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House Providers Corporations Add Authorized Assist as Biden Ponders Labor Change

Home service companies Alfred Club Inc., TaskRabbit Inc., and Shef Inc. have appointed in-house judges as the Biden government is considering working rules that could change the way the gig economy works.

Alfred, who provides concierge services to apartment buildings and landlords, has hired Matthew Kane as General Counsel. He joins Alfred from Z Capital Group LLC, where he served as Managing Director, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.

TaskRabbit, a mobile workforce provider founded in 2017 by Swedish household goods giant Ikea Group Corp. was acquired, hired new General Counsel Benjamin Edelhart this month, who most recently served as Senior Director, Legal and Corporate Products at Uber Technologies Inc.

Shef, an on-demand cooking company that has dubbed itself “Airbnb for groceries,” hired Danielle Merida as general counsel. She comes to Shef from TaskRabbit.

The internal additions come when the Biden government thinks about a new labor policy. The Department of Labor last month removed a Trump-era rule that would have made it easier for companies to legally view workers as independent contractors. The repeal enables the Biden administration to decide whether the federal wage law applies to gig companies.


Alfred, also known as Hello Alfred, confirmed Kane’s hiring in an email to Bloomberg Law. He comes after the company announced last month the acquisition of HOM, a convenience and community service provider that Alfred reportedly expects to help expand into commercial buildings.

The HOM deal, the value of which was not disclosed, comes after Alfred closed a $ 42 million financing round last October, organized by the family office of the former co-founder of WeWork Cos. Inc. Adam Neumann and several previous investors.

Alfred differs from his contemporaries in the gig economy in that he classifies his workers as employees rather than independent contractors. Bloomberg Law reported this year on Alfred’s decision to introduce a full employment model for those who deliver groceries, do laundry and handle maintenance requests for their customers.

“Any of the 1099 platform companies currently running can be change agents by coming around the table to see how to balance the need for great jobs with a business model that works well on Wall Street,” said Marcela Sapone, co-founder and Alfred CEO, in an interview with Bloomberg Law earlier this year. “There is a really sustainable business model at Uber and it’s hidden in companies like TaskRabbit.”

Alfred is a separate entity from Stay Alfred Inc., a Spokane Valley, Washington-based hospitality startup that hired a new legal chief in early 2020, only to go bankrupt a few months later due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alfred, other than confirming his hiring of Kane for his newly created General Counsel role, did not respond to a request for comment from his outside legal counsel. According to public filings, the company turned to Fenwick & West for branding work.

Z Capital declined to comment on Kane’s departure. Kane spent nearly seven years with the privately held investment manager who promoted him to Chief Legal and Compliance two years ago. Z Capital hired Erik Kreutzer, associate of Goodwin Procter, as director and assistant general counsel in New York last month.

Earlier this month, Z Capital announced that it would merge two of its portfolio companies, Affinity Gaming LLC and Sports Information Group LLC, to create a new company valued at $ 1.3 billion, including debt. Sidley Austin and Massumi + Consoli are advising Affinity and SIG respectively on the transaction.


Founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, TaskRabbit operates an online marketplace for errands and other one-time jobs performed by freelance workers.

Edelhart, a 21-year-old legal veteran at Visa Inc. before joining Uber in mid-2018, didn’t respond to a request for comment on his move to TaskRabbit.

In a LinkedIn post this week revealing his new job, Edelhart said he looks forward to joining the TaskRabbit executive and legal team as we help this incredible company solve everyday problems for consumers, taskers and retailers to solve”.

TaskRabbit spokeswoman Ariel Rothbard confirmed Edelhart’s hiring to succeed Merida, whose departure in April after Shef prompted the company to appoint in-house attorney Marjan Mashhadi as deputy general counsel. Mashhadi has now returned to her previous role as director of law, Rothbard said.

Mashhadi, a former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius employee who once served as the director of industrial relations for the city of New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned an MBA from Yale University, was hired by Merida at TaskRabbit in 2019.

Merida, who spent five years at TaskRabbit, began her career working at Bingham McCutchen, most of which was taken over by Morgan Lewis.


Shef was founded in 2019 by Alvand “Alvin” Salehi, a lawyer and former White House chief technology advisor, and former Facebook Inc. employee Joey Grassia.

Salehi confirmed in an email that Merida has come on board as the first General Counsel and Head of People. Merida recently announced jobs at Shef on LinkedIn for a Senior Counsel and Head of Global Politics and Government Affairs.

Since the company’s inception, Salehi and Grassia have expanded business to seven markets – the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, Seattle, and Austin, Texas. Earlier this month, Shef closed a $ 20 million financing round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Other investors in Shef include technology incubator Y Combinator, M13 Ventures Management LLC, celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez, professional basketball player Andre Iguodala and other well-known figures such as Padma Lakshmi, Tiffany Haddish, Katy Perry and his fiancé Orlando Bloom.

In a LinkedIn post earlier this month, Salehi, a first-generation American, said he was “deeply grateful” to those who support Shef, and recalled that he and Grassia stayed at the from a one-bedroom apartment in Washington DC Idea for the company worked.

Salehi, who was also a research partner at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, said in his email that Shef uses a variety of outside law firms, depending on the company’s needs.

Public records indicate that Holland & Hart is doing branding for the San Francisco-based company Shef, which has been scrutinized by outside chefs for its use of third-party chefs.

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