Legal Counsel II

Chicago, IL
James Hardie
Posted 04/18/2021

James Hardie Building Products Inc. (James Hardie or Company) is a leader in the building products industry and strives to retain its position in the market with constant innovation and movement. Established over 125 years ago, we continue to grow our business with 2020 fiscal year sales of US $2.6 billion. We are a fast paced, performance-driven organization looking for passionate people to continue driving us forward. James Hardie is a wholly-owned subsidiary of James Hardie Industries plc domiciled in Dublin, Ireland , with corporate headquarters in Chicago.  Currently our sales and operations are primarily in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and several European countries.   The main R&D facilities are in Southern California and Sydney Australia. James Hardie is traded on both Australian (ASX) and U.S.A. (NYSE) stock exchanges.

Position Summary

As a member of the Legal Department, the Legal Counsel II will report to the Assistant General Counsel for North America in Chicago, with additional supervision by the General Counsel.  The Legal Counsel II will assist the legal team in supporting all U.S.A. and Canada -based businesses with legal matters . 

Position Responsibilities

  • Assisting business clients with negotiating, establishing and maintaining all manner of commercial relationships, including vendor, customer, real estate and intellectual property arrangements.
  • Drafting, reviewing and revising legal agreements and documents under the supervision and direction of the Assistant General Counsel .
  • Assisting the Assistant General Counsel with managing litigation and outside counsel, organizing, reviewing and preparing discovery materials and attending depositions, mediations and hearings.
  • Advising the business on dispute resolution, including vendor and customer disputes and warranty disputes.
  • Reviewing and advising clients on all forms of information and documents to be published by the Company to the public, including marketing materials, informational materials, warranties, product literature, etc.
  • Advising business clients on interpretation, application and compliance with applicable federal, state and local statutes, regulations and ordinances. Partner with business clients to respond to and engage with various government agencies having jurisdiction over the Company.
  • Representing the legal function in various internal Company projects .
  • Performing various legal administrative tasks as part of the Legal Department , including, review of outside counsel billing, preparation of filings and reports for clients and the Company, attending various Company presentations and events.
  • Finally, because the Company has significant trade secrets, the Legal Counsel II will become familiar with processes and procedures designed to protect trade secrets and should be able to offer guidance to R&D personnel and others in the Company.

In providing the foregoing general legal support , the Legal Counsel II should have an understanding of contract law and civil litigation processes and procedures.   In addition, the Legal Counsel II should demonstrate high quality writing stills.

The Legal Counsel II position is a varied role and will engage many different Company clients in many varying situations.   The Legal Counsel II must be knowledgeable about the relevant law and be capable of communicating as a professional with all clients.   Further, when interacting with and advising clients, the Legal Counsel II should be comfortable representing the Legal Department as one of many Company stakeholders with a responsibility in assessing risks, options and possible outcomes of a proposed Company action.  

The position responsibilities outlined above are in no way to be construed as all encompassing. Other duties, responsibilities, and qualifications may be required and/or assigned as necessary.

Position Requirements

  • Juris Doctor degree from top level law school
  • Licensed to practice law in Illinois (or able to obtain Illinois in-house counsel license).
  • 4-5 years of experience as outside counsel , in-house counsel or combination of both. Prior commercial work with corporate manufacturing clients preferred.
  • Knowledge of contract law and civil litigation procedures
  • Experience with various forms of contract and document review/drafting
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly professional, self-motivated, accurate, detailed, independent and flexible
  • Possess initiative, and the ability to work as part of a team as well as independently
  • Basic knowledge of US trademark laws and trade secret laws
  • Stress Tolerance: Maintaining stable performance under pressure or opposition (such as time pressure, or job ambiguity); handling stress in a manner that is acceptable to others and to the organization.
  • Decision Making: Identifying and understanding issues, problems, and opportunities; comparing data from different sources to draw conclusions; using effective approaches for choosing a course of action or developing appropriate solutions; taking action that is consistent with available facts, constraints, and probable consequences.
  • Continuous Learning: Actively identifying new areas for learning; regularly creating and taking advantage of learning opportunities; using newly gained knowledge and skill on the job and learning through their application.
  • Initiating Action: Taking prompt action to accomplish objectives; taking action to achieve goals beyond what is required; being proactive.
  • Communication: Clearly conveying information and ideas through a variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the audience and helps them understand and retain the message.
  • Gaining Commitment: Using appropriate interpersonal styles and techniques to gain acceptance of ideas or plans; modifying one’s own behavior to accommodate tasks, situations and individuals involved.
  • Relationships:   Being an effective contributor to the Chicago office and also have the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships over large geographic and time differences, without physical contact.


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