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7:30 AM - 6:45 PM


7:30 AM

Registration and Breakfast Buffet

7:45 AM

Welcome and Introductions

Jamila Covington 

Chapter President, Senior Counsel, Navistar, Inc.

Christina L. Martini 
Global Head, Trademark Prosecution and Controversy Practice, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

David Susler 
Associate General Counsel, National Material L.P. 

8:00 AM 

Meet the Recruiters: Everything You Want to Know But Are Afraid To Ask

Join us first thing this morning for an animated and interactive session with four top legal/executive recruiters who will offer a rare insight into the recruiting world.  Both individual lawyers and hiring entities will learn how to better engage with executive recruiters to make smarter, more efficient and more fulfilling career/hiring choices.  Panelists will address a variety of hot button topics including:

  • Variations in Recruiting Roles and Terminology
    (and why it matters)               

  • The Human Dimension to Recruiting   

  • Can Recruiters Assist in Career Transition?       

  • How and When to Approach (and Choose) the
    Right Recruiter                  

  • Whose "Side" is the Recruiter On?  

  • What's Next When a Recruiter Can't Help You

  • Ethical Obligations in Dealing with Recruiters



Cheryl Rich Heisler, J.D (Moderator/Speaker)

President/Founder, Lawternatives                          

Chris Batz

Legal Recruiter & President, The Lion Group LLC

Anne Driscoll

Partner, McCarthy Bertschy 

Heather Fine

Partner, In-House Counsel Practice Group, Major, Lindsey & Africa


Sonya Som

Partner, Heidrick & Struggles


9:00 AM


9:10 AM 

A Fireside Chat with Ben W. Heineman, Jr., former GE Senior Vice President-General Counsel and author of "The Inside Counsel Revolution: Resolving the Partner-Guardian Tension”


Jenifer Robbins 

Director of Experiential Learning & Senior Lecturer at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology        


9:55 AM


10:05 AM 

Taking Control of Your Own Success: Advice from the General Counsel

As in most positions, in-house success does not happen by accident.  It requires thoughtful introspection about what your organization needs from its in-house team, what you can deliver and what you need to develop as a strategist and contributor, what you need from those around you, and how to position yourself, your team and your organization for success.  Hear from General Counsel who have been through—and who continue to grow and learn every day as they go through—that exercise, and as they share their tips and tricks for success.



Vicki Donati (Moderator/Speaker)

SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Crate & Barrel Holdings, Inc.                           

Susie Lees

Executive VP and General Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company

Nancy Paridy

SVP, Chief Administrative Officer, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab


Meredith Ritchie

Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Ethics Officer, Alliant Credit  

Georgia Vlamis

Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Human Resources, Freightcar America, Inc.


11:05 AM


11:15 AM 

Negotiating Privacy and Security in Transactions: NDAs, DPAs and the All-Important Addenda Thereto  

Consider the issues that should remain top-of-mind when you negotiate NDAs and DPAs for your client. These will include, but not be limited to, the following critical features: framing the importance of data integrity within the scope of your deal; gauging the invasiveness of such provisions within the agreement; setting the scope of what constitutes “confidential information” and how it is to be defined; considering the importance of where the data is housed (remote locations versus cloud-based); cross-border issues (including GDPR/EU Privacy Shield); and how to reasonably limit the reach and set the risk allocation for residual “catch-all” provisions.



John Bates

Counsel, Axiom                                

David Gilmartin

General Counsel, AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association)

Helena Ledic

Associate General Counsel and Director of Client Relations


Thank you to our sponsor


12:15 PM


12:50 PM 

The Importance of Pro Bono Work  

John Gallo

CEO and Executive Director, Legal Aid Chicago, formerly known as the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. Legal Aid Chicago is the largest civil legal-aid organization in the Midwest.                                



