Marine Link
Friday, October 21, 2016

Land Joins WHOI as General Counsel, VP for Legal Affairs

March 3, 2014

Chris Land (Photo: WHOI)

Chris Land (Photo: WHOI)

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has appointed Christopher Land to be its General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs. Land assumes his post on March 3. 

As general counsel, Land will provide advice, opinions and representation on all areas of law affecting the Institution. Among his duties will be engaging in Institution strategy and business development; providing counsel and advice concerning compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations affecting research and higher education organizations; and negotiating, drafting and reviewing contracts.

A 2002 graduate, order of the coif and cum laude, of Tulane Law School, Land has been a senior attorney with the firm Goodwin Procter of Boston where he represented clients in various industries, including pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, power and energy companies, and academic and research institutions, including WHOI.

Over the past three years, Land has served as an outside general counsel for WHOI through his work with Goodwin Proctor.  Land's first big project with WHOI involved the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and a subpoena seeking emails, draft papers, and other documents from two WHOI scientists involved in the spill's response effort.  He helped WHOI argue that the documents were protected under the First Amendment, and specifically that Scholastic Privilege protects academics during the pre-publication phase of their work so that they may have the internal academic discussions on draft scientific publications necessary before finalizing their findings.

Land joins WHOI in a newly created position at a time when the Institution is increasingly seeking new revenue streams from non-traditional sources, including opportunities within the for-profit sector. "Chris will augment a number of other key staff and provide us with a firm stance in dealing with intellectual property, human resource, real estate, safety, at-sea operations and other issues across the Institution," said WHOI President and Director Susan Avery.

A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Land was raised "surfing and swimming in the ocean every day," he said, and developed an early passion for sailing, racing sail boats by age 10 and is currently preparing for his third Newport-Bermuda offshore race.  Working for a sea-going research organization, he combines his profession and his affinity for nature, learning and the ocean. Land, his wife, and two children will relocate to Cape Cod from Marblehead, Mass.

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