Margaret M. Ayres is Counsel to Davis Polk & Wardwell. She specializes in US criminal and other laws applicable to cross-border transactions, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and laws restricting foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies. Ms. Ayres has advised many companies around the world, including software, technology, internet, pharmaceutical, industrial, consumer products, private equity, travel industry, oil, banking and investment banking clients, on the FCPA and related statutes, as well as the other laws just noted. Her most recent FCPA advisory assignment in connection with a publicly-known case was as Davis Polk's lead compliance policy and procedures advisor to Siemens AG for the two years before its settlement with the United States government and German enforcement authorities. She has also been appointed, and will soon begin her duties as, the Compliance Monitor in another settled FCPA case.
Her anti-bribery practice has focused on compliance with transnational anti-corruption measures and conventions as well as FCPA and worldwide enforcement actions and developments. She has designed and developed anti-bribery compliance programs and drafted numerous agent agreements, anti-bribery guidelines and compliance policies, tailored to take account of differences in corporate operations, structures, locations and cultures. In addition, she has advised on all aspects of FCPA compliance, including risk assessments, books and records, gifts and hospitality, business partners and mergers and acquisitions. Her extensive experience with many companies in many industries has allowed her to benchmark the practices of one company against the practices of those similarly situated. She has also represented clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Department of Justice in connection with FCPA-related compliance issues. She frequently conducts training programs at all levels for employees and executives of US companies and their overseas subsidiaries in many parts of the world, as well as for foreign issuers of US securities.
Ms. Ayres has published a number of articles, appeared on numerous panels, and given several workshops over the last 10 years on various FCPA topics, including the elements of an effective compliance program, compliance risk assessments, gifts and entertainment, and protective steps, including due diligence, when dealing with business partners or considering a merger or acquisition. Among the panels on which she has made frequent appearances over time are those hosted by the American Bar Association, the American Conference Institute, the Practicing Law Institute and the New York City Bar Association. She was also asked several years ago by the Justice Department to speak to the SEC's Enforcement Division about the role of outside counsel in FCPA cases and investigations.
She is a member of the Anti-Corruption Initiatives & Compliance Issues Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law, where she was a Vice-Chair until 2007, and was also a Vice-Chair of the predecessor, the ABA's Task Force on Corruption.
Ms. Ayres graduated, with honors, from Smith College and received her law degree from Yale Law School. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association from 1995 to 1997, and was a board member of the Washington International Trade Association or its companion Foundation for over 20 years. She is a member of the D.C. Bar.
Chairman of the firm since 2008, Brad Karp is one of the country’s leading litigators and corporate advisers. Brad has successfully guided numerous Fortune 100 companies, global financial institutions and other companies through “bet the company” litigations, regulatory matters and internal investigations. Prior to being named chairman of Paul, Weiss, Brad chaired the firm’s Litigation Department. Brad has spent his entire career at Paul, Weiss, beginning as a summer associate.
Brad has received numerous industry recognitions over the years. In 2019, Brad was selected as a “Trailblazer” and as a “Distinguished Leader” by the New York Law Journal and as an “Equality Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal. In 2018, Brad received the Special Achievement Award from the Financial Times in recognition of his legal achievements and leadership of Paul, Weiss and was also named the “Attorney of the Year” by the New York Law Journal, “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer, “Sports MVP of the Year” by Law360, and “Securities Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers. In 2017, Brad was selected as a “Litigation Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal and Best Lawyers’ “Banking Lawyer of the Year.” Additional publications consistently rank Brad as one of the leading lawyers in the United States, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Crain’s New York Business, The Financial Times, The Lawyer (U.K.), The Legal 500, Euromoney Institutional Investors, Best of the Best USA and Benchmark/Institutional Investor.
Brad speaks and writes frequently on business litigation, securities litigation and corporate governance. He has spoken at more than 600 conferences and has lectured at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School and The Federal Judicial Center. Brad has written more than 500 articles on business litigation issues. For the past 35 years, Brad has written a monthly column for the New York Law Journal, “Second Circuit Review,” which analyzes developments in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Brad is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. Brad has also spoken out and written about pressing issues of social justice. Most recently, in 2018, Brad authored two op-eds in The New York Times, “Stop Shielding Gun Makers,” advocating changes to gun manufacturer liability laws, and “An Army of Lawyers for Migrants,” urging the private bar to address the unlawful treatment of immigrants and to seek the reunification of separated families. In 2018, Brad also authored an op-ed in the New York Law Journal, “Democracy Itself Is on the Ballot,” addressing voter suppression and disenfranchisement. Brad is also active in the community, serving on more than 25 public interest and educational institution boards.
