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Stories and perspectives to drive in house counsel leadership

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The Important Choice of Counsel When Defending a D&O Claim

CAC Specialty was honored to be a part of the recent TechGC 2021 Public Company Forum. Our colleague, Jacalyn Kroupa, participated on a lively panel discussion about Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. One theme running through the presentation was the importance of choice of counsel when defending a D&O claim.

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Effective Risk Management by Fostering a True Partnership between Legal and Security

We all know that, in this environment, data security remains top of mind for most organizations, and likely remains top of mind for most GCs. This article highlights key takeaways from a TechGC Panel discussion.

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Best practices for Building a Remote Team Through International Hiring

On the lookout for a fantastic workforce, companies have increased hiring efforts internationally. This entails balancing between the impact and value of new global hires and varying compliance obstacles.At the same time, the pandemic has forced many employees to move homes, relocating to different jurisdictions, which adds a range of payroll, compliance, tax, and legal issues that companies need to tackle.

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Considering a de-SPAC - Beware of Indemnification & Insurance at the SPAC

Many companies have taken advantage of the SPAC craze to advance their timelines for going public via a de-SPAC transaction, and they are moving quickly. While the pace may be slowing a bit, the target companies thus far have sometimes been left “holding the bag” to pay the SPACs legal costs i

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How SPACs Stack Up: How we got here and where we’re going

SPACs were hardly a path of real consideration for tech companies in early 2020, and there had only been two direct listings to date. Flash forward to today and you can’t read the news without hearing about another SPAC. It’s incredible how fast this decades-old structure not only re-emerged as a viable option to consider when beginning the public offering process, but vaulted into the mainstream as an attractive path for many venture-backed companies to pursue.

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Managing IP Risk & Contractual Indemnities

In a world of 1) increasingly smaller windows of time between periods of economic volatility; 2) a measurable shift over the past half century from tangible assets to intangible assets that now account for 85% of the value of the S&P 500; and 3) an increasing trend towards uncapped contractual indemnification between vendors and customers, it is clear that intellectual property infringement exposure for a technology company is a fast-evolving risk.

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Accepting Imperfection: Scaling & Operating as GC

Startups naturally run mean and lean - which means startup GC’s have to work creatively to scale their legal operations. This, however, is counterintuitive to a law-firm trained lawyer who has been taught to make all their work to perfection. GC’s need efficient ways to manage and execute contracts while accepting the reality that perfection will not be achieved. This week we speak with Liz Benegas, GC of NetDocuments to share her experience in transitioning to a fast-paced GC role and her ways of hacking together unique legal operations systems.

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Insurance - The GC's Role & What to Think About

The in-house general counsel, more often than not at young fast-growing companies, are unaware of the company’s insurance policy requirements (e.g.: timely notice, consent to counsel and rates), let alone what is even covered under the insurance policies, until the company and/or its directors & officers are in the throes of litigation, or being investigated by regulators, or both.

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Expecting the Unexpected

GC’s are often placed in a position where they have to manage a certain level of unexpected chaos; it’s simply the nature of the job. This reality has been magnified for many GCs amidst the unforeseen events of 2020. However, it is the ideal opportunity for the GC to showcase their value and provide proper counsel during uncertain times and unexpected developments, of which there are no shortfalls in 2020.

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Interviewing and Starting a new GC Role in a Virtual World

The global pandemic has certainly come with it’s business challenges, but how does it shape the way in house counsel identify, interview, and begin their new role? We sat down with Alastair Wood, GC of Rhino - a FinTech/Insurtech company where he started only a couple months ago. We discuss with Alastair his decision process in joining Rhino, what the virtual interview process was like, and now the challenges Alastair faces in being influential as GC in a remote company.

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Going Through a Sale & Transitioning Out as GC

Going through an acquisition is rarely a smooth process. Issues arise in a variety of areas, ranging from due diligence to company politics. Today we are speaking with Shelley Hall, GC of K2 Software - an intelligent automation software company just acquired by Ninitex. She expands on the intelligent automation industry, her lessons from the acquisition, and how she has managed the process of transitioning “out” of her role.

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Scaling Legal In The Regulatory Spotlight

The greater scale a company achieves, the larger the regulatory spotlight shines on the organization. For in house counsel who are navigating a variety of issues in the technology space, it is key to have an awareness and big-picture strategy on how to get ahead of regulatory scrutiny. Today we are speaking with Ashlie Beringer, Former Deputy GC @ Facebook who built a global legal team of over 150 attorneys over the course of 7 years. She shares her journey at Facebook and her approach to building her team, managing privacy, streamlining litigation, and how she envisions the next chapter of her career.

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Ruthless Prioritization as GC

The role of GC is one of ruthless prioritization. As the team looks upon the in house counsel to balance strategic decision-making, structure important deals, and manage legal resources in the most effective way, the successful GC must be exceptional in prioritizing their action items and mapping out their playbook. This ruthless prioritization may be more important than ever as the pandemic changes business roadmaps and intertwines the personal life and work life much more closely.

