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Edgar Ocampo
Edgar Ocampo

In-House Counsel 2023: Edgar Ocampo

Private Company with annual revenues up to $500M

Don’t tell Edgar Ocampo in-house counsel work is less taxing than working at a law firm. In August 2020, when he accepted an offer to join Koch Companies’ Legal Department, it was a seven-days-a-week, 12-hours-a-day commitment for the majority of his first year.

Amidst the pandemic, Koch Companies’ Minneapolis-based trucking company experienced exponential growth and was in search of a leader who could develop teams to mitigate risk and collaborate in shaping ideas and discussions around business issues.

A Marine veteran with boots on the ground in Operations Swift Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Ocampo took an unconventional route to becoming a lawyer. He owned a business consulting firm after his military service, and other leadership roles including co-managing a nationwide event and a festival company’s teams, sponsorships, liability, beverage service and physical security at high-profile, multimillion-dollar experiences.

Ocampo graduated from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and practiced employment law and litigation at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., before accepting the job at Koch Companies.

Initially hired as associate general counsel, Ocampo earned the general counsel title within months of his arrival. He has recruited and cultivated personnel for the Legal and Risk Departments that today include an additional attorney, claims professionals, paralegals and assistants.

“The general counsel role is increasingly interdisciplinary. You’re a business leader, risk manager, negotiator and visionary. Today, it’s a role requiring much broader and developed skill sets, along with remaining humble. It requires empowering and leading through respect, not fear,” he said.

While he no longer regularly puts in 12-hour days, Ocampo continues to welcome the challenges that come with leading Koch Companies’ Legal & Risk Departments.

“The number one thing I genuinely appreciate about working for Koch’s family-owned business is the appreciation, respect, trust, and autonomy I’ve earned, and are now afforded to me in my role and discretion.”

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