Michelle Torline became the top lawyer for Wireco WorldGroup in 2012. She handles and oversees all legal matters for the international wire and synthetic rope manufacturer, which has sales of over $850 million per year and 4,500 employees globally.
What has been your favorite part of the job? My favorite part of the job is the variety of matters that come my way, so that no day is alike. Being the sole attorney at a large, multinational company, I have the opportunity to get involved in a wide gamut of work, from overseeing litigation, reviewing and negotiating all types of commercial contracts, implementing compliance programs, managing outside counsel, advising on corporate governance, and general day-to-day advice — all on a domestic and international scale! I also really enjoy learning about all of the products that we manufacture around the world and the various applications of the products — ranging from assemblies for bridge structures, ropes for offshore oil platforms and deepwater mooring ropes to stabilize the platforms, fishing nets, and mining and crane ropes.
What is something that would surprise people about you? I have played tennis competitively since I was around 10, which allowed me to get a scholarship to play tennis all four years in college.
What is the best advice you’ve ever given or received? Growing up I was instilled with the importance of working hard. My grandfather was a big influence in my life and taught by example. He attended the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and started his own drugstore in East St. Louis, Illinois that he had for over 40 years. He taught me to work hard, get a good education, and do the right thing.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be? I loved sports growing up and wanted to be a professional sports agent. I realized that many sports agents have their law degrees, so then my goal shifted to getting a law degree. After majoring in finance and taking a couple business law courses in college, my interest changed from sports to M&A and general corporate work.