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Closing Remarks from TechGC's Venture Financings Forum

TechGC's 2 -day Venture Financings Forum covered numerous topics to the GC's role in fundraising in a new world. Here are some of the closing takeaways from the event Co-Chairs, Eiric Cheung, Brian Chase, and Laura Lariu.

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Developing Gravitas and Becoming The Indespensable GC

Lacking gravitas can be a key reason why a GC gets replaced. To be indespensible, the GC must develop gravitas to be proactive, influence their board, hire well, and develop their team effectively.

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A Co-Founder’s Perspective of Legal and the Value of General Counsel

We are joined by Sander Daniels, Co-Founder of Thumbtack, to get his perspective on legal’s value within an organization and what he looks for in a GC.

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What’s Happening with VC Financings in a COVID Environment

Given the current economic climate and the unprecedented times we have been living in, it seems every aspect of life as we know it has been affected on a global scale. The pandemic, it seems, has reshaped not only our daily personal lives but it has also changed how we work. And this includes the financing world... but just how much has it changed? Have terms or the process changed? We recently had the opportunity to discuss these questions with Eric Cheung, General Counsel at FirstMark Capital and Evan Bienstock, Partner at Fenwick & West, as part of a private virtual event hosted by TechGC.

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Redefining your Legal Career

Careers take interesting turns as opportunities and priorities shift. There are so many different ways to leverage a legal background for the benefit of an organization, yet much of the legal talent pool feel siloed in an area of expertise when they would like to broadened skillset and impact. Our guest, Alex Su provides a unique look into his legal career story - his struggles, aha moments, how he’s redefined his impact in the legal community, and his recommendations for those who want to do the same.

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Effective Customer Communication: Bottom Lining and Context

“Bottom lining” is the ability to distill a narrative down to the core elements necessary to have the listener understand what you are conveying. “Long Talking”, where a narrative twists and bends with journeys into often unrelated facts and circumstances that don’t help the listener understand it, is the opposite. Unfortunately, there are no law school classes devoted to this practice, and we all know a professor, partner, or GC who never says in 10 words what they could say in 20.

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Working With Visionary CEOs & Being a Visionary to Outside Counsel

Many GC’s in the VC-backed community report to CEOs with heightened visions for the future and for their company. As a result, General Counsels often find themselves performing a difficult balancing act between supporting their CEO and protecting their company. This Fireside with Sydney goes into the topic of managing the nuances of a visionary CEO, but also how to act as a visionary to your outside counsel to enable the CEO vision.

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Litigators & Startups: The Business Case for Hiring Litigation Attorneys to Lead

Eve Wachtell, COO & General Counsel of Altitude Learning, accurately points out a basic reality about in-house legal hiring: “Litigators make fabulous GCs, but most startups are looking for corporate or IP backgrounds” Why is this?

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Embracing Change in Times of Transformation

2020 has been a year of transformational change. As General Counsels navigate through even more changes on the horizon - politically, economically, and culturally - they must learn how to be great at change. We were fortunate to sit down with Ileana Falticeni, General Counsel of GoodData to get her thoughts on the importance of not only managing change, but at times being a catalyst for change.

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Understanding the Global Financial System

Chris Sands of TechGC speaks with Brian Brooks on the history of the global financial system, the 2008 financial crisis, blockchain's role, legal considerations, the stability of our system, and much more.

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Catalyzing Change In House: Diversity, Inclusion, & Corporate Integrity

In house counsel have an opportunity to enact real change when it comes to diversity, inclusion, and ethics. This virtual panel, hosted by Ashish Walia of Law Trades, examines the General Counsel playbooks of Diankha Linear (Convoy), Nithya Das (Olo), and Jill Simeone (Etsy).

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The Balancing Act: Working and Parenting/Caregiving during COVID

COVID-19 and the shift to remote work has obliterated any remaining lines between work and non-working time, however that distinction has never been more important for our health and wellbeing. We need to realize that our strongest advocates for our needs are ourselves. No one else knows your situation exactly or what you need to be productive and successful.

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The Industry Agnostic GC: How to be a Leader in Emerging Industries

With emerging industries comes complex laws and regulations for GC's to manage. We sat down with Ulysses Hui, General Counsel of Japan Display Group, a publicly traded company with an over $40B market cap, to discuss what it takes to be the industry agnostic GC.

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What was Learned From the TechGC Ethics, Corporate Integrity and Diversity Bootcamp

Once, companies were reluctant to get involved in controversial ideas or causes, preferring to focus on profit and shareholder delight. Today, however, as the world faces great upheaval, companies no longer have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines.

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FinTech and Evolving to a Later-stage GC

Many GC's struggle with the evolving demands of their role as their company grows. We sat down with Faraz Rana, General Counsel of Bread to understand his journey from early-stage to late-stage and to get his outlook on the FinTech industry.

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Growth Debt and Structured Equity Primer

Debt facilities account for upward of 30 – 50% of growth companies’ fundraising; debt financings have become ubiquitous. So it is crucial for the TechGC community to understand the debt market and have a coherent strategy in place for debt financings.

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Best Practices for Transitioning In House

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