GC & The Executive Team: Aligning to Successfully Manage Risk & Lead in Turbulent Times

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 55 minutes
Recorded Date: June 21, 2017
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  • How legal departments can better prepare for the future needs of the corporation
  • The shift of legal adviser to strategic adviser: skills and strategies
  • Enhancing an ethical and compliance-driven corporate culture
  • Dealing with the growing volume/complexities of regulations
  • How are you leaning into the business so that they come to you, and not vice-versa?
  • How are you contributing to innovation within your business market?
Runtime: 55 minutes
Recorded: June 21, 2017


Today's General Counsel work with their CxO's to control risk, grapple with corporate governance, determine policy and handle crisis management. A true partnership between the General Counsel and the Executive Suite is a key element for bringing greater value to the business.

This program was recorded as part of the 17th annual SuperConference on June 22nd, 2017.

Provided By



Kirkland Hicks

Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Lincoln Financial Group

Kirkland Hicks is executive vice president and general counsel for Lincoln Financial Group and is a member of the company’s senior management committee. In his role, Hicks oversees all activities for the Law, Compliance, Government Relations and Corporate Secretary functions of the company, as well as provides strategic counsel to the CEO and senior management team.

He joined Lincoln Financial from Towers Watson & Co., where he served as general counsel and secretary since 2012. Hicks previously served in several senior counsel positions at Towers Watson and Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Inc.

Prior to joining Watson Wyatt in 2000, he worked in private practice.

Hicks holds a J.D. from Duke University Law School and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University. He has also completed the Harvard Business School leadership development program.

James Zappa

Executive Vice President & General Counsel
CHS Inc.

Jim Zappa is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at CHS Inc. In this role, Jim leads CHS’s global legal, compliance, and government affairs departments, is a member of the CHS Strategic Leadership Team, and advises both senior company management and the Board of Directors regarding legal and governance issues affecting this Fortune 100 global, diversified agribusiness that operates as a farmer-owned cooperative.

Prior to joining CHS in April 2015, Jim worked for 15 years at 3M Company. During his 15 years at 3M, Jim’s legal roles, included: Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer; Vice President and Associate General Counsel, International Operations; counsel for the Compensation Committee of 3M’s Board of Directors; general counsel, 3M Human Resources; general counsel, Consumer Business Group; and business and employment counsel to multiple 3M business units. Jim served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard H. Kyle, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. He was in private practice at Dorsey & Whitney.

Jim received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He has an M.A. from the University of Southern California and a B.F.A. from Drake University.

Jim enjoys any time he can spend with wife Rani Murdoch Zappa and his 16-year old sons, Mathew and Michael. He is a board member for the Boy Scouts of America - Northern Star Council, and the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

Sheri Littlefield

Chief Legal Officer & Managing Director
CFA Institute

Sheri Littlefield oversees the global Legal Services and Board and Corporate Services function of CFA Institute. As Chief Legal Officer, she directs and advises on global litigation, intellectual property protection strategies, transactional matters, employment issues, governance and other in-house legal services. CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials, and has over 142,000 members in 159 countries and territories. She has practiced law in a variety of disciplines and matters encompassing complex transactions, international litigation, environmental law, international trade controls, antitrust, and employment law, among others.

Most recently, Ms. Littlefield served as General Counsel at GE Industrial Solutions in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she oversaw all legal and compliance issues for the business around the world.

Prior to joining GE, she was Counsel in the Albany office of Nixon Peabody. Ms. Littlefield is the Immediate Past Chair of the Corporate Counsel Committee of the American Bar Association TIPS Section and Vice Chair of the Section’s Leadership Academy.

She graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and also earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.

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