MLA Places Wendy Watts as General Counsel at the Animal Legal Defense Fund

Hanover, MD (August 3, 2021) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced the placement of Wendy Watts as general counsel at Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). The search was conducted by Andrea Bricca, partner with MLA’s In-House Counsel Recruiting team.

In her new role as general counsel, Wendy will lead the internal legal function for ALDF, serve as a member of the senior executive team, and act as corporate secretary of the organization.  She will provide strategic advice and legal counsel to ALDF’s executive director, board of directors, and management on corporate governance, compliance, and all internal matters related to the operation of the organization.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979, ALDF has grown to include a staff of 75 with a $15 million annual budget, and its groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by thousands of dedicated attorneys, hundreds of law firms and more than 300,000 members and supporters.

“It was a pleasure working with Animal Legal Defense Fund’s executive director, Stephen Wells, and his team, to find the right leader to oversee their legal and compliance needs,” said Andrea Bricca. “Wendy is an ideal fit to be ALDF’s new general counsel, as she is an experienced nonprofit general counsel in the animal protection space and a passionate animal advocate. I believe she will be a huge asset for ALDF as they continue to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.”

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund is thrilled to add Wendy to our team,” said Stephen Wells, executive director and CEO. “She has an incredible background as a general counsel in the animal protection space and a unique understanding of our work. And most importantly, she fits in with the culture that we’ve built here. She is everything we hoped for and we look forward to working with her.”

Wendy most recently served as vice president, legal and general counsel for The Humane League, overseeing U.S. and international legal affairs for an international nonprofit animal protection organization working to end the abuse of animals raised for food. Prior to The Humane League, she spent nearly seven years with Roush Fenway Racing LLC, one of the largest and most successful premier motorsports organizations engaged in NASCAR competition, as general counsel. Prior to transitioning to in-house roles, Wendy was engaged in private practice, primarily as a litigator. Wendy earned her J.D. from Campbell University and her B.A. from Duke University.

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