Brad is a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School and clerked for The Honorable Irving R. Kaufman, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Anastasia D. Kelly (Stasia) is a partner in DLA Piper's Corporate and Finance and Public Company and Corporate Governance practice as well as the firm's White Collar Corporate Crime and Investigations group. Ms. Kelly joined DLA Piper in 2010 after a 15-year career as General Counsel in four leading public companies.
Ms. Kelly was an associate and then a partner with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC between 1985 and 1995, where her practice spanned several areas of the law, including the regulation of financial institutions and securities firms, corporate and securities and intellectual property. Earlier in her career, Ms. Kelly was associated with Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas, Texas, where she practiced in the litigation group.
Ms. Kelly has extensive experience as both outside counsel and as a General Counsel and brings these different perspectives to bear in her current practice, working closely with boards of directors on corporate governance issues, helping clients build effective compliance and regulatory programs, and advising boards and management on crisis management.
Ms. Kelly also sits on two public company boards, Owens-Illinois, the world's largest manufacturer of glass packaging, and Huntington-Ingalls Industries, which designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the US Navy and the Coast Guard. At Owens-Illinois, Ms. Kelly chairs the Risk Committee and is a member of the Compensation Committee. She chairs the Governance and Policy Committee at Huntington-Ingalls Industries.
In her four General Counsel roles, Ms. Kelly focused on helping companies through crises and building effective legal and compliance frameworks. At American International Group (AIG), Ms. Kelly was Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance and Regulatory Officer from 2006 to 2008 and Vice Chairman in 2009. Ms. Kelly was brought to AIG in the capacity of General Counsel to build a worldwide legal, regulatory and compliance team across the AIG enterprise in the aftermath of government investigations related to the company. In her role as Vice Chairman, she was given additional responsibility by the board for government relations, external communications, corporate affairs and human resources across AIG during the financial crisis.
In 2003, Ms. Kelly was asked to join the restructuring team at MCI/WorldCom during its bankruptcy and restructuring. Ms. Kelly served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and helped lead the team that brought MCI out of bankruptcy and restructured the business in the wake of major regulatory changes, culminating in the acquisition of MCI by Verizon in 2006.
In 1999, Ms. Kelly was recruited as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the aftermath of the company's serious compliance issues in its credit business. While at Sears, Ms. Kelly restructured the legal teams and developed and strengthened the company's compliance and regulatory functions. Before her tenure at Sears, Ms. Kelly served as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Fannie Mae. There, she centralized the company's legal and compliance function and upgraded the talent across Fannie Mae's five offices nationwide.
Ms. Kelly is an active leader at DLA Piper and is a member of the firm's Executive Committee. She is a mentor to a number of the firm's women lawyers and is on the leadership committee of the firm's Law Alliance for Women (LAW), which, among other goals, is committed to the hiring, development and advancement of women lawyers at DLA Piper.
Ms. Kelly co-teaches a course at Stanford Law School on the role of the modern general counsel. She is a frequent lecturer on the role of directors in public companies and on crisis management for a number of organizations, including Practicing Law Institute, Corporate Board Member and Georgetown Law School's Corporate Counsel Institute. She is a frequent contributor to Corporate Counsel magazine as well as other publications. She is the editor of Corporate Counsel's Project 5/165, which is committed to increasing the number of women General Counsel in Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Kelly is also on the advisory board of the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford Law School.
Ms. Kelly received her law degree magna cum laude from George Washington University, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Law Review. She received her undergraduate degree from Trinity University in Washington, DC.
Andrew Ross Sorkin is an award-winning journalist and the best-selling author of Too Big to Fail.
He is The New York Times's chief mergers and acquisitions reporter and a columnist. Mr. Sorkin is also the editor of DealBook (nytimes.com/dealbook), an online daily financial report he started in 2001, and an assistant finance editor of the paper's Business Day section.
Too Big to Fail, which is being made into a movie by HBO, was described by The Financial Times as "an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account." It was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson award and the Loeb Award.
Mr. Sorkin is a frequent guest host of CNBC's "Squawk Box" and often appears on "Charlie Rose" on PBS. He won a Gerald Loeb Award in 2004 for breaking news and the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader in 2007.
Mr. Sorkin began writing for The Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: he hadn't yet graduated from high school.
