technology, and strategy. Our key objectives are to:
- Partner with the business to drive a culture of integrity.
- Champion and oversee compliance with the laws of the countries where we operate.
- Support the legal aspects of our business strategy.
- Protect the company’s freedom to operate.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a separate, targeted focus. Internally, our legal DE&I council helps to shape our actions globally. We also partner with human resources to understand the data to impact the metrics that matter. Finally, we believe that the legal department should foster an inclusive culture where our team members can be their authentic, genuine selves as members of the larger Baker Hughes organization.
What are some approaches that Baker Hughes has taken to prioritize diversity?
As we shape the future of the energy industry, we believe unique ideas and perspectives fuel innovation and our differences make us stronger. We value differences in gender, race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, cultural background, religion, veteran status, experience, and perspective across the globe. We strengthen our culture through our global DE&I council and employee resource groups and through prioritization of DE&I metrics in our talent strategy.
We know that advancing DE&I is about more than implementing activities and programs. It is about embedding the right behaviors to grow an inclusive culture.
We know that advancing DE&I is about more than implementing activities and programs. It is about embedding the right behaviors to grow an inclusive culture. We seek to align our organization with the behaviors it will take to deliver on our strategy. These same behaviors will help us advance our culture — one that prioritizes trust, open communication, appreciation of differences, and continuous learning.
How do you manage privilege and confidentiality concerns when communicating with employees?
We have an information classification policy that sets out the minimum requirements that all Baker Hughes employees must follow to ensure that everyone who deals with confidential information understands how it must be handled. To preserve confidentiality and maximize Baker Hughes’s ability to assert legal privilege for any work conducted under the direction of a lawyer, the Baker Hughes legal team provides additional guidance to employees involved in specific privileged communications.
What three things does a law firm need to do to impress you?
Ultimately, any law firm is a business partner and therefore must:
- Bring clear insight and perspectives to complex legal and compliance issues. The legal, legislative, and policy risks are substantive. We must partner with firms that can help us understand, interpret, and comply with the laws of the many jurisdictions in which we operate.
- Reflect our values.
- Be open to innovative approaches to their legal support model.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
The best pieces of career advice I have received are the following:
- It is not what you do but what you get done that matters.
- Lead with honor and integrity in everything you do. Do not ever compromise these principles.
Can you describe a professional challenge you are facing and how you are addressing it?
One developing challenge on the professional front is effectively managing an extensive set of laws in a complex, changing global environment. Globalization helped to drive consistency and clarity across the international legal jurisdictions and tribunal landscape. As countries begin to individualize their approaches in critical areas such as climate, ESG, taxation, trade, cybersecurity, data privacy, and disclosure reporting, it has become increasingly challenging to ensure clarity and consistency in compliance execution. This requires that we invest in competency development in core legal disciplines and partner with law firms across regions and jurisdictions that can assist with translation and application of the law. It also requires customized controls that leverage technology in differentiated ways and retooling these controls to adapt when needed.
One developing challenge is effectively managing an extensive set of laws in a complex, changing global environment. This requires that we invest in competency development in core legal disciplines and partner with law firms across regions and jurisdictions that can assist with translation and application of the law.
What are your hobbies?
Running, reading, and watching movies with my best friend, my husband.
If not an attorney, what would you wish to be?
A barista in a coffee shop on a beach.