General counsel Jared Sine is making all the right moves for Match.com.
Jared Sine has never swiped right on Tinder, but he is making all the right legal moves for Match.com.
During his 30 months as general counsel and corporate secretary at Dallas-based Match, Sine has tripled the size of the legal department, unveiled a major data privacy effort, successfully litigated a major patent infringement claim against its main competitor, managed congressional cybersecurity inquiries and persuaded California officials to require online dating sites to meet minimum safety standards for customers.
Match, during those same 30 months, has seen its market cap quadruple — from $3 billion to $12 billion. The company employs close to 500 people and operates more than 45 brands — Match, Tinder, OKCupid and Plenty Of Fish, for example — that have been translated into nearly 40 languages and are available in more than 200 countries across five continents.
Business leaders and lawyers alike say they see Sine’s fingerprints throughout Match’s business operations.
“In just two short years, Jared has transformed the Match legal department into a world-class operation,” said Sidley Austin partner Angela Zambrano. “Jared innately understands where to put his focus and when his very capable team can handle difficult issues with minimal supervision.
“Jared is a master of being a counselor to the business.In a company as dynamic and creative as Match, that personality is critical to his success.”
The Texas Lawbook and the DFW Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel announced Thursday night that Sine is the winner of the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Counsel’s General Counsel of the Year Award for a Large Legal Department.
“Jared is really, really smart and has the horsepower to play at the highest levels of corporate law and business,” said Caldwell Cassady Curry partner Brad Caldwell, who represents Match and Tinder in its intellectual property disputes with Bumble. “Even though Jared is not a trial lawyer, he has a genuine curiosity about cases and litigation. He is very hands-on and interacts with us, but he doesn’t meddle.
“I love it that he takes the time to talk with even the most junior of associates working on our matters.”
Sine grew up in Salt Lake City and is a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. His father was a lawyer-turned-businessman.
“My dad’s business didn’t do well,” he said. “If he had been given better legal advice and counsel, his business might very
well have turned out differently.”
Sine’s mother grew up poor.
“She had no college education, but she took on three jobs and taught me to work hard,” he said. “She is now president of the Utah Restaurant Association.”
Mormon church leaders strongly encourage its teenage boys to do two years of missionary service that combines community and humanitarian outreach programs with faithbased efforts. Sine was assigned to go to the Philippines.
“It’s a very difficult thing to do – train for service and learn culture and the Tagoloan language in three months,” he said. “You are allowed two calls home a year to talk with your family. You learn to grow up quickly. It requires that you rely on a higher power.”
Sine was 19 and landed in Manila in September 1998.
As he and others packed into an old retrofitted school bus, the worst typhoon in 30 years hit the island. The downpour caused the roads to flood and water literally rose to the level of the bus’s headlights.
Sine survived the storm and his mission service — “Only by the grace of God,” he said — and went to Brigham Young University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 2004. Three years later, he received his law degree from BYU.
In 2007, Cravath, Swaine & Moore hired Sine as an associate in its M&A practice, where he worked side by side on transactions with then-partner Ron Cami, who later became general counsel at TPG Capital and is now the GC at Waypoint Capital Group.
“Cravath was a great place to learn to be a lawyer,” he said. “They had this great rotation system where young lawyers are forced to work in different practice groups.”
In 2010, Sine jumped to Latham & Watkins, where he spent two years in its corporate transactions section.
After two years at Latham, he was offered the position of corporate counsel at Seattle-based Expedia, which he found too good to pass up. Between 2012 and 2016, Sine worked on nearly a dozen M&A deals with a combined value of nearly $10 billion.
“It was so much fun to be a part of such an explosive growth in a business,” he said. “It was such an adrenaline rush. I probably worked more at Expedia than I did at Cravath and Latham combined, and that is really saying something.”
During Sine’s time at Expedia, he led the acquisitions of HomeAway, Orbitz, Travelocity and a majority stake in Trivago.
In July 2016, Match named Sine its new general counsel. He immediately made some significant changes.
“The legal department was woefully understaffed and we realized that we needed to build a worldclass team of attorneys and paralegals,” he said. “We had about 10 lawyers. We now have 35, including attorneys in Japan, Dublin, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.”
After a multimonth internal review, Sine identified three issues the company needed to address immediately: data privacy, subscription services and platform liability.
Sine and the legal team led an 18-month effort that involved hundreds of employees, several millions of dollars in expenses and more than 100,000 manhours to develop a global privacy program that meets or exceeds the standards set under General Data Protection Regulation for all of the company’s businesses across the globe.
“Jared led a legal team that spearheaded a massive overhaul of the privacy practices, procedures and protocols across Match Group’s 45 different brands and multiple technology platforms,” Zambrano wrote in nominating Sine for the GC of the Year Award. “As part of this process, the legal team evaluated each and every brand’s data processing features, protocols and policies for handling user information, developed a comprehensive privacy strategy and remediated any gaps between prior practices and the requirements under their new privacy program.”
Sine said he has advice for young business lawyers.
“It is critical that you never cut corners on ethics,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how little experience you have or how much experience the opposing counsel has, you must always act ethically and you must always stand up for the best interest of your client.”
Sheppard Mullen partner Jason Mueller said Sine has “an amazing legal mind.”
“He thinks through every possible issue and scenario, whether its litigation, regulatory or transactional,” Mueller said.
Jared Sine of Match.com was named 2018 Outstanding Corporate Counsel’s General Counsel of the Year Award for a Large Legal Department last week.