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The GC & Board Panel: Managing Tough Issues in the Boardroom

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: October 04, 2018
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4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
  • GC's Expanding Role
  • Board Room Interaction
  • Case Studies
  • Best Practices
  • Takeaways
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 4, 2018


The General Counsel as a member of an organization's board is involved with variations of tough issues, from dealing with activists and multiple crises to orchestrating mergers, spinoffs, and buyouts. All of these issues bring their own set of challenges.

In this session, we will discuss how GCs are managing complicated issues that arise today and how they protect the board's decision-making process so that board members can serve their fiduciary responsibility.

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

Provided By

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Lisa Anastos

General Counsel

Lisa Anastos is the General Counsel at Payfone. She is a graduate of New York University Law School.

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Laura Chenoweth

Deputy General Counsel
Pfizer, Inc.

Laura Chenoweth is currently Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. Since joining Pfizer in 1999, Laura has assumed roles of increasing responsibility.

Laura joined Pfizer in the Corporate Governance Group and moved to the Business Transactions group, where she led a number of Pfizer’s largest acquisition and divestiture transactions, as well as provided advice to the Tax, Treasury and Finance teams. Laura was appointed Chief Counsel to Pfizer Consumer Health in 2009, Chief Counsel for the Emerging Markets Business Unit in 2012, and Chief Counsel for the Global Established Pharma business in 2014. In 2008, Laura co-founded the first women’s group for Pfizer’s Legal Division, the Legal Division Women’s Network, and until recently served as the chair for Pfizer’s Global Women’s Council.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Laura worked in private practice in the Corporate Department at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and in-house at Morgan Stanley.

Laura received law and undergraduate degrees from Boston University.

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Erin Abrams

Vice President of Legal Affairs
Via Transportation

Erin Abrams is the Vice President for Legal Affairs at Via Transportation, Inc., a technology startup in the on-demand shared ride space. As the Head of Legal at Via, Erin’s portfolio covers corporate transactions, venture-backed financing, cybersecurity and data privacy, technology licensing, commercial agreements, transportation regulatory and licensing issues, employee and independent contractor matters and litigation. Erin also manages Via’s patent portfolio and oversees Risk, Insurance and Compliance functions at Via.

Prior to joining Via, Erin was a Senior Vice President in the Compliance Department of Citigroup in New York, where her group was tasked with preventing and detecting insider trading and maintaining information barriers for material non-public information within the investment bank.

Before going in-house, Erin worked as an Associate in the white collar criminal and securities litigation division of Fried Frank for seven years, where she developed expertise in insider trading, financial crimes, and internal investigations relating to anti-money laundering (AML), sanctions, anti-corruption laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Erin serves on the Board of Directors of Urban Pathways, a non-profit that provides services to homeless New Yorkers. She also maintains an active pro bono practice representing low income women who are victims of domestic violence in family law proceedings in partnership with the non-profit Her Justice.

Erin holds a B.A. from Duke University in Political Science (magna cum laude) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (cum laude).

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Susan Markel

Managing Director
AlixPartners, LLP

Susan oversees matters involving corporate financial reporting, regulatory investigations, whistle-blower actions, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement, and internal controls. Formerly at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), she served as chief accountant of the enforcement division.

She has a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Akron, is a CPA and certified in financial forensics. Susan has received several awards including the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and The National Law Journal's 2014 "Governance, Risk and Compliance Trailblazer and Pioneer". She is a speaker nationally and internationally on public reporting and accounting related to financial fraud investigations and other enforcement actions involving the SEC and other government entities.

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Robin E. Abrams

General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer
SIGA Technologies, Inc.

Robin E. Abrams serves as the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Office of SIGA Technologies, Inc., a role she has held since April, 2016. Ms. Abrams also serves as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at vTv Therapeutics, Inc., a position she assumed in July 2016. Both vTv Therapeutics and SIGA Technologies are MacAndrews and Forbes’ portfolio companies.

Prior to her current roles, Ms. Abrams had a fourteen-year tenure at Purdue Pharma L.P., where she served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel. While at Purdue, Ms. Abrams was Purdue’s primary legal contact with government agencies including the Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal, state and local authorities. Ms. Abrams also served as Purdue’s liaison with congressional committees and caucuses that focused on issues related to Purdue’s products, such as abuse and diversion of opioid pharmaceutical products. Ms. Abrams also oversaw Purdue’s legal regulatory, employment, and government litigation groups, served as a member of the Executive Audit Committee, and reported directly to the Board of Directors on issues related to government investigations, enforcement and related matters.

Prior to Purdue, Ms. Abrams served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she held multiple positions including Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. Following law school, Ms. Abrams clerked for then-Chief Judge Jack B. Weinstein, federal District Court, Eastern District of New York.

Ms. Abrams earned her Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University.

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