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Chambers Diversity Summit: New York

Innovative Ways General Counsel Drive Law Firm Diversity, in association with Baker Botts LLP.


Date:    Friday June 16th, 2017

Time:     8.30am - 11am

The Yale Club
50 Vanderbilt Avenue
New York 10017

08:30 – 09:00 - Breakfast & Registration
09:00 – 09:05 – Welcome Remarks by Chris Kay and Alex Bourelly
09:05 – 10:05 – Panel Discussions, moderated by Terence Rozier-Byrd
10:05 – 10:10 – Keynote Introduction
10:10 – 10:30 – Keynote Speech by Dennis Archer
10:30 – 11:00 – Interactive Roundtable Networking

This event is open to in-house counsel only and is free to attend.

This program has been approved for the following CLE credit: New York, 1.0 hour Ethics, .5 hours (transitional and nontransitional) TX and CA, 1.5 hours participatory (includes 1 hour ethics)


Keynote Speaker

Dennis W. Archer
Chairman Emeritus
Dickinson Wright

Dennis Archer is the Chairman Emeritus at Dickinson Wright PLLC, based in Detroit. His main areas of practice include Appellate Arbitrators, Mediators and Facilitators, Commercial and Business Litigation, Corporate, and Labor and Employment.

Previously he served two four-year terms as mayor of the City of Detroit (1994-2001) and earned national and international respect for his success in changing Detroit’s image and direction. He is past president of the American Bar Association, breaking the color barrier as the first African-American ABA president in 2003, and has been active in several bar associations, eventually serving as president of the State Bar of Michigan, the Wolverine Bar Association and the National Bar Association.

In addition to his service to the legal profession, Mr. Archer serves on the Board of TopBuild (BLD), a publicly-traded company headquartered in Daytona Beach and has served on numerous charitable and civic boards, including the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan. He has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine; and one of the 100 Most Powerful Attorneys in the United States by the National Law Journal.

Mr. Archer earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education from Western Michigan University, before completing his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law in 1970.


Chris Kay
Global Seminars & Diversity Manager
Chambers and Partners

Chris Kay is a UK qualified solicitor and the Seminars Manager at Chambers and Partners. Chris was a practising solicitor before moving to Chambers and Partners. As part of his role he works with general counsel, barristers and law firm partners around the world to organise and moderate legal seminars.

Chris also leads the Chambers Diversity programme – a global series that provides a platform to outstanding lawyers who have shown a real commitment to advancing diversity within the legal profession. Chambers Diversity investigates the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers to create critical discussion and, ultimately, a more equal and inclusive profession.

Michelle C. Ifill
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Verzion Corporate Services

Michelle C. Ifill is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Verizon Corporate Services Group, responsible for primary legal oversight and support of Information Technology, as well as the Chief Administrative Office, which includes Sourcing, Procurement, Global Real Estate and Aviation & Fleet Management. Ms. Ifill’s team also has primary responsibility for a variety of intellectual property and financial services areas, including patent licensing and strategy, credit and collections and fraud operations.

Before this most recent appointment, Ms. Ifill was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Verizon’s Enterprise Solutions legal organization. In this capacity, she was responsible for representing the legal and regulatory interests for Verizon’s $18 billion global business unit which oversees all of Verizon's wireless, wireline, IT and Cloud capabilities for enterprise and government customers globally.

Ms. Ifill is a founding member of the Legal Diversity & Inclusion Council and is a member of the Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the National Bar Association and the Chair of the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees for SUNY Purchase College Foundation. Active in the mentoring of students and young professionals, Ms. Ifill is an Advisory Board Member of the Ron Brown Scholars Program, which focuses on providing mentoring and financial assistance to high-achieving high schools students of color. She is also a champion of the importance of diversity in the legal profession and speaks on the subject often, as well as on topics focused on leadership for women, mentorship, crisis management and corporate governance.

Ms. Ifill received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and her law degree from Harvard Law School.


Sylvia James
Diversity Counsel
Baker Botts

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.


Ellen L. Farrell
Assistant General Counsel
Toyota Legal One c/o Toyota Motor North America, Inc

Ellen Farrell is the Assistant General Counsel for Product Law and Head of Legal Operations for Toyota Motor North America, Inc. Ms. Farrell is responsible for overall management of the defense of product liability- and warranty-related claims and lawsuits involving Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles in North America. She also partners with various client business units to mitigate operational and product-related risks and to promote customer satisfaction. In addition, she oversees the law department’s technology and business operations functions, including its Partnering Program, one of the key goals of which is to promote diversity & inclusion among the counsel who represent Toyota. Prior to joining Toyota in 1999, she was with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles. Ms. Farrell is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant.


Matthew Lepore
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
BASF Corporation

Matthew Lepore serves as the General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer of BASF Corporation, the North American affiliate of BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical company. In this role, he serves as the senior Legal, Compliance, and Government Affairs officer for BASF in North America, and also serves as a member of the Company’s North American Executive Committee.

Before coming to BASF, Mr. Lepore was the Corporate Secretary & Chief Governance Counsel for Pfizer, Inc. where he was responsible for working with Pfizer’s investors on a variety of governance issues to facilitate an open dialogue between the company and its shareholders. He also worked closely with the CEO and Chairman of the Board, General Counsel and other Senior Leadership on SEC and NYSE matters, emerging trends and practices in corporate governance, board-related issues, global corporate financings/capital raising, M&A, pension fund and general corporate matters.

Before Pfizer, Mr. Lepore was a Partner with DLA Piper US LLP in Washington DC and also served as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the Executive Branch of Government in a variety of constitutional challenges to executive decision-making.


Terence Rozier-Byrd
Baker Botts

Terence Rozier-Byrd concentrates his practice on the representation of institutional investors, private investment fund sponsors and investment advisers on a variety of transactional matters. Mr. Rozier-Byrd also advises clients regarding the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Mr. Rozier-Byrd represents a wide array of institutional investors in connection with their alternative investments across a variety of asset classes, including private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, energy funds, fund-of-funds and hybrid funds.

In addition, Mr. Rozier-Byrd represents investors in connection with the negotiation of funds-of-one, managed accounts, co-investments, “anchor” investments and revenue sharing arrangements. Mr. Rozier-Byrd also represents investors in connection with their traditional investment portfolios and cash management. Mr. Rozier-Byrd represents fund sponsors in connection with the formation and operation of hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds and strategic joint venture arrangements.

In addition to his transactional practice, Mr. Rozier-Byrd represents investment advisers in connection with legal, regulatory and compliance issues under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Mr. Rozier-Byrd also advises a variety of public and private issuers in connection with investment company status issues under the Investment Company Act of 1940.