Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced that Suzanne Baillie of Manhattan has been named interim In-House Counsel for The Episcopal Church. Baillie previously served as Counsel for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS), 2003 to 2008.
“I am so pleased to welcome Suzanne to our legal team,” said Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. “Her great knowledge of The Episcopal Church should serve us well as Executive Council reviews and examines the position of Chief Legal Officer to determine how best to meet the needs of the Church at this point in time.”
Her appointment follows the October 21, 2019 announcement by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings that, two years after adopting a model of a part-time Chief Legal Officer who is a partner in a law firm offering access to the legal services of that firm, the decision has been made to pursue the original plan of a full-time, employed Chief Legal Officer as suggested by the Legal Review Committee and adopted by Executive Council. The announcement was made during the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church’s October meeting in Montgomery, Alabama.
“A little more than two years ago, the President of the House of Deputies and I were presented with two models for the newly created position of Chief Legal Officer,” said Curry. “The first was to engage a full-time Chief Legal Officer (CLO), with that person to reside in New York City. After interviews and conversations, another model emerged – that being a part-time CLO who would be a partner in a law firm which would offer access to the legal services of that firm, and that that person would not need to reside in New York. The President of the House of Deputies and I agreed to live into the second model for a period of time, and to see if it would work for the Church. Doug Anning was gracious enough to enter into this as an experiment.”
At the October 2019 Executive Council meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, Bishop Curry and President Jennings informed the Council that after two years of this experiment, they will pursue the original plan of hiring a full-time CLO (though not necessarily one required to reside in New York) to meet the legal needs of the organization at this time. During their business meeting, Executive Council adopted Resolution GO 012 honoring the faithful service of Douglas Anning, acting Chief Legal Officer for The Episcopal Church with a Resolution which says in part:
We recognize with great appreciation the steadfast service of Douglas Anning, acting chief
legal officer for The Episcopal Church;
We extend our hearty thanks to Doug for his faithful service to our Church and to our Lord
We extend our hearty thanks to Doug for his many professional and personal contributions to
our common life and ministry; and
In friendship and gratitude, we pray God’s blessings be upon him.
The next step of the transition has been the creation of a four-person committee to review and examine what can be learned from this experiment and to review the position description. Ultimately a search will take place for a CLO.
Baillie began her duties on November 1, 2019. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org