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Chambers Diversity Seminar: USA

Chambers Diversity Seminar: USA, in association with Baker Botts

Thank you to those that attended our second seminar in association with Baker Botts. The event took place on Thursday June 16, 2016 at The Yale Club of New York.

Date: Thursday, June 16

Time: 3.30pm - 6pm

Venue: The Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA 

This seminar was for in-house counsel only.

3.30pm-4.00pm - Registration
4.00pm-4.30pm - Keynote Speech by Werten Bellamy
4.30pm-5.30pm - Panel Discussion, moderated by Sylvia James
5.30pm-6.00pm - Networking and close

Event Program

‘Achieving Your Diversity & Inclusion Goals: Looking to New Areas of Focus.’

Across law departments and law firm communities, discussions on diversity & inclusion have consistently centered on the following areas:
·         Commitment to the Cause of Diversity
·         Barriers to Success
·         Bias, Unconscious Bias and Micro-inequities
To the extent that achieving your “Diversity & Inclusion Goals” involves increasing the pool of diverse, non-traditional attorneys that are recognised as top performers, there should also be some additional areas of leadership focus, including:
·         Law Firm Economics and Premium Work Streams
·        The Relationship Journey: Developmental Experiences, Premium Feedback, Sponsorship, and Advocacy
·         Informed Self-Investments

Our panel will discuss these new areas of focus and ways we can democratize this know-how to empower diverse attorneys and the leaders who support their success.

Please join us for a global, engaging perspective on diversity best practice and thought leadership.

For further information, please contact the Global Diversity and Corporate Counsel Writer/Researcher Luke Vincett:
[email protected]


Werten Bellamy
Stakeholders, Inc.

Werten is the President of Stakeholders, Inc., a company founded in 2007 that provides training and conference resources directed to the active career management needs of corporations and service firms. 
Werten launched Stakeholders following sixteen (16) years of practice in both law firms and law departments.  Werten began his career as an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Kutak Rock.  The next twelve (12) years of his career he spent in in-house positions of increasing responsibility, at companies to include Merck & Co., Inc., Genetics Institute, Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Werten completed his in-house career with Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA).

At Celera, Werten was the General Counsel. Werten is also a retired captain in the United States Army.

Werten is a graduate of Princeton University and the University Of Virginia School Of Law.  He resides in Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife, Kellye Walker, General Counsel, Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) and three children, Werten III (18), Matthew (16), and Erica (15).

Sylvia James
Diversity Counsel
Baker Botts LLP

Sylvia F. James is the Diversity Counsel for the law firm of Baker Botts L.L.P. As Diversity Counsel, Ms. James works closely with the Recruiting and Development Department, Client Relations Department, Human Resources Department,  Knowledge Services Department, Diversity Committee and Firm Leadership to develop and implement the  firm’s diversity initiatives; strategizes and advises the  firm with respect to diversity  and inclusion initiatives; monitors and analyzes the  firm’s trends in recruitment, development, retention  and promotion of women and minorities; works closely with the  firm's affinity groups; serves as liaison with clients and external organizations dedicated to fostering diversity in the legal profession; conducts diversity training; advises on internal and external communications relating to diversity;  serves on the Pro Bono and Professional Development Committees; serves as the firm's affirmative action administrator; and manages the Firm's Supplier Diversity Program.

Prior to joining Baker Botts, Ms. James was Senior Counsel at the law firm of Holland & Knight in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate diversity counseling and labor and employment law. In that role, she conducted diversity compliance reviews for numerous  government agencies and Fortune 500 companies to determine legal vulnerability to employment discrimination threats and litigation and to assess and ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws.  She developed comprehensive diversity action plans for improving clients' diversity programs, performance, and profiles.  She also conducted diversity, equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment training, and defended companies in employment discrimination litigation.  Ms. James served in various roles on the Board of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP) from 2007-2012 including Secretary, President and President Emeritus.  She currently serves as the co-chair of the ALFDP's Training and Development Committee.    She is on the Advisory Board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP), Chair of the Communications Working Group of the Duke University School of Law Alumni Board, and Commissioner, American Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission.   Ms. James is a frequent speaker on diversity issues at legal conferences.  She earned her law degree from Duke University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in political science from Vassar College. 

Andrea Lerdo de Tejada
Vice President - Head of Latin America Office of Legal Obligations
J.P. Morgan

Andrea is a leader in diversity and minority rights initiatives within JPMorgan. She has established the Mexico Pride Chapter of JPMorgan and managed to implement changes to the JPMorgan Mexican Human Resources policies to extend to same sex partners all corporate benefits offered to heterosexual couples. Andrea created the “PRIDE Connection” in Mexico, a committee of corporations with diversity inclusion best practices in Mexico, with the intention of paving the way for other fully owned Mexican companies to establish diversity and inclusion practices. Additionally, she advised on the implementation of PRIDE Chapters in Argentina, Colombia and Brazil.

Andrea is a current member of the Leaderships groups of (i) Pride Tri-State as co-chair of Ally Engagement and Pride Month Flag Ship Event, (ii) Open Finance as JPMorgan representative, where she is the Co-Chair of the Speaker Series, (iii) Legal Diversity Group and Co-Chair of BRG Liaison and (iv) Co-Chair Emeritus of Pride Mexico.

