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Brown-Forman’s General Counsel To Step Down in May

Matt Hamel, the General Counsel and Secretary of Brown-Forman, is set to retire on May 1st 2024. He will be succeeded by Mike Carr, the current associate general counsel for regional and corporate development.

During his 16-year tenure at Brown-Forman, Hamel has led the company’s legal, compliance, risk, and public affairs teams. His responsibilities ranged from overseeing trademarks, litigation, acquisitions, enterprise risk management to government relations.

Lawson Whiting, President, and CEO of Brown-Forman, expressed his gratitude for Hamel’s service. “Matt has led the global expansion of Brown-Forman’s legal department, further deepened our strong culture of ethics and compliance, and helped root key business decisions in our values,” said Whiting.

Mike Carr, who has been with Brown-Forman for over a decade, will take over as the primary legal advisor to the board of directors and the company. He will also lead the global compliance, legal, risk, and public affairs teams.

In his previous role, Carr played an instrumental part in Brown-Forman’s recent acquisitions of Gin Mare and Diplomático. He was also involved in the negotiation of global agreements such as the Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola ready-to-drink relationship.

Whiting lauded Carr’s contributions and experience. “Mike’s deep expertise and influence spans every market where Brown-Forman conducts business. He has been instrumental in overseeing legal affairs and providing sound, strategic legal guidance for large and complex matters,” he said.

This transition in general counsel coincides with a period of weaker sales in the first half of Brown-Forman’s 2024 fiscal year and the decision to outsource ready-to-drink (RTD) production to focus on its American whiskey.


Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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