If you’ve gone on a date in the past two decades, there’s a good chance it’s involved Match Group. The parent company to dating brands like Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and Match had been endeavoring to match partners digitally since Match created the category in 1995.
“One third of marriages start online, and so do more than forty percent of all relationships,” says Jeanette Teckman, vice president and associate general counsel of litigation and IP at Match. “Any dinner or meeting I attend almost always includes someone (or a close friend or family member) who has met their significant other on one of our platforms.”
An Evolving Romance
Teckman joined Match Group in 2017 after cultivating litigation experience at the law firm Gardere, Wynne, & Sewell and wider in-house, litigation, employment, and IP roles at Verizon and TRT Holdings. Coming to Match Group has provided an opportunity to help the company that was on the forefront of internet dating evolve along with technology and customer expectations.
“Match was a pioneer in this space back when there was a stigma associated with meeting someone online,” Teckman says. “Part of my role is helping spread the message of the good our companies do and helping regulators recognize what Match Group stands for.”
As data privacy and other regulations across the world continue to expand, Teckman says protecting that information, always a priority, becomes even more so under her purview. “Laws are being updated constantly, and it can be challenging to navigate those constantly evolving laws and regulations, but it’s also a key part of what I do.”
“We’re trying to help people find love and a soul mate. What can be better than that?”
Working with outside regulators represents only a fraction of Teckman’s wide range of responsibilities. When asked how she’s able to effectively manage IP, litigation, and everything else that falls under the in-house function, she pauses.
“I would say lack of sleep,” Teckman responds with a laugh. “But there is something to that. One big misunderstanding that people have is that when you’re in-house, it means fewer hours. That has not been my experience.” She says she feels like she works as much, if not more, than in her firm days due to the sheer scope of her role and her desire to always give it her all. And for good reason.
“Being responsive is critical to being effective in-house,” Teckman says. “Your business partners need to know that when they contact you, you’ll respond quickly and with good advice.” She says she’s proud to have a smart and reliable team working both below and above her, especially in CLO Jared Sine. “His advice and guidance have been priceless,” Teckman asserts. “Knowing he’s counting on me motivates me to do my best work.”
No Motivation Necessary
Motivation doesn’t seem to be a problem for Teckman. The mother of a three-year old routinely runs marathons, triathlons, and mud runs. She also attends (and teaches) boot-camp workouts five days a week. “I am competitive and love a challenge,” Teckman says. “That desire translates into throwing myself into my work and looking at my cases and projects from every angle I can. If I lose a case, I want to know it’s never from a lack of preparation or effort.”
Teckman says she tries to approach her litigation work with fresh eyes each and every case. “A lot of people will just follow a road map of how a case has been handled before,” she explains. “I’m always looking for a new way to win. You might find something that others have missed or a new argument no one has thought of before.”
It’s not just litigation where Teckman feels the desire to perform at her best. “My view is that I should never say, ‘That’s not my job,’” she says. “Whatever you want to throw at me, that’s my job. I’m willing to step up and do whatever needs to be done.” That’s how she has continued to expand her roles into assisting with government relations and employment law as well as providing general business counsel to her in-house clients.
“My view is that I should never say, ‘That’s not my job,’ Whatever you want to throw at me, that’s my job. I’m willing to step up and do whatever needs to be done.”
Teckman’s motivation also informs how she manages her team—not as an alpha-minded drill instructor, but as someone who trusts the abilities of her colleagues. “As a manager, I try to avoid micromanaging because you need to treat people as the adults they are,” Teckman says. “I know they can handle the work and they know when to seek my help.”
The AGC also says leading by example is a priority. “I’m not ever going to ask someone to do something that I myself wouldn’t also do,” she affirms. “We’re all in this together, and that’s so important to keep in mind.”
Having a team that is able to not only effectively collaborate, but truly enjoy each other’s company is a highlight for Teckman. “Being here just has such a great feeling of being home,” she says. “I take great pride in the entire team that’s assembled around me. Everyone here has core values that I appreciate and make me feel like I’m in the right spot. We’re trying to help people find love and a soul mate. What can be better than that?”
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP:
“Jeanette is smart, hardworking, thoughtful, and well versed in numerous areas of the law. She is an excellent attorney—and most importantly, she just gets things done!”
–Robert Greeson, Partner