Andrea received (i) 2014 “Joan Guggenheimer Diversity Champion Award” of JPMorgan; and (ii) the “LGBT Best Practices Award” granted by Mexico City Commission to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination for JPMorgan’s LGBT Best Practices.

Andrea is also currently responsible for the oversight and management of the Latin American and Global Tax Office of Legal Obligations and the. As such, Andrea manages 22 internal lawyers and over 30 external KPMG auditors around the world.”

Bendita Cynthia Malakia
The Malakia Movement

Bendita Cynthia Malakia is the founder of the Malakia Movement, a professional and personal empowerment consultancy that helps diverse legal professionals live authentic and successful lives through executive and professional coaching, diversity consulting and training.

Prior to the launch of the Malakia Movement in 2016, Bendita, a Barnard woman and Harvard-trained lawyer, spent seven years at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski LLP) in Washington, DC representing international financial institutions making financial investments in infrastructure, energy and other life changing projects in emerging markets, with a particular focus on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. During her time at Norton Rose Fulbright, Bendita undertook a one-year secondment to International Finance Corporation, the private sector financing arm of the World Bank, in Nairobi, Kenya and Washington, DC. At Norton Rose Fulbright, Bendita was involved in numerous diversity initiatives, including founding the US LGBT Working Group, launching the US LGBT Affinity Network, and serving as firm liaison to the DC Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network.

In 2015, Bendita joined Goldman Sachs as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel in its Private Wealth Management global lending business in Irving, Texas, where she spent one year advising the business on sophisticated lending transactions to ultra high net worth clients. At Goldman, Bendita was on the Steering Committee and in charge of the Career Development Pillar for the Dallas Black Network, was an active member of LGBT Network and led a personal and professional development discussion group for Black women in Goldman Sachs’ Irving office.

Bendita has been recognized for her work as a finance lending lawyer, including being named (1) a 2015 Rising Star by Super Lawyers, (2) to Who’s Who Legal – Project Finance in Washington, DC for 2015, and (3) to Who’s Who in Black Dallas in 2016. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the National LGBT Bar, where she co-chaired the Corporate Counsel Institute in 2015, and was previously a member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative from 2008-2016 and a founder of the Harvard Real Estate Alumni Organization.  Bendita lives in Dallas, Texas with Chauntel, her wonderful wife and an Aetna pharmacist.

Shannon Minter
Legal Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Shannon Price Minter is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Minter was lead counsel for same-sex couples in the landmark California marriage equality case which held that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry and that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation are inherently discriminatory and subject to the highest level of constitutional scrutiny.

Minter was also NCLR’s lead attorney in Christian Legal Society v. Hastings, a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding student group policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and rejecting the argument that such policies violated a student group’s rights to freedom of speech, religion, and association.  NCLR represented Hastings Outlaw, an LGBT student group who intervened to help defend the non-discrimination policy.

In 2009, Minter was named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer. In 2008, he was named among six Lawyers of the Year by Lawyers USA and among California’s Top 100 Lawyers by the legal publication The Daily Journal. He also received the 2008 Dan Bradley Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association for outstanding work in marriage cases and was the recipient of the Cornell Law School Exemplary Public Service Award. In 2005, Minter was one of 18 people to receive the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” award. In 2004, he was awarded an Honorary Degree from the City University of New York School of Law for his advocacy on behalf of same-sex couples and their families. Shannon has also received the Anderson Prize Foundation’s Creating Change Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Distinguished National Service Award from GAYLAW, the bar association for LGBT lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in Washington, D.C., Cornell Law School’s Exemplary Public Service Award, the Unity Award from Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, the Advocacy Award from the San Francisco Bar Association, and the Justice Award from Equality California.

Minter serves on the boards of Faith in America and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. He has previously served on the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. In 2015, he was appointed to the to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, interviewing and recommending people to the President for appointment as White House Fellows, who typically spend a year as full-time, paid assistants to senior White House staff. Minter received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1993. He is originally from Texas.

Stephanie Webster
Director & Counsel
Credit Suisse

Stephanie Webster is a Director at Credit Suisse in the General Counsel division advising on U.S. bank regulatory related matters, including advising on implementation of the Volcker Rule, Resolution and Recovery planning, and the Enhanced Prudential Standards.  She also serves as the co-chair of the Credit Suisse GC Americas Diversity Committee and is involved with various diversity and inclusion initiatives within Credit Suisse. 

Ms. Webster joined Credit Suisse in January 2011.  Prior to that, Ms. Webster was an associate at the law firm of Linklaters in the financial regulations group, advising primarily on U.S. bank regulatory matters, and at the law firm of Goodwin Procter LLP in the financial services group.  Ms. Webster began her legal career at the law firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP as an associate focused on international arbitration.  

Ms. Webster received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, from Brandeis University.

Renee Wilm
Baker Botts LLP

Renee Wilm is the deputy head of the corporate department in Baker Botts’ New York office. She counsels clients on a wide range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, complex capital structures and shareholder arrangements. Ms. Wilm represents issuers in traditional offerings of equity and debt securities in both U.S. and international markets as well as in unique capital restructurings. She advises clients in matters of corporate governance, securities law compliance and stock exchange listing compliance, and assists companies in structuring executive employment arrangements. She is recognized for her skills on issues involving the use of “tracking stocks.”