Michael Sommer is founder and principal of General Counsel on Demand, LLC. Michael’s diverse experience and background enable him to step into a wide variety of businesses quickly becoming an effective executive advisor and member of the leadership team.
During his 30-plus year career Michael has continually expanded his corporate, commercial and transactional legal expertise and applied it both in nimble entrepreneurial and large company environments. He has developed in-depth business knowledge in a broad range of global and domestic industries, including medical device manufacturing and distribution, shipping, logistics and terminal services operations, software development and services, and retail and e-commerce outsourcing.
Michael started his career as an international commercial litigator with the New York law firm Haight Gardner Poor & Havens (now Holland & Knight), before he took responsibility for the legal affairs of a $2 billion international division of global transportation company Sea-Land Service, Inc., and subsequently for the worldwide corporate legal affairs of software developer and services business Baan Company NV/Invensys Plc. Michael served as General Counsel of private equity owned Accretive Commerce, Inc., a retail and e-commerce outsourcing services provider, and helped position the company for sale to one of its main competitors. His experience extends from structuring and negotiating strategic global business ventures and M&A transactions to hands-on partnering with business associates at all levels to achieve targeted objectives. He has handled all aspects of the legal function, including corporate and commercial affairs, contract drafting and negotiation, advice on relationships with employees, consultants and business partners, and dispute prevention and resolution.
In the last 15 years Michael has partnered with his clients in various capacities tailored to their particular needs. He currently serves as in-sourced General Counsel of several emerging, globally operating businesses, and as interim counsel for larger companies in a variety of industries. He has served as:
General Counsel, handling the client's legal affairs and serving as a member of the client’s executive team;
Special Counsel, leading a segment of the client’s legal affairs for which full time in-house counsel is not warranted and outside counsel is cost prohibitive and less effective;
Interim Project Counsel, where an experienced in-house resource is temporarily required to fully focus on accomplishment of strategic initiatives.
Michael is fluent in Dutch and English and was educated in German and French. He has a J.D. degree from Leiden University School of Law in the Netherlands and is a graduate of the Columbia-Leiden-Amsterdam Program in American Law and Boston University’s Mini MBA for in-house counsel. He is a member of the New York State and Federal Bars.