Timothy Triplett was no stranger to Black & Veatch when he joined the company in 2008 as its general counsel.
Going back decades, he had some connection to the global engineering, procurement and construction firm. From 1978 to 2002, he worked with the company while in private practice at Blackwell Sanders, now Husch Blackwell.
Then, in 2002, he and several of his colleagues created their own small firm, Warden Triplett Grier.
“I knew the company very well and they knew me,” he said. “I had a 30-year association with them.”
Triplett oversees the company’s legal, risk management and government affairs services on a variety of commercial matters. He also acts as chief compliance officer for the company’s Global Ethics & Compliance Program.
He said the transition in-house wasn’t as much of a change as one might expect, as his practice before had included a supervisory role and he was used to working with outside counsel.
Triplett said the aspect of in-house work that most appealed to him was the opportunity to play an active role in a business. He noted that in addition to his role as general counsel, he is a part of the company’s executive business team.
Triplett said in-house work is “a very rewarding way to practice,” and he enjoys working with his colleagues and the opportunity to learn on the job.
“I’ve been doing this with Black & Veatch a long time,” he said. “It’s just great to be able to continually learn how something works, or how people think, or how to better communicate.”
He said he thinks part of being a successful general counsel is understanding the business and one’s co-workers.
Triplett also credits his family for his success, including his wife, Betsy, and five children.
“In this kind of a job, you have to have the backing and commitment of your family,” he said. “That’s really important to me.”
Looking back on his tenure with Black & Veatch, he said he is especially proud of the work he has put in developing his legal team.
“I am very proud of helping to build a very talented group of professionals who work together, who enjoy what they do and help each other,” he said. “Being able to pull people together and have them work together as a team, and succeed with what they’re doing, that’s really important.”
He said the environment is not unlike working in other firms.
“There is the same type of unity, camaraderie, team spirit that there is in outside practice,” he said. “It’s a team effort and we work at that.”
As part of his work in the community, Triplett serves on boards and committees for KC Rising, an effort focused on spurring economic growth in the region; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; and the Truman Library Institute.
Of the latter, he said it’s been a particularly interesting and rewarding experience.
“The opportunity to learn and contribute to the Truman Library has really been very enjoyable,” he said.