Cynthia Schmitt is Group CFO of Global Mailing and Financial Services, a $2.7 billion division of Pitney Bowes, Inc. New in this role, Cynthia is facilitating the forming of global lines of business and leading the Global Finance transformation effort. Preceding this position, Cynthia was the CFO of Global Financial Services, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Prior to returning to Finance functional roles, she was the Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management for Pitney Bowes, Inc. In this role, Cynthia created and implemented the development of the Enterprise Risk program, partnering with executive management to develop and implement management objectives and lead the financial support for executive management. Many "experts" in the area of enterprise risk (ERM) considered Pitney Bowes to be at the forefront of this discipline for commercial companies and it is built into the fabric of the culture today.
Cynthia joined Pitney Bowes in 2001 as CFO and Vice President of Administration for Pitney Bowes Management Services, a $1 billion service division of Pitney Bowes. In this position, she integrated two acquisitions, doubling the size of the business, secured $5 million in acquisition escrow, saved $5 million through rationalization and productivity savings, and managed an organization of 200 people.
Cynthia's finance career has encompassed both international and domestic businesses in both consumer products and business to business enterprises. Prior to joining Pitney Bowes, Cynthia held senior Financial executive roles at Revlon and Sara Lee Corporation. Prior to joining Sara Lee Corporation, Cynthia held both operational and staff financial positions of increasingly responsibility at Diageo, Playtex/ Max Factor. She received her BS in Accounting at Bryant University and while traveling for Playtex earned an MBA at the University of Bridgeport.
Cynthia served on the board of the Girl Scouts, chaired the Consumer Share Forum for ERM and is a member of the Executive Forum.
David J. Sorkin has been General Counsel of KKR since 2007. Prior to joining KKR, David was a partner in the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP for 14 years, where he served on the Executive Committee and as one of KKR's principal outside counsel. He graduated with a B.A. from Williams College and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Primary Areas of Practice: Employment Law
Law School / Graduate School: Columbia University School of Law
Seyfarth Shaw LLP, 2001-10
Rosenman & Colin LLP, 1997-2000
Professional Memberships: American Bar Association
James R. Beyer (Jim) is Director of Employment Law at Accenture, where he has led the group since 1998. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, currently with approximately 180,000 people serving clients in over 120 countries.
Prior to joining Accenture, Jim was a Senior Employment Law Attorney with International Business Machines Corporation from 1994-1998. He was also previously Counsel to Gardner, Carton & Douglas in Chicago, Illinois from 1992-1994 and an associate with the Chicago office of Seyfarth, Shaw from 1988-1992. He was a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1985-1987.
Jim has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law since 2003, where he teaches Privacy in Employment Law and International Employment Law. Jim was elected as a Fellow to The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2006.
Jim is also active in many pro bono activities. He created and has chaired the Accenture Legal group's pro bono and corporate citizenship program since 2004. Jim is a frequent speaker and writer in the employment law area both in the US and internationally.
Jim has a B.A. from DePauw University in Political Science and received his J.D. with highest honors from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review.
Judith A. Reinsdorf is executive vice president and general counsel for Tyco International. In this role, she is responsible for the company's legal organization, which includes corporate governance, compliance and regulatory affairs, public affairs and environment, health and safety.
Reinsdorf rejoined Tyco in March 2007 after having served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of C. R. Bard, Inc., from October 2004 to February 2007. Previously, she served as vice president and corporate secretary for Tyco International from 2003 to 2004 and was vice president and associate general counsel at Pharmacia Corporation from 2000 to 2003. From 1995 to 2000, she held the position of assistant general counsel and then chief legal counsel for corporate matters at Monsanto Company.
Reinsdorf holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Rochester and a juris doctor degree from Cornell Law School.
ABOUT TYCO INTERNATIONAL
Tyco International is a diversified, global company that provides vital products and services to customers in more than 60 countries. With 100,000 employees worldwide, Tyco is a leading provider of security products and services, fire protection and detection products and services, valves and controls, and other industrial products.
Karen Kirchen is currently the General Counsel for Global Legal Strategy and Policy for Citi's Institutional Clients Group. She has held a wide variety of positions at Citi over several decades, including as General Counsel of the North America Corporate and Investment Bank; Co-General Counsel of Citicorp's Corporate and Investment Bank in Japan, Europe and North America; and Citigroup Head of Global Compliance. Karen began her career as an Associate at Weil Gotshal.
Karen received a J.D. from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor in 1977 and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1973.
