Creative Approaches to Risk and Crisis Management: Roles and Responsibilities in the Corporate Legal Environment

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: October 04, 2018
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2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
  • The Complexities of Compliance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Data Protection and Cybersecurity
  • Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
  • Political Risk
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 4, 2018


Corporate law departments have evolved so as to take on a greater role in the predictability of and responsibility for compliance and risk management within their organizations. To accomplish this, leading law departments are engaging in creative strategies to help anticipate, mitigate, and manage risks and crises.

In this session, we will explore the strategy of in-house counsel in their identification and management of the teams they assemble to assess commercial, technological, and regulatory issues, situations, and litigations in a dynamic global environment. How the level and complexity of risk impacts the strategy, as well as the identification of the best mix of resources to perform particular functions, will be considered. The major risks and crises facing various industries in the near future also will be evaluated.

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference held on October 4th, 2018.

Provided By

Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference


Dr. Sandy Kuzmich

Haug Partners

Dr. Kuzmich serves as the co-chair of the firm’s Life Sciences practice group. Her practice focuses on patent litigation and strategic intellectual property counseling in the areas of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and biotechnology. Recognizing that product life-cycle management is continuous and dynamic, she develops, manages, and protects diverse patent portfolios, taking into consideration a client’s immediate and long-term business objectives. Her extensive experience in pharmaceutical patent litigation allows her to offer a distinctive approach to protecting and maximizing the value of intellectual property assets. She specializes in counseling clients on how to obtain strong and diverse intellectual property protection on pharmaceuticals and biological products during early research, and how to expand and defend that protection throughout development, product launch, and beyond.

Upon completion of her graduate degree in pharmacology, Dr. Kuzmich became a post-doctoral research associate with the Fox Chase Cancer Center where she investigated mechanisms of anti-cancer drug resistance. She spent several years in the private pharmaceutical sector, managing departments in the U.S. in the areas of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, and also collaborating with Asian and European counterparts to coordinate worldwide regulatory submissions.

Dr. Kuzmich serves on the Board of Directors for the Federal Circuit Bar Association, which includes being a frequent lecturer at various international conferences throughout the year.

Shari Lisa Piré

Chief Legal Officer and Member of the Board
Cognate BioServices, Inc.

Ms. Pir? joined Cognate in 2015. A seasoned attorney and member of the Cognate senior management team, Ms. Pir? is fully engaged in a wide range of legal and general management matters. Leading all of the legal and corporate affairs of Cognate and its affiliates, Ms. Pir?, develops, directs and advises the Board and the CEO, COO, CFO, and other executives on all legal and strategic matters, including the risks and benefits associated with transaction structuring and implementation. More specifically, Ms. Pir? implements and manages all legal aspects of Cognate’s business including its growth strategy, acquisitions, manufacturing and development activities. She is further responsible for addressing certain regulatory matters (including securities law, FDA and cGMP matters) and for the strategy, maintenance and prosecution of the Company’s global patent portfolio and all litigation involving the Company.

Prior to joining Cognate, Ms. Pir? practiced at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, in New York and in Paris, France, during which time Ms. Pir? represented public and private companies operating in a variety of industries and geographies on every nature of corporate matter, including both foreign and domestic mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and private equity financings.

Ms. Pir? holds a B.A. from the University of California at Irvine and a J.D., magna cum laude, from New York Law School and is Special Advisor to Women Leading the Way, a nationwide educational project celebrating the centennial of the women’s suffrage.

Meredith Ritchie

Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Alliant Credit Union

Meredith has had a diverse legal career in Chicago starting out in private practice where she litigated tort actions. A large portion of her litigation included defending a Fortune 100 petroleum company.

Meredith then served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois in both the civil and criminal divisions. She then took her experience to the State of Illinois where she contributed to the Illinois Department of Public Aid and then served as Deputy General Counsel to the Department of Central Management Services.

Meredith then served as in-house counsel for Accenture, an international technology consulting firm.

Currently, Meredith is VP, General Counsel & Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Alliant Credit Union, an $8.5 billion dollar financial cooperative, in Chicago, Illinois. There, she oversees the Legal & Compliance Department, the Ethics Program and is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Meredith is known for bringing pragmatic and creative business and legal solutions to her clients. Her consultative approach, coupled with her energy, positivity and thorough knowledge of the law, enable her to add value to the management team of her organization. Meredith enjoys leading her diverse team and helping them realize and maximize their potential.

Meredith chaired the Standing Committee on Women and the Law of the Illinois State Bar Association as well as the Young Lawyers Division. Currently, Meredith is on the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association, the Board of Directors of the Alliant Credit Union Foundation and is a co-chair of the Operations Sub-committee of the American Bar Association Credit Union Committee.

Meredith Ritchie, a Chicago native, graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and obtained her JD from DePaul College of Law in Chicago. 

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