2019 General Counsel Roundtable Program

The 2019 General Counsel Roundtable was sponsored by Bartlit Beck LLP.

  • Wednesday, May 15 (Bartlit Beck | 54 W Hubbard St., Suite 300, Chicago IL)
    • Welcome Reception and Dinner
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      • Cocktails begin at 6:00pm, dinner served at 6:45pm

  • Thursday, May 16 (Gleacher Center | 450 Cityfront Plaza Dr., Chicago, IL, Room 408)
    • Registration & Breakfast
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    • Opening Remarks by Securities and Exchange Commissioner Robert Jackson (with audience Q&A)
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    • Panel 1: The Evolving Role of the Modern GC
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      • With an introduction by Professor Randal C. Picker, University of Chicago Law School

        General Counsel are increasingly asked to play a broader role in corporations. Today’s General Counsel is a trusted, strategic adviser to the CEO who manages functions such as compliance, communications, HR, and corporate development. This panel will lead a discussion on that evolution, including a focus on how General Counsel have transitioned their careers out of legal into formal business roles and to positions on public-company board of directors.  

        Confirmed panelists include:

        Charles Gill
        Mr. Gill is the Executive Vice President & General Counsel of United Technologies Corp (UTC). He joined UTC in 1994 and, in addition to serving in various legal positions throughout the company during his tenure, he was the Executive Assistant to the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of UTC from 2002 to 2005.

        Kim Rucker
        Ms. Rucker serves on the Board of Directors at Marathon Oil Corporation, Celanese Corporation, Lennox International, Inc., and John Hopkins Medicine. She is the former Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary at Andeavor and previously served as the General Counsel of Kraft Foods Group, Avon Products, and Energy Future Holdings. 

    • Panel 2: Navigating a Corporate Crisis
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      • With an introduction by Professor Douglas Baird, University of Chicago Law School

        The list of potential crises is long and daunting—data breaches, government investigations, material litigation, missed earnings, natural disasters, alleged improprieties by a senior executive, product recalls. The increasing complexity of the business and political environment means crises are more likely than ever before. Yet many corporations don’t have a crisis management plan in place, and the challenge of dealing with a crisis often falls heavily on the General Counsel. This panel will explore the dynamics of crisis management and discuss the role of the General Counsel in preparing for and dealing with a crisis.

        Confirmed panelists include:

        Alex Dimitrief
        Mr. Dimitrief is the former President and CEO of the Global Growth Organization at GE. Before that he served as the General Counsel of GE and of GE Capital, and as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

        Gerald Masoudi
        Mr. Masoudi is Chief Legal Officer at JUUL Labs. Mr. Masoudi formerly served as the General Counsel of Celgene Corporation, and as Chief Counsel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

        Sarah Teachout 
        Ms. Teachout is Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Trinity Industries, Inc. Prior to joining Trinity, she was a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP and at Haynes and Boone, LLP.

    • Keynote Lunch Talk: Algorithms and Law
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      • Sendhil Mullainathan 
        University Professor, Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science, and George C. Tiao Faculty Fellow at Chicago Booth

        Professor Mullainathan is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” has been designated as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and was labeled a “Top 100 Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine.

    • Panel 3: Managing a Legal Department
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      • With an introduction by Professor William Henderson, Maurer School of Law

        From a modest beginning in the 1980s, law departments now have a significant role in the legal ecosystem—one-fifth of all private sector attorneys in the United States are in-house. As the size, profile, and cost of law departments have increased, the pressure on General Counsel to lead, manage, and operate their departments effectively and efficiently has also increased. This panel will lead a discussion on the best practices for managing large law departments, including aligning the department’s activities with the strategic goals of the business, implementing effective cost-containment strategies, and communicating the value of the department to peers in the C-suite. 

        Confirmed panelists include:

        D. Cameron Findlay 
        Mr. Findlay is Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary at Archer Daniels Midland Company. Mr. Findlay formerly served as the General Counsel of Medtronic, Inc. and Aon Corporation, and as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor.

        Suzette Long
        Ms. Long is Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at Caterpillar, Inc. She has been with Caterpillar since 2004; and before that, was an attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy.

        Thomas O’Neill 
        Mr. O’Neill is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Exelon Corporation. Prior to joining Exelon. Mr. O’Neill was a partner at Jenner & Block.

    • Fireside Chat between University of Chicago Law School Dean Thomas Miles and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Media, Regulation, and the General Counsel
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      • The event will conclude with a fireside chat between Dean Miles and FCC Chairman Pai covering topics such as the evolving shape of today’s media and communications industries and the expanding regulatory landscape in which corporations exist. As changes in new media accelerate, lawyers and regulators find themselves responding to new technology in real time. Likewise, corporations find their actions subject to multiple and sometimes conflicting regulatory jurisdictions. Chairman Pai will share his thoughts on these questions and his broader perspective on the interaction of corporate counsel with regulatory agencies.

    • Reception