Kerry Kotouc is a Vice President & General Counsel in the Walmart Legal Department. Kerry currently heads two teams, a team that provides legal support for the corporate affairs & government relations teams, and the legal administration and external relations team which focuses on the department’s internal and external diversity efforts and management of outside law firms. Prior to this position, Kerry coordinated the legal department’s recruiting efforts and was instrumental in the formation of the nationally recognized legal diversity outreach program. Kerry joined the legal department in 2004 in the litigation section managing tort litigation.
Prior to joining Walmart, Kerry practiced law in Bentonville, Arkansas as a county prosecutor. Kerry handled major narcotics cases and assisted the local drug task force. She tried numerous criminal cases including capital murder trials.
Kerry earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the Ohio State University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law. She is licensed in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas.
Lynn M. Easterling is the Senior Director of Legal Services for Cisco Systems, Inc., where she is responsible for legal support of worldwide sales of Cisco's products and services, as well as for Cisco Capital, Cisco's captive finance arm. Her team of 100+ lawyers and legal professionals are responsible for structuring complex commercial opportunities around the globe consistent with Cisco's values of transparency and maximizing customer and shareholder value. Her focus areas include intellectual property, competition law, law department management, talent development, negotiation strategies and skills, compliance, and knowledge management. Prior to joining Cisco, Ms. Easterling held various legal positions at Williams Communications and Nortel Networks and holds undergraduate and advanced degrees from Dartmouth College and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Ms. Easterling is also a regular speaker and panelist at legal seminars and conferences. In addition to her paid work, she has served on the Boards of Restore NYC, Inc. (a non-profit organization serving women escaping sex slavery and trafficking in NYC) and the residential co-op where she lives in New York City.
Marc Firestone is Executive Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Kraft Foods Inc. Marc is responsible for the company's corporate and government affairs, legal and compliance functions worldwide.
Marc previously served as Kraft's Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In that role, he was responsible for the company's legal function worldwide and also served as Corporate Secretary of Kraft Foods Inc.
Prior to joining Altria Group, Inc. (formerly Philip Morris Companies Inc.) in 1988, where he held a number of senior management positions within Legal and Regulatory affairs, Marc was an attorney at Arnold & Porter. In 1993, Marc was named Regional Counsel for Philip Morris Europe, covering Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in Switzerland. From 1995 to 1997, Marc was Senior Vice President, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs and Associate General Counsel for Philip Morris Companies in New York.
Marc returned to Switzerland in 1998 as Chief Counsel for Philip Morris Europe. In 2001, he became Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Philip Morris International. Marc joined Kraft in 2003 as Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Kraft Foods, and later that year was named Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Kraft Foods.
Marc earned his Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages and Philosophy from Washington & Lee University and received his Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law.
Michael A. Monts is Vice President, Business Practices, at United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Monts graduated from the College of Law, University of Illinois, in 1976, and is a member of the bar in Connecticut, Illinois (inactive), and the District of Columbia (inactive). He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1973, with honors. Within UTC, Mr. Monts is responsible for the corporation's ethics and compliance programs, worldwide. Prior to assuming this role in 2005, he served in a variety of positions within UTC's law department, including Vice President & General Counsel of the Hamilton Sundstrand business unit and Associate General Counsel at UTC's corporate headquarters. Prior to joining UTC in 1981, Mr. Monts was an attorney-advisor in the Navy's Office of General Counsel (Naval Air Systems Command) and in the DOD's Office of General Counsel (Acquisition & Logistics). He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Illinois law school, and served eight years as an elected member of the Board of Finance for the Town of Avon, Connecticut. He also is a member of the Working Group of the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct ("DII") and a Fellow of the Ethics Resource Center.
Randall E. Mehrberg is president of PSEG Energy Holdings and Chairman of the Board of Energy Storage & Power. PSEG Energy Holdings develops, manages and owns renewable energy solutions including solar, energy storage and off shore wind. PSEG Energy Holdings also owns power plants in the United States and energy and other investments in the United States and abroad. Mehrberg is also PSEG's executive vice president responsible for corporate strategy, public affairs, policy, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate communications. He is a member of PSEG's corporate executive leadership team and has responsibility for overseeing the corporate balanced scorecard. Mehrberg's responsibilities include PSEG's emergent technology and transfer group, ensuring development of a corporate strategy that includes a comprehensive assessment of the role of technology in the future of our industry.