Business Law Update: New Laws For 2020 And A Look Ahead To 2021

With the new year come dozens of new laws impacting businesses that operate in Illinois. This panel discussion will focus on new employment laws at the state and federal level with the greatest potential impact on day-to-day business operations. In addition, the panel will debate potential Illinois legislation that could impact your business in the near future.  Topics include:

  • Major changes to address sexual harassment in the workplace, including mandatory preventative training and reporting

  • Changes regarding overtime pay requirements  

  • Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance and the requirement for predictive scheduling               

  • The legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois and the impact on employee hiring and retention

  • Potential Illinois legislation on the employee/independent contractor distinction      



John Dunn

Member, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

Jeremy Glenn

Office Managing Partner, Cozen O’Connor

Sepideh Esmaili Smith

Senior Counsel, CDW

Julie Trester

Cozen O’Connor

Thank you to our sponsor

Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Talent: Keys to Success

No one can dispute the importance and benefits of a diverse team, but the challenge is attracting and then retaining these key staff members in a competitive job market. In this interactive session, hear from both in-house and private practice attorneys on the ways they have succeeded and where improvement is needed. A few topics to be discussed are imposter syndrome, mentorships and community (i.e. affinity groups).   



Gilda L. Spencer

Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Dispute Resolution Services Allstate Insurance Company

Rita McNeil Danish

Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Payal Keshvani

Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Thank you to our sponsor


What U.S. In-House Counsel Need to Know About Operating in Canada

A panel of Blakes lawyers and in-house counsel will discuss the issues and developments impacting U.S. companies with Canadian subsidiaries or doing business in Canada. Topics will include:


  • Doing deals in Canada – structuring your Canadian business, Canadian foreign investment review and competition/antitrust

  • Forget everything you knew about employment – Canadian termination and human

  • rights trends, background checks and drug and alcohol testing, accessibility legislation adoption and implementation

  • Regulated Commerce – privacy, anti-spam, IP, anti-corruption

  • To sue or not to sue – “loser pays”, class actions

  • Quebec is distinct – common law vs. civil code, French language requirement



Holly Reid

Partner, Blakes

Paul Singh

Partner, Blakes

Michael Elder

Associate, Blakes                      


In-House Counsel to be added soon!

Thank you to our sponsor

What Should In-House Counsel Be Doing To Help Optimize Their Corporation’s Real Estate Facilities and To Minimize Costs?

  • Picking the right team of experts

  • Reviewing space needs well before lease expiration

  • Subleasing unused space

  • Restacking to make better use of space

  • Specific needs of in-house legal departments when space planning

  • Centralizing real estate functions



Eric Gaertner

Assistant General Counsel, Revantage Corporate Services

Todd Lippman

Vice Chairman, CBRE

Michelle McAtee

Partner, Jenner & Block LLP


Erin Lavin Cabonargi

Managing Director, URBAN ReSOLVE

Thank you to our sponsor


2:00 PM



3:15 PM



Unlocking Your Company’s Trade Secret Potential

Many in-house counsel may not know that trade secrets are a valuable piece of intellectual property that affect all types of corporations—whether it be in the form of customer lists, financial information, marketing intelligence, or proprietary software. This panel will provide an upfront discussion on the law of trade secrets, including what constitutes a trade secret, the potential value of trade secrets to a company, how a company can use trade secrets to its advantage, and what can be done if there is a misappropriation of the company’s trade secrets



Lindsey Christen

Assistant General Counsel, Camping World

Brian Michalek

Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Charu Shah

General Counsel, Rocketmiles, a Booking Holdings company

Thank you to our sponsor

Defying Convention: Unconventional Terms to Manage Litigation Risk     

It’s conventional wisdom in contracts that you should go to arbitration, but that may not actually be the wisest move. Many contracting lawyers include binding arbitration clauses, attorneys’ fees clauses, etc. – thinking that those terms are best for your organization. This panel contends that the conventional wisdom is wrong on conventional terms. Instead, there are numerous unique terms that few contract attorneys use that may actually be more effective than conventional terms in mitigating litigation risk. Learn from the panelists’ real-life examples on how including unconventional terms in your contracts will minimize the risk and maximize the outcome when your company is faced with litigation. 



