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Google taps new general counsel as company faces antitrust scrutiny

Halimah DeLaine Prado takes over day-to-day legal duties at the search giant.

Halimah DeLaine Prado

Google on Tuesday said it appointed Halimah DeLaine Prado, a longtime member of the search giant's legal team, to be its new general counsel, a move that comes as the company faces a litany of legal pressures. 

Google, along with other tech giants in Silicon Valley, is under intense antitrust scrutiny from state and federal officials. The US Department of Justice has been investigating Google for alleged anticompetitive practices and is expected to file a landmark lawsuit against the company. Meanwhile, state attorneys general have been probing the company's digital ad operation.

Last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai joined the CEOs of Apple, Facebook and Amazon at a high-profile congressional hearing over antitrust, where the leaders were grilled by lawmakers over their market dominance, privacy policies and stances on working with the military. 

As the company's legal battles loom, DeLaine Prado is taking over Google's day-to-day legal operations from its previous general counsel, Kent Walker. Two years ago, Walker was promoted to be the company's senior vice president of global affairs, a more expansive and public-facing role, though he still retained the duties of his old job. DeLaine Prado will report to Walker. 

"She is uniquely qualified to lead the Legal Department at this critical moment, and I look forward to working with her as we enter this next chapter," Walker said in a statement. 

DeLaine Prado joined Google in 2006. Most recently, she was Google's vice president of legal, where she managed teams focused on products including search, ads, cloud and YouTube, which Google owns.