Environmental & Sustainability
Tell us about your background
and your law department.
I began my law practice in 2003 in the environmental group of a large law firm where I
focused on environmental risks in transactions.
After almost 10 years, I realized that the law
firm life was not for me and so I started my
own practice primarily focused on brownfields
development. This led to an opportunity to join
GE Capital’s real estate investment business as
environmental risk counsel. Shortly after my arrival, GE decided to sell off most of GE Capital,
including the real estate investment arm, and
so I was laid off. I had enjoyed my in-house
work and prioritized that in my job search. I
was extremely fortunate to find my current role
with HP Inc.
What interested you in the in-house
practice of law and how did you come
to be an in your current position?
My interest in in-house work was a result
of both personal and professional goals.
Personally, I felt the right in-house role would
be fulfilling to me and provide a good work/life
balance. Professionally, I wanted to continue to
do sophisticated work without the pressures of
client development and billing time. I applied
for my current position cold following my
layoff from GE Capital. My background was
a good fit with the job posting and I hit it off
right away with the hiring manager (now my
boss) when we spoke. I was the right person at
the right time.
What is the single greatest challenge
that your law department is facing today,
and how are you dealing with it?
Continuing to meet internal client needs with
reduced resources (staff and budget).
In October 2016, you were elected as
chair of the Environmental & Sustainability
Committee? How did you initially get involved?
My first experience with ACC was as chair of
the Environmental & Sustainability Committee.
In 2016, I expressed interest in becoming
involved in leadership of the committee. The
outgoing chair convinced me to take the role
after the incoming chair had to bow out due to
unexpected change is circumstances. It’s been
quite a learning curve but I’m enjoying it.
What are some of the ways that the
Environmental & Sustainability committee
provides value to its members?
I may be biased but I think our monthly Legal
Quick Hits are awesome. Our committee sponsor provides timely content on emerging areas
of concern. This year, we’ve focused a lot on
changes contemplated by the Trump administration and other evolving areas of law (e.g., the
Toxic Substances Control Act).
What substantive practice issues
does your committee address?
Our committee focuses almost exclusively on
substantive areas of law (e.g., air, water, waste,
chemicals, cleanup, supply chain, green marketing claims).
How has the Environmental & Sustainability
Committee helped you in your career?
It has helped me remain current on changing
areas of law. Even if a topic is not top of mind
for me in my current practice, I believe it is
important to remain at least conversant in the
broader discipline of environmental and sustainability law. Participating in the committee is
a great way to do that. ACC
86 ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATE COUNSEL
COMPLIANCE & SOCIAL
PALO ALTO, CA, USA