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Legal Operations 2021

Speaker(s): Allison Hardin, Apur Patel, Bryan Parker, Chloe Carver, Christina Wojcik, Frances Pomposo, Graham Allan, Greg Bennett, Kathleen A. Orr, Marcelo Peviani, Mirra Levitt, Vedika Mehera
Recorded on: Nov. 2, 2021
PLI Program #: 306863

Allison Hardin is a Legal Operations professional with over 12 years of experience managing corporate Legal departments. She currently is a Senior Legal Operations Manager at Juniper Networks and oversees the global contract operations. Allison and her team provide data-driven and purpose fit People, Process and Technology solutions that enable the Juniper Legal team to become a competitive advantage for the business. Prior to Juniper, Allison supported Legal Operations at various companies such as Tesla, SolarCity, and OnLive. She is passionate about creating the most efficient, thoughtful, fun, and innovative Legal Operations function.

Apur Patel recently joined Clorox as Vice President & Associate General Counsel where he leads a global legal team responsible for supporting Clorox’s International business, strategic partnerships and alliances, technology transformation and legal operations.  Prior to joining Clorox, he was in the Cisco Legal Department where he led Cisco’s Legal Operations and Technology Acquisition groups.  He also built the first global Legal Operations function at Cargill.  Apur spent 14 years at UnitedHealth Group in Minneapolis, MN in a variety of roles leading the Intellectual Property & Technology legal teams and the legal support for the Optum division’s Asian operations.  He has served as the Co-Chair and the Interim Executive Director of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a non-profit dedicated to attracting, recruiting, retaining and advancing attorneys of colour in the Minneapolis/St. Paul community.

Chloe Carver manages Microsoft’s law firm engagement programs as a part of the Legal Business & Strategy team.  Her work includes law firm diversity initiatives and programs, preferred partner programs, general legal procurement, and legal pricing.  With extensive experience in business operations across a variety of industries, she brings over 14 years of expertise to the legal operations field.  Prior to her role at Microsoft, Chloe was a member of pricing and innovation teams at several law firms based out of the PNW and most recently served as Chief of Staff to the VP of HR Technology and Analytics at Nordstrom.  Chloe received her MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and has a BA in political science. 

Christina Wojcik, Esq.’s, career is focused on building solutions to solve critical legal and business challenges. By consulting on and implementing best practices, leveraging technology, outsourcing and creating innovative solutions to complex problems, she has assisted her clients in driving revenue, achieving cost savings and efficiency, and has helped them reduce risk across the enterprise. At Citi, Christina is responsible for driving innovation across organizational design, technology, process and client experience. Prior to joining Citi, Christina led the Solutions and Enablement team, globally, at Seal Software. As VP of Solutions and Enablement, she managed a team of technical PreSales Solution Consultants to demonstrate best-in-class solutions to meet the complex contractual needs of Fortune 1000 organizations. She also ensured that the field team had the training, tools and resources necessary to achieve the greatest success. As Practice Executive, Contract Management at IBM, Christina was responsible for Contract Management Strategy & Best Practices at IBM. She worked closely with Fortune 500 companies to replace high-risk, manually intensive contract management processes with proven, scalable technology that delivers complete risk oversight and obligation management to legal organizations, while streamlining the end-to-end process, thereby increasing revenue and reducing costs. Christina has also worked in the Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) industry (Thomson Reuters, Pangea3) as a Director of Legal Solutions, where her primary responsibilities included consulting in-house legal counsel on the evaluation and implementation of contract lifecycle management, corporate governance and litigation solutions by outsourcing legal work to India.

Graham Allan is Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Legal Department Operations at Cisco Systems.  Graham is responsible for cross functional alignment and operational effectiveness within the Legal Department and a number of strategic projects directly for the General Counsel and other members of Cisco’s Executive Leadership Team.

During his twenty years at Cisco, Graham has managed a number of different teams in the Legal Department, including leading the European legal team, heading the global team supporting sales, marketing, Cisco Capital financing  and channels (twice); managing the legal team supporting engineering globally and running the legal group supporting Cisco’s Service Provider and IoT businesses.

Graham joined Cisco in 1999 in London, from law firm Baker & McKenzie.  Graham worked for Baker & McKenzie from 1989-99, in their London and San Francisco/Palo Alto offices.  During his time at Baker & McKenzie, Graham was a member of the intellectual property and information technology group and handled both litigation and commercial transactions.  He was made a partner in 1998.

Graham is on the Management Board for the Cisco Heritage Center and has served on the Board of the American Liver Foundation.   He lives near Cisco’s Headquarters in San Jose, California, with his wife, two children and Samoyed dog!

Kate Orr is Senior Innovation Counsel for Orrick.

Orrick has been named by the Financial Times as the Most Innovative Law Firm in North America from 2016-2018 and runner-up in 2019. Kate is key member of Orrick’s innovation team. She works closely with clients and attorneys to implement novel products, streamlined processes, and technology solutions, all with an eye for higher quality and more efficient service.

