H&R Block Nab Tilray’s In House Counsel For Themselves

H&R Block Inc has recruited its new top lawyer from Tilray Inc, hiring Dara Redler, the Canadian cannabis producer’s interim chief legal officer.

Bloomberg report that the reason they’ve taken on Dara Redler is to fight a lawsuit over the company’s name against billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc but we wonder if they don’t have a longer term plan in mind and are banking on Washington actually doing something about Federal cannabis legislation by year’s end.

Time, as always, will tell

Bloomberg say

H&R Block Inc. hired former Coca-Cola Co. lawyer Dara Redler as its legal chief after filing a lawsuit over the company’s name against billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc.

Redler succeeds Thomas Gerke, who will retire Jan. 17 after a decade with H&R Block, the company disclosed in a securities filing on Monday. After leaving Coca-Cola, Redler spent two years as the top lawyer for Toronto-based Tilray Inc., which leads Canada in cannabis market share.

She “brings a wealth of experience in leading good governance, driving strategic negotiations, and navigating complex legal and regulatory matters,” Jeffrey Jones II, chief executive officer of H&R Block, said in a statement.

The company, co-founded in 1955 by the late Henry Bloch and his brother, Richard, filed a trademark lawsuit last month against Block Inc., the payments company formerly known as Square Inc. H&R Block claims Block Inc. is a direct competitor after agreeing to buy Credit Karma Tax in 2020.

Block Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it doesn’t use the brand to sell customer-facing products. Law firms in the case are Debevoise & Plimpton and Kansas City, Mo.-based Berkowitz Oliver for H&R Block and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Armstrong Teasdale for Block Inc.

Redler spent two decades in-house at Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where the former Alston & Bird associate rose to the level of senior counsel for worldwide marketing and growth prior to joining Tilray in 2019.

Bloomberg Law reported last year on Redler being named interim legal chief and corporate secretary for Tilray Brands Inc., a company formed via a $3.8 billion merger between Tilray and legal weed rival Aphria Inc. Redler had previously been general counsel and chief compliance officer for Tilray.

Gerke, the current general counsel and chief administrative officer for H&R Block, will assist in the transition of his duties at the largest U.S. tax preparer to Redler, the Kansas City, Mo.-based company said in its securities filing.