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Legal is a Value Add, Not a Cost: Running Your Legal Department Like a Business Unit

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 58 minutes
Recorded Date: October 11, 2017
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  • Building relationships with business clients
  • Affirmative Recovery Programs
  • Creative Staffing Models
  • Collaboration with Outside Counsel
  • Tracking and Communicating Profitability and Performance
  • Career development and professional growth
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 11, 2017


In this program, the panel will discuss top tips on how to run your legal department like a business.

This program was recorded on October 11th, 2017.

Provided By

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Rachel R. Stern

Senior Vice President
FactSet Research Systems Inc.

Rachel Stern serves as the Senior Vice President, Strategic Resources, General Counsel and Secretary of FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: FDS), a leading global financial technology company. Rachel’s operational experience includes Real Estate Strategy, Facilities Management, Human Resources, Investor Relations, M&A, Data Procurement and Governance, and Offshore Site Management in India and the Philippines.

For over 15 years, she has been a member of the executive management team. Rachel has expertly counselled the chief executive officer and Board of Directors on legal and strategic matters. A member of both the Executive and Operating Committees, Rachel has helped develop corporate strategy and guide the company through a period of steady growth. She sits on the Enterprise Risk and Disclosure Committees, given her involvement in broad segments of FactSet’s operations. Rachel joined FactSet in 2001 as its first lawyer and General Counsel. She established the Legal department, defined its role and reputation, and created and automated its processes to serve a growing organization. In addition to M&A, corporate, and securities law, Rachel’s areas of legal expertise include intellectual property and data licensing. Rachel manages the Content & Strategic Partnerships team, responsible for the global acquisition, governance, reporting and management of third party data used within and redistributed through FactSet’s products.

Prior to joining FactSet, Rachel was associated with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP. She began her legal career as a judicial clerk for Chancellor William T. Allen of the Delaware Court of Chancery. Rachel is a Trustee and a member of the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee of The Baldwin School (Bryn Mawr), her alma mater. She is the Treasurer of the American Friends of the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), and a Director of the Westchester Fairfield Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Rachel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an Executive Editor of the Law Review.

She received her B.A. in Economics and Art History (double major, Summa cum Laude) from Yale University. She received her M.A. (with distinction) from the University of London and studied at the University of Vienna as a Fulbright Scholar.

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Jennifer Suess

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Jennifer joined RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (“RioCan”) in August 2017, as their first-ever Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. RioCan is Canada’s largest real estate investment trust, with an enterprise value of approximately CAD$13.9 billion.

Prior to joining RioCan, Jennifer held progressive roles at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Johnson & Johnson, and most recently at Alcon Canada Inc., a Novartis Company, as Head of Legal & Compliance, Chief Privacy Officer, Head of Communications, Corporate Secretary & Director. After being called to the bar, Jennifer worked at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and Goodmans LLP. Jennifer has served as a Governor of Mt. Sinai Hospital (Toronto) Board of Governors, Director of University Toronto Schools and is presently a Director of Bannockburn Montessori Schools.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto and completed her Bachelor of Law at the University of Windsor.

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Tracy O'Flaherty

Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Global Litigation, Compliance, Employment & Regulatory

Tracy O’Flaherty wears “many hats.” Tracy is Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at Groupon, Inc. ( where she leads the Global Litigation, Compliance, Employment and Regulatory functions. In addition, Tracy serves as the Executive Sponsor of the LEARN initiative of Groupon’s Diversity & Inclusion function to combat racism and serves as the Executive Sponsor of Groupon’s [email protected] Business Resource Group.

Prior to Groupon, Tracy was the Vice President, Associate General Counsel at Baxter Healthcare Corporation leading the Global Litigation, Employment and Benefit functions. She also served as a member of Baxter’s Global Leadership Team and the Global Human Resources Leadership Team. She led Baxter’s Legal Department Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and served on the Global D&I committee. Prior to joining Baxter, Tracy was a partner at Winston & Strawn, LLP.

In addition to her role at Groupon, Tracy is the Senior Vice President, Programming and Development in the WOMN LLC Chicago Region and leads its 12-month mentoring program. This program provides some of the world’s leading law firm’s top-talent women with leadership coaching on business development, networking, and communication skills to enable them to hone their skills and succeed in the “business of law.” Her true passion is helping top-talent individuals reach their highest potential. (

Tracy is married and has two teenage sons and a menagerie of animals. In her spare time, she is often seen in a hockey rink cheering on her boys who play competitively. Her greatest joy is watching her boys grow up to be self-aware, talented, and socially conscious men.

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