Mehrberg joined PSEG after serving for eight years in various executive leadership positions at Chicago-based Exelon Corp., most recently as executive vice president, chief administrative officer and chief legal officer. Prior to his tenure at Exelon, Mehrberg was an equity partner in the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block, where he worked from 1980 to 1993 and again from 1997 to 2000. He represented corporations, individuals, not-for-profits and government entities in a broad range of matters. From 1993 to 1997 he served as lakefront director and general counsel for the City of Chicago's Park District.
Mehrberg holds a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. He has been active in a number of business and civic organizations, including serving as vice chairman of the board of Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited. Mr. Mehrberg currently serves as a board member of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and the University of Michigan Law School, NJN Television Foundation, Millennium Park and the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Mehrberg has been the recipient of numerous awards, such as the AJC Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund Legal Services Award, the Chicago Bar association David C. Hilliard Award, the Catholic Charities Award for Service to the Poor, and the H.O.P.E. for the People Award - Man of the Year.
Richard F. Ziegler is Managing Partner of Jenner & Block LLP's New York office. He focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, international arbitration and corporate governance matters, including contract and financial disputes and corporate compliance issues. Mr. Ziegler co-chairs the Firm's International Arbitration Practice, formerly co-chaired the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice, and serves on the Firm's Management Committee.
The Chambers USA guide describes Mr. Ziegler as "an extraordinarily gifted advocate." In 2010 he was listed by BTI Consulting as one of its "Client Service All Stars," an unsolicited award based on client feedback on lawyering talent and business acumen.
Mr. Ziegler joined Jenner & Block from the 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he served from 2003 - 2007 as Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel and led a department of more than 150 lawyers in 24 countries. Before joining 3M, Mr. Ziegler was a partner at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York for more than two decades, serving as coordinator of its New York litigation practice and a member of its worldwide Executive Committee. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York and as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney in that office.
Drawing on his experience as in-house and external counsel, Mr. Ziegler is a frequent author and speaker on compliance and governance matters, including on enterprise risk management, the role of the board of directors in corporate compliance programs and on FCPA compliance processes. He Co-Chaired PLI's Corporate Compliance and Ethics Institute in New York in 2010, and Co-Chaired PLI's Corporate Counsel Institutes in both 2007 and 2008. His article "New Obstacles in Setting the Tone at the Top" was published in Corporate Secretary and the Bloomberg Corporate Law Journal, and as a monograph by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures.
Mr. Ziegler was Chairman of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar Association in 1995-98. He taught a seminar on ethics and complex litigation for three semesters at Columbia Law School.
Mr. Ziegler graduated from Yale College summa cum laude in 1971, where he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1975 and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Ziegler clerked for Federal District Court Judge Milton Pollack in Manhattan.
Michele Coleman Mayes is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for the New York Public Library (2012 – present). She previously held the position of General Counsel for Allstate Insurance Company (2007-2012) and Pitney Bowes Inc. (2003-2007). Ms. Mayes served on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration from 2013-2014. She was Chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession of the American Bar Association from 2014-2017. In 2015, she became a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel. In August 2016, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO). She is a sought after speaker on the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Ms. Thomsen, who was the first woman to serve as the Director of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is a litigator practicing in Davis Polk’s Washington DC office. Her practice concentrates in matters related to the enforcement of the federal securities laws. She has represented clients in SEC enforcement investigations and inquiries, in enforcement matters before other agencies, including the Department of Justice (various U.S. Attorneys Offices) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, in investigations and inquiries from self-regulatory agencies, including FINRA, and in internal investigations. These matters, which are typically non-public, have covered a broad range of securities related subject matters, including insider trading, foreign corrupt practices, financial reporting, manipulation and regulatory compliance. Her clients have included major financial institutions, regulated entities, public companies and senior executives.
Ms. Thomsen returned to Davis Polk in 2009 after 14 years of public service at the SEC. While there she held a variety of positions and ultimately served as the Director of Enforcement from 2005 through February 2009. During her tenure as the Director of Enforcement, she led the Enron investigation, the auction rate securities settlements, the stock options back dating cases and the expansion of the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.
She is a graduate of Smith College (A.B. ’76, Government (High Honors)) and Harvard Law School (J.D. ’79).
Susan Hackett founded Legal Executive Leadership, in the Fall of 2011 after serving for 22 years as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC] in Washington, DC. Susan's practice is designed to help legal executives successfully lead law departments and law firms, as well as lead other legal industry service organizations: she helps legal leaders to leverage knowledge, increase value, deliver results and practice more efficiently in the "New Normal."
