Sylvia Hutton enjoys the perks of a top-notch general counsel: She flies on the corporate jet, mingles with industry heads, consults government officials, and makes innumerable legal decisions on behalf of her employer. There’s only one major difference: Her client is a supervillain.
“I know, most people think it’s crazy that I work for Ted,” admitted Hutton in referring to the figure better known as Nemesiso, “but he’s actually really nice to me and trusts my judgment far better than the guys at Skadden Arps. Plus, the work is intriguing and keeps me busy: How many attorneys get to negotiate the purchase of an orbital launcher or plutonium?”
On top of supervising both in-house and outside counsel, in the past week Hutton closed on three important corporate M&A deals, negotiated contracts with several foreign governments, and came to settlement terms with a group of plaintiff’s affected by one of her employer’s less successful “projects” for world domination. She even had time to make travel and advance burial arrangements for her boss’s latest scheme regarding Captain Stupendous.
The only area Hutton like to avoid too much direct involvement are criminal issues, where she prefers to offload to outside counsel. “It protects our behind a little better,” she admits.
Hutton sits on the higher end of the excitement scale. Most outside observers would be surprised at the number of banal legal issues facing supervillains. While a handful of notable individuals choose to live lives completely outside the law, most prefer to operate within the confines of the legal system except for those rare moments where they believe the ends justify the means. Just the act of becoming a “super” villain often requires a major effort involving hard work and business acumen unrelated to the pursuit of global conquest, incredible riches or the destruction of a pesky hero.
“My client owns a number of factories in several major, regulated industries,” notes Jeffrey T. Kern, attorney for James Gladious, better known as The Golden Kingpin. ”Several of his companies release products that require regulatory oversight in several major markets, I spend most of my time ensuring that products meet their obligations as well as handling the details of various distribution agreements with retailers or industry reps. All in all, I’d say maybe 5% of my actual work involves hiding the traces of his death ray program, or—as we like to call it—Project Spartacus. Something has to pay those bills.”
While the nature of his employer’s work tends to attract legal action, Kern’s known for keeping things out of the courtroom. Still, he’s quick to point out that he does not shy away from litigation.
“Just last month we had some people claiming that the [explosions at Fort Knox] cause their prized hog to have a heart attack,” noted Kern. “On principle we took that to court and won on summary judgment. Gladious liked that so much he gave me a gold bar to thank me.”
Indeed, client appreciation was the number one reason why attorney’s for supervillains show a stellar job satisfaction rate. Most mentioned their employers had an extra sense of appreciation for the attorney-client privilege, and many knew how to avoid telling their attorneys that would force them to break that privilege. It helps that a common trait among supervillains is an evil genius-level intellect with the ability to draft and/or understand complex contracts, plans or traps. Most attorney’s for supervillains used the words “dream client” when describing their employers.
Hutton echoed her peers when she noted: “If it weren’t for us, our clients’s life would be so much more of a hassle. We clear the way so their diabolical plans can come to fruition. Behind every great supervillain is a great lawyer.”