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The Evolution of the Legal Ops Department

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: June 22, 2017
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  • Realizing Full Potential
  • Resourcing Strategy
  • Internal Client Perspectives
  • Survey Results
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: June 22, 2017


Developing a strong legal operations function is critical to optimizing the performance and efficiency of any legal department. But that begs the question: what does a strong legal operations function look like? How many people, if any, should be on your legal ops team? What levels of experience should they have? To whom should they report? And what should legal ops be doing—and in what order--to optimize performance and drive efficiency?

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

Provided By

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Rob Schnitz

Senior Vice President & Assistant General Counsel

Rob Schnitz is Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel overseeing legal support for global operations of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts including: vendor contracts, human resources and labor relations, marketing, intellectual property, IT, consumer affairs, internal investigations and government affairs.

Rob formerly was a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP in Irvine, California where he practiced labor and employment law representing management. Rob also teaches Hospitality Law & Ethics at DePaul University in Chicago, and has been a Board Member for the National Domestic Violence Hotline since 2014.

He graduated from Northwestern University (B.A., 1984) and received his legal education at Loyola University of Chicago (J.D., 1988). Rob is admitted to the State Bar of Illinois (House Counsel), the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Georgia.

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Ruth Colvin

Senior Legal Counsel

Ruth Colvin is Legal Counsel for DNV GL in the Americas. Driven by its purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business by providing classification, technical assurance, software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil and gas, and energy industries, as well as certification services to a wide range of industries. Operating in more than 100 countries, DNV GL’s 16,000 professionals are dedicated to helping its customers make the world safer, smarter and greener. In her role, Ruth provides advice and counsel to support all of DNV GL’s business operations, including handling labor and employment related legal work and litigation in the Americas, and is known for her ability to work proactively with clients to find practical solutions.

Prior to joining DNV GL in 2013, Ruth practiced at a boutique maritime firm in Houston, defending large corporate clients in a wide range of matters, including contract, property damage, and personal injury disputes.

Ruth earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science from Tarleton State University, and graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University School of Law, where she was a member of the Tulane Law Review and the Tulane Moot Court Board.

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Mackenzie Phillips

Senior Vice President & Chief Corporate Counsel
Jones Lang LaSalle

Mackenzie K. Phillips serves as Chief Corporate Counsel focused primarily on securities law compliance, subsidiary management, corporate finance, disclosures and corporate governance issues. She also supports JLL’s efforts to build an inclusive culture and develop a diverse workforce, including working on local diversity initiatives concerning recruitment, retention, business and professional development in the legal profession. Ms. Phillips works closely with senior management advising on compliance matters under SEC rules, NYSE listing standards, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements and other corporate governance rules and regulations.

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Brandon B. Smith

Vice President & Deputy General Counsel
Tenneco, Inc.

Brandon B. Smith is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Tenneco Inc. (NYSE: TEN), an $8.2 billion global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 30,000 employees worldwide. Mr. Smith joined Tenneco in 2008 and has responsibility for managing the company’s legal affairs and attorneys in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, in addition to Tenneco's securities, corporate governance and transactional matters.

Prior to becoming in-house counsel, Mr. Smith was a corporate attorney with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, representing clients on a wide variety of corporate engagements.

Mr. Smith earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in Business Management from Hiram College and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School, where he graduated Order of the Coif.

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