Over the course of her career with ACC, Susan worked with thousands of law departments, hundreds of law firms, and most major professional organizations and legal service providers around the world. This experience offered her rare insight and trusted access to the diverse and day-to-day strategic and operational workings of the widest network of legal leaders, and affords her (and her clients) an unusual advantage in her consulting practice.
Since forming LEL, Susan's been tapped for retentions to:
During her career at ACC, Susan held a number of roles and responsibilities. Often referred to as the "voice of the in-house bar," she is most widely recognized for
Susan has addressed more than 800 legal audiences as one of the industries most sought-after speakers, and has been quoted by most every major US legal and business publication and media outlet covering legal issues. She's served on the boards of several major legal public interest organizations, and has been awarded numerous honors, including, most recently, election into the fellowship of the College of Law Practice Management.
Susan also led ACC's pro bono and diversity initiatives for corporate law departments, partnering with the Pro Bono Institute to create and implement Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), and with Street Law to create and implement the ACC/Street Law Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline program. She instituted and led ACC's efforts to partner with the diverse bars to create new legal leadership opportunities for women, lawyers of color, and other groups promoting diversity in the legal profession.
Susan is a 1983 graduate (dual B.A. in political philosophy and international relations) of James Madison College at Michigan State University, and a 1986 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to joining ACC, Susan served as a transactional associate at Patton Boggs LLP.
Thomas A. Russo is AIG Executive Vice President, Legal, Compliance, Regulatory Affairs and Government Affairs, and General Counsel. He joined AIG in February 2010.
Mr. Russo is an industry leader who, in his 40-year career, has served as a lawyer, regulator, author and academic. He came to AIG from the New York office of Patton Boggs LLP, where he served as Senior Counsel. He was Chief Legal Officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings until December 2008. Before joining Lehman in 1993, Mr. Russo was a Partner at the Wall Street law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and a member of its Management Committee.
Mr. Russo has significant experience in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement and broker-dealer operations, and worked for the SEC as an attorney in its Division of Trading and Markets. He was an Advisor to the Brady Commission, as well as Deputy General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the first Director of its Division of Trading and Markets.
He has authored more than 70 articles related to financial market regulation and has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” Mr. Russo co-wrote “The 2008 Financial Crisis and its Aftermath: Addressing the Next Debt Challenge,” which was published by the Group of Thirty in 2011. Mr. Russo also authored the “Regulation of the Commodities Futures and Options Markets,” a two-volume treatise on federal commodities laws, and co-authored the federal securities law treatise “Regulation of Brokers, Dealers and Securities Markets.” Mr. Russo is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, where he taught a course on the 2008 financial crisis.
Mr. Russo and his team have won the following awards: Best USA Legal Department – Financial Services and Insurance at the International Legal Alliance Summit & Awards (2016), Association of Corporate Counsel – ACC Value Champion (2015), New York State Bar Association – President’s Pro Bono Service Award (2015), Pro Bono Institute’s CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award (2014), New York Law Journal – Legal Department of the Year – Outstanding Legal Department (2014), and Corporate Counsel Magazine – Best Legal Department (2014). In 2015, Mr. Russo received the Financial Times Most Innovative General Counsel in North America, US In-House Individual of the Year for Insurance from The Legal 500 and in 2014, Mr. Russo received the Pro Bono Partnership’s Champion Award and was named by First Chair as a Top General Counsel. In 2011, Mr. Russo was recognized as a “Legend in Law” by the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement and in 2012, Mr. Russo received the “Humanitarian Award” from the Institute of International Education and the St. Thomas More Award from the Inner-City Scholarship Fund.
Amy C. Sochard is the Senior Director in FINRA’s Advertising Regulation Department. The Department protects investors by helping to ensure that broker dealers use advertisements and other sales communications that are fair, balanced, and not misleading. Ms. Sochard leads the department’s investigative and targeted examination activities. She also serves as liaison to other FINRA departments involved in examinations including the Departments of Enforcement and Member Regulation. In addition, Ms. Sochard oversees staff dedicated to the routine review of communications filed with the Department by broker dealers. Ms. Sochard assists in the development of rules and interpretations for communications with the public and social media, and she routinely speaks at industry events on these topics. Prior to joining FINRA’s predecessor (NASD), Ms. Sochard worked with a real estate syndication firm in Washington, DC. She received a B.A. with Distinction in English from the University of Virginia and studied poetry writing at Columbia University.