PER­FECT MATCH

Houston Chronicle - - TEXAS INC - By Mark Cur­ri­den

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.

Photo cour­tesy Jake Dean

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.

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