Dentons hires former general counsel for General Mills who pushed law firms for diversity

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Roderick A. Palmore. Photo by Tim Pearson.

Dentons has hired former General Mills general counsel Roderick “Rick” Palmore, a 2009 ABA Journal Legal Rebel who promoted diversity in the legal profession.

Palmore will serve as a senior counsel at Dentons, where he will advise corporations on risk management and governance issues, according to a press release.

Palmore, a former assistant U.S. attorney, was a litigation partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a Dentons legacy firm, from 1993 to 1996. He joined Sara Lee Corp. in 1996 and became its general counsel in 1999. He moved to General Mills in 2008.

Palmore spearheaded a program in 2004 by the Association of Corporate Counsel in which corporate general counsel agreed to evaluate outside law firms’ diversity efforts as well as diversity in their own ranks. Law firms with low marks would be penalized by getting less business.

Dentons U.S. managing partner Mike McNamara said in the press release that the role of general counsel has changed because of Palmore’s leadership. “Through his tireless push for transparency in the recruiting, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers in corporations and their law firms, Rick has been at the forefront of championing inclusion, which is one of the foundational principles of Dentons,” McNamara said.

Palmore joins several other former corporate general counsel at Dentons, including former GCs of Commerce Clearing House, the Royal Bank of Canada, Monsanto, Duane Read Holdings and Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank.

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