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Dentons soars in Bloomberg's 2017 EMEA Loans Legal Adviser rankings
Dentons has risen in Bloomberg's 2017 EMEA Loans Legal Adviser league tables, achieving several top-five rankings on both borrower and lender side mandates.
Are you compliant? A new year brings new laws impacting California employers
With the start of a new year comes a slew of changes to employment and labor law in California.
Can a license issued by Health Canada for producing or dealing cannabis be assigned as security?
The last year has been filled with sensational headlines relating to the spectacular growth and rise to prominence of Licensed Producers (as defined below) in response to the federal government's plan to legalize recreational cannabis use by July 2018.
Opportunities for Venture Capital Investments in Singapore in 2018
Heading into 2018, we look back on several key developments in the legal landscape in the past year that we expect will provide new opportunities for venture capital funds in Singapore.
US Attorney General Sessions reverses Obama administration policy on cannabis
In a memorandum issued on January 4, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would not devote resources to the prosecution of persons acting in compliance with state cannabis laws.
Starting your career as a student at Dentons exposes you to a world of experience and opportunities
With 125+ locations in 50+ countries, Dentons is home to top-tier talent that is found at the intersection of geography, industry knowledge and substantive legal experience. Working with Dentons, you will have the opportunity to learn from the best lawyers in the industry at the largest law firm in the world.
Dentons wins three Bonds, Loans and Sukuk Awards
Dentons' Middle East Banking and Finance team advised on three award-winning deals at the prestigious Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Awards held in Dubai last month.
Dentons welcomes Grant MacKenzie as a partner in our Corporate group
Dentons is pleased to announce that Grant MacKenzie has joined the Firm as a partner in our Corporate group.
Dentons Rodyk transforms the client-lawyer relationship with participation in SAL's Future Law Innovation Programme
Dentons Rodyk is pleased to announce that it has joined Singapore Academy of Law’s Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP) as the featured international law firm among the participating law firms.
Continuing our Alumni Spotlight Series, we sat down with our friend and former Partner, Andrea (Andy) Zopp, President and CEO of Chicago Urban League. Throughout her distinguished career, Andy has held various senior roles in both the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Andy joined legacy firm Sonnenschein in 1997 in Chicago, as a Litigation Partner specializing in the areas of commercial, employment and white-collar criminal litigation. Prior to joining the Firm, she was the First Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County State's Attorney's office, the nation's second largest prosecutor's office, and the first woman and African American to serve in this role.
Andy's experience at the Firm on the business side of law served her well when she went in-house to Sara Lee Corporation in 2000 as its Deputy General Counsel. She then moved to Sears Holdings Corporation as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In 2006, Andy joined Exelon as its Senior Vice President, Human Resources, before being promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel. She currently also serves on the board of Urban Partnership Bank.
As a leader in Chicago's business and civic communities, Andy is an active member of many Chicago Associations and Networks, including the Chicago Board of Education, The Economics Club, Commercial Club and the Black Women Lawyer's Associations. She also serves on the board of the Navy Pier, Inc., the Black Ensemble Theater and the Leadership Greater Chicago.
I received a matter from my former boss right before Thanksgiving. It was a significant preliminary injunction matter that would involve a tremendous amount of work gearing up to go to trial. It was right around the holidays, and I had to put together a large team very quickly. I had no problem getting a team of people, including Natalie Spears, and several others to do a great deal of work in a very short period of time. Regardless of the fact that it was year-end, and it was the holidays, once we started, we worked 24/7 for three weeks. Right up to Christmas and then it settled.
It was significant to me because was an important matter for the Firm and for our client. I was relatively new at the Firm and still getting to know people. But, I soon had a team who had my back and who worked tirelessly to achieve a settlement that the client was very happy with. I really appreciated the way my colleagues worked together on behalf of the firm and the client. It's one of the things that is important to me, and was always integral to the culture of Sonnenschein. When you asked people for help, they stepped up.
It’s hard for me to pick one person because there were so many. Jean Allard, the first female partner of the firm, was a mentor to me and to a lot of women. Jean was an amazing, inspiring person - a great role model and groundbreaker for women. And, she was really funny. She had a great sense of humor, but remained the ultimate professional. I learned a lot from her. Also Scott Turow, who was my first boss in the U.S. Attorney's Office and one of the reasons I ended up coming to Sonnenschein, was a source of much guidance and support.
Before coming to Sonnenschein, I was a criminal prosecutor and had spent all of my time in the legal world on the criminal side. Sonnenschein exposed me to the business side of litigation. By working with corporate clients I was better able to understand how companies balance operational and legal challenges.
I'm grateful to Sonnenschein for exposing me to all kinds of litigation. While interviewing, I was asked what kinds of cases I wanted to work on. I said, "I don't know anything about civil litigation, but I will do anything" - and I did. I did coverage cases, employee litigation, IP work, and more until I finally had a broad range of exposure to a wide variety of clients in different business sectors.
That experience was invaluable to establishing myself as a business lawyer, and it enabled me to make that step from the private sector to in-house. Being a litigator is all about managing risk, pooling together data and taking action. Now, I use those skills all the time.
The simplest, most important thing that companies and law firms can and should do is be intentional about diversity. Too often, organizations and companies assume the world is a huge meritocracy, and if we just let things happen, we will automatically become diverse. But the real world is not meritocracy. We naturally are more aligned with people that are like us and that we’re comfortable with.
If we’re not intentional about diversity - and by that I mean we have to get uncomfortable with walking into partner meetings where there are very few people of color. And uncomfortable with the fact today law school graduating classes include 50% women, but we only have 21% as partners. We need to say that is not acceptable.
The company that I use most often as an example is McDonald's. For a very long time McDonald's has been very intentional about its diversity. For years, they’ve been very intentional about creating diversity within all levels of the company - in their staff, management, franchises, vending, procurement, supply and suppliers. So, it’s not an accident, or even a shock, that eventually they would have a person of color or a woman rise to the CEO position there. And as a result of that intentional effort, they became a better company.
I would tell myself to better appreciate the value of networks, generally. Build and maintain a network, and in particular, make sure that you develop a strong network of women. I have a great group of male friends and mentors. But my female friends are my sisters, my supporters. They have sustained me. When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate that. I had women as friends, but I didn’t appreciate how critical they were to helping me maintain and overcome challenges. They will support you, and you will support them.
On a beach with an umbrella drink. I will still be engaged, in some way professionally, and I’ll continue to be engaged in the community. In ten years, I hope to be doing more board work. I sit on a board of a bank now, I’ve previously sat on the board of a publicly traded company. I’d like to do more of that.
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