Kate also leads CaseStream, Orrick's homegrown case management system, which streamlines the day-to-day management of litigation and transactions. The Financial Times recognized CaseStream as the #1 most innovative New Product and Service in 2017.

Kate represented commercial clients in complex trial and appellate litigation throughout the United States at Orrick. She remains active in numerous pro bono matters and was awarded the first annual Orrick Pro Bono Award. Kate also served as an adjunct professor of Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy at the University Maryland School of Law.

Mirra Levitt is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Priori, the legal marketplace changing the way in-house teams find and engage outside counsel. Priori’s clients -- Fortune 500, financial services and fast-growing technology companies -- use the platform to create customized RFPs, and Priori’s matchmaking software identifies best-fit attorneys from a global vetted network of firms. Priori was named a Band 1 Global Law Tech Vendor by Chambers, a Financial Times Intelligent Business in 2018 and 2019 for its work reducing the cost of legal services by 60%, and has been featured in the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Corporate Counsel and TechCrunch.

Mirra was named a 2021 Corporate Counsel In-House Trailblazer, a 2021 FastCase 50 class member, and a 2018 ABA Legal Rebel for her work using data to dynamically match in-house counsel with the right lawyers for projects. Before Priori, Mirra worked as an associate at Covington & Burling LLP, a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs and was a Henry Luce Scholar in the microfinance program in Save the Children’s Hanoi, Vietnam office. Mirra holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. from Brown University and is a member of the New York and Massachusetts Bars.

Vedika Mehera is Orrick's Innovation Advisor.

Vedika has devoted her career to improving the delivery of legal services. She is trained and skilled in legal operations and technology and applies Six Sigma principles to each project. She uses her legal background to understand the business of law, and her technical and process skills to enhance client value. Working closely with clients and matter teams, Vedika's engagements range from consulting on quick-wins using low fidelity solutions, to in-depth and ongoing collaboration with multiple stakeholders and tools across the firm, to solve complex challenges.

Vedika also works closely with the firm's IT department to assist in researching and advising on technologies for firm-wide adoption that increase the productivity, quality, and efficiency of service delivery.

As CEO, Bryan runs the day-to-day operations of Legal Innovators. He understands the challenges of running corporate law practices and law firms. Not only is he trained in the law, he is also a leader in business. Bryan served has served in various leadership roles in public and private companies, including DaVita and Affinity Media, and also has a background in investment banking. One of his passions is helping clients find innovative solutions to their hiring, pricing, diversity and inclusion challenges in an efficient and cost-effective manner. He can relate to the pressure today’s businesses face to reduce costs, while preserving quality. Bryan leads our team with this dual focus in mind.

With a background in law, finance, and business, Bryan is skilled at managing and revitalizing large companies with very large budgets. Bryan started his career with Shearman & Sterling LLC on the M&A team, where Legal Innovators Co-Founder Jonathan Greenblatt was his mentor (during his summer clerkship). This relationship inspired Jon and Bryan to found Legal Innovators. Bryan went on to take leadership roles in investment banking and other businesses. Most recently, Bryan served as the CEO for DoubleDutch (now part of Cvent), a venture-backed, community-based technology company in California. At Affinity Media, he took a money-losing operation and helped transform it into a $200 million dollar thriving enterprise with operations in the United States, China, and Korea. His responsibilities at Affinity Media also included leading a $60 million dollar round of financing and completing three M&A transactions.

Bryan also led the Internal Growth and Real Estate operations at DaVita – a Fortune 500 company. When he took over, his division was an underperforming $400 million dollar business. After over four years under his leadership, revenue grew to more than $800 million dollars, with an attractive profit profile. Bryan also has experience in legislative and lobbying efforts for Congress.

In recognition of his corporate leadership, Bryan was selected for membership in the Executive Leadership Council — a national organization of African American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies.

Frances Pomposo is the Senior Director of Legal Operations and Chief of Staff to the General Counsel at Workday. Previously she was Head of Legal Operations at Lyft and managed Legal Operations at Adobe.

Greg is a Senior Legal Operations Manager at Workday and focuses primarily on the Legal Department’s Outside Counsel Program. Prior to Workday, Greg worked in legal operations roles at Sun Microsystems, Autodesk, and most recently Gilead Sciences. He has deep experience in niche legal technologies like document management, contract management, and spend management;  as well as business operational functions. Also, he actually enjoys SPAM.

I believe organizational health is the backbone of a high performing team, which I foster under an output driven and people first culture, with attorneys and other legal professionals working as enablers of cross functional collaboration, focusing on delivering efficiencies and overachieving goals (revenue acceleration, risk mitigation, enhanced controls and cost savings).

I have been blessed with the opportunity of working as an in-house counsel in business organizations of diverse cultural backgrounds and in multiple industries, which helped me to develop competencies that I leverage favorably to clients and stakeholders: action oriented mindset, structured change management and PMO, being comfortable in dealing with ambiguity, building effective teams, and prioritizing work-life balance, particularly having quality time with my wife and our three daughters.