Peter E. Carlson

Senior Counsel, Motorola Solutions

Paul J. Loh

Partner, Willenken LLP

Blake Nielsen

General Counsel & VP of Operations, Enfusion, LLC

Jason H. Wilson

Partner, Willenken LLP

Thank you to our sponsor


4:30 PM


4:45 PM 

Substance Abuse and the Opioid Crisis—How it is Affecting the Legal Professional?

Alcohol and drugs know no social, economic or educational barriers, and legal professionals face unique stressors. In fact, lawyers are almost twice as likely to struggle with substance abuse when compared to the general population. They also suffer from disproportionately higher rates of mental health issues often leading to the abuse of prescriptive medication. Addiction in the legal profession is a major problem that has led to many promising careers and lives cut short. Join us to learn more about the substance abuse issues affecting the legal profession and some of the measures that are being taken to address this crisis.


The panel will feature perspectives from HR, a labor attorney in addition to an executive from the Gateway Foundation, a recognized leader in evidence-based treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and co‐occurring mental health conditions that compound addiction.


Jennifer Bluestein (Moderator/Speaker)

Chief Talent Officer, Perkins Coie LLP

Dr. Thomas Britton

President and CEO, Gateway Foundation

Laura Britton

Attorney at Law


Thank you to our sponsor

5:45 PM 


Thank you to our sponsors 


Registration Fees

Members may register for $100.00 and non-ACC members for $125.00.  Early bird pricing - members may register for $70 until March 6.  See registration site for details here. 



The Union League Club is located at 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL  60604



Discounted Parking is offered through the Club - both Valet and Self-Parking.  Visit https://www.ulcc.org/.


Overnight Accommodations are available

Standard rooms are offered at a daily group rate of $189.00 per room + 20% per night surcharge ($226.80 inclusive).  Reservations are available by calling 1.800.443.0578 or Emailing: clubservices@ulcc.org.  Please reference: ‘ACC Chicago’ for the group rate which expires March 20.  Guests pay own charges. Please have credit card ready to give for guarantee.


Illinois Continuing Legal Educations Credits

ACC Chicago is an Approved Provider with the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois.  The association will be seeking CLE credit for seven (7.75) hours with the State of Illinois including 1.0 (pending) for Professional Responsibility – Substance Abuse.  To receive MCLE credits with Illinois, an attendee must sign in at every session he/she attends and provide their IL Bar Number and email address. 


Summit Registrations – Transfers and Cancellations

Transferability:  Registrant will be permitted to transfer his/her registration to another person prior to Tuesday, March 31, 2019 at 5:00pm.  After that date and time, registration cannot be transferred. 

Refunds and Cancellation:  Registrant can cancel his/her registration, prior to Friday, March 27, 2019 at 5:00pm, subject to a $10 administrative fee which will be deducted from the refund.


The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy.


ACC anticipates and understands the needs of the in-house bar; helps members deliver services to their corporate clients efficiently; promotes the value of in-house services; influences the practice of law as it affects the in-house bar; and delivers a mix of relevant, timely services including information, education, networking and advocacy.


With more than 40,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries, ACC connects its members to each other and to the people and resources necessary for their personal and professional growth.


ACC Chicago is one of the largest, most progressive and highly successful Chapters within ACC. We have more than 2300 in-house counsel members representing virtually every leading local, national and international company in Chicago and the surrounding areas. ACC Chicago is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of the Chicago in-house counsel community. We also proudly focus on promoting diversity. We strongly encourage members to become more involved with our Chapter, and non-member in-house counsel to join. We believe that you will find it to be both professionally and personally rewarding.

Visit acc.com/chicago for more information.