Baker McKenzie names Alyssa Auberger as Chief Sustainability Officer

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has named Paris-based Partner Alyssa Auberger as its first Chief Sustainability Officer. Alyssa will be responsible for leading the Firm’s global Sustainability strategy which is core to the Firm’s overall priorities for the next decade.

After beginning her legal career in-house in the United States, Alyssa joined Baker McKenzie in Paris in 1998 and from 2016 until this appointment, was Global Chair of its Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Group. In this role, she worked closely with a number of global bodies, including the United Nations Global Compact, to heighten awareness of the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities for the consumer goods and retail industry. She has worked with the Firm’s leading practices to develop solutions for clients on supply chain transparency and claims, product lifecycle issues, and human rights and emissions reporting, in order to help them understand their impact and responsibilities across entire value chains.

Franco-American and as a partner specialised in multijurisdictional M&A and Private Equity transactions and based in Baker McKenzie’s Paris office, Alyssa has extensive experience regularly advising American and French corporations, multinationals, and private equity investment funds on their acquisitions and divestitures worldwide as well as in their international expansion efforts.

Baker McKenzie has strong relationships with leading sustainability-focused forums, including the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, of which it was the first law firm member. In 2017, the Firm collaborated with the World Economic Forum to launch the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco, which brings together leading policy makers, businesses, start-ups, academia and international organisations to collaborate for the greater good by maximising the benefits of science and technology.

The Firm became a participant of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in 2015 and remains committed to upholding the Ten Principles on human and labour rights, the environment and anti‐corruption. Since then, it has adopted eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Gender Equality, Climate Action, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Recently Global Chair Milton Cheng joined more than 1,200 Chief Executive Officers from companies in over 100 countries to demonstrate the Firm’s support for the United Nations and inclusive multilateralism by signing onto a powerful Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation. To mark the 75th Anniversary of the UN, the statement was released by the UNGC Action Platform for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16), of which Baker McKenzie is a proud co-patron. The Firm also recently announced commitments to significantly reduce its global carbon emissions over the next decade and achieve aspirational global gender diversity targets, set at 40:40:20 per cent, to represent 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons).

Alyssa said, “I am delighted to be taking on this new role and leading Baker McKenzie’s Sustainability efforts. Our clients are at differing stages of their sustainability journeys and we want to do all we can to help them achieve their ESG goals given our own depth of experience. More than 20 years ago, we established the first Climate Change practice within a major law firm, and we now offer a number of ESG Advisory services, including Sustainable Finance, Corporate Governance, Renewable Energy, Human Rights and Modern Slavery, Sustainable Real Estate and Responsible Product Sourcing.”

As well as announcing Alyssa’s appointment, Baker McKenzie reaffirmed its commitment to placing Sustainability at the core of its strategy for the coming decade, facilitating active engagement with like-minded businesses, governments, international organisations and civil society, in order to achieve shared goals for a more sustainable world.

Milton Cheng, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie said, “Collaborating with our clients to find solutions to their complex problems has always been at the core of what our Firm does. We strive to provide holistic business advice to our clients, helping them navigate their sustainability risks, as well as identify the opportunities that come with being a responsible business.”

Milton adds: “As a passionate lawyer, partner and leader within Baker McKenzie for over 20 years, Alyssa understands our Firm, our practices and our clients and I have no doubt that this knowledge will be an asset to her as she leads our Firm wide efforts with the same passion and commitment she has always shown.”

Deloitte announces new Audit & Assurance leadership

Deloitte today announces the appointment of Paul Stephenson and Nikki Mitchell to the roles of UK and North and South Europe (NSE) Managing Partner for Audit & Assurance respectively.

Paul is a member of the firm’s UK and NSE Audit & Assurance executives and is a statutory audit partner to a number of entities in the financial services industry. With over 30 years’ of experience, he has held numerous management positions within the firm’s UK Audit & Assurance business, including as Chief Operating Officer, as well as leading the financial services audit and the graduate recruitment team. He also played an instrumental role in the launch of the firm’s school leaver programme in 2011. Paul has provided assurance services to multiple large, complex entities, and has a deep understanding of UK and international accounting and regulatory requirements, including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).

Nikki is also a statutory audit partner, as well as a vice chair, and has held a range of UK and NSE leadership roles. This includes setting up the firm’s pursuit team following mandatory audit rotation in 2015, and Audit & Assurance and firmwide client leader positions. Nikki is one of Deloitte’s most senior partners, with over 32 years’ of experience, including 21 as a partner. She specialises in leading large, global public company audits and transaction engagements across consumer, retail, manufacturing and support services businesses, and has led some of the firm’s most significant FTSE100 audit engagements. Nikki also provides development support for other partners, and plays a key role in Deloitte’s women in leadership programme.

Paul and Nikki succeed Stephen Griggs, who was appointed Managing Partner for Deloitte UK last month.

Richard Houston, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK and NSE, said: “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Paul and Nikki as leaders of our UK and NSE Audit & Assurance businesses. These two senior leaders have extensive industry and client experience, and are well respected by colleagues across the firm. With Stephen moving into our Managing Partner role, I have no doubt they are the right people to lead our Audit & Assurance business as it transforms in the months and years ahead. I would like to thank Stephen for his leadership of the business over the past five years.”

Last month Deloitte announced a number of key changes to the firm’s UK audit governance structures, in line with the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) principles for operational separation. This includes the establishment of an independent Audit Governance Board (AGB), with Margaret, Baroness Ford of Cunninghame OBE, to be appointed as independent non-executive chair, and with a majority of independent non-executive directors, including Jim Coyle, Almira Delibegovic-Broome QC and Shirley Garrood. Effective from 1 January 2021, the AGB will have responsibility for providing independent oversight of the UK audit practice.

Stephen Griggs, Managing Partner at Deloitte UK, added: “Paul and Nikki’s appointments come at a pivotal time for Deloitte, as we look towards the future of Audit & Assurance. We remain committed to audit reform and playing our role in delivering change that embraces audit quality, improves choice and restores trust. We believe that widespread change of our industry is important if we are to better meet society’s needs and expectations of the audit profession in the years ahead. I look forward to working with Paul and Nikki through this.”

The Audit & Assurance appointments coincide with several other key leadership changes at Deloitte, including Pauline Biddle as UK Client & Industries lead, Daniel Barlow as UK Head of Regions, and Nico Kleyn as NSE Healthcare and Life Sciences lead.

PwC appoints Carol Stubbings to lead Global Tax and Legal Services

PwC has appointed Carol Stubbings to be its Global Tax and Legal Services Leader from 1 July 2020. Carol has been a member of PwC’s Global Tax and Legal Leadership group for the past four years, most recently leading PwC’s People and Organisation practice.

Carol joined PwC UK in November 2003 and has been a partner for the last 15 years. Carol has lived and worked in Zambia, South Africa and the United States and her roles at PwC have included Global Mobility Leader for PwC UK and Client Experience Leader for PwC’s Global Tax practice. Carol has also over the last 12 months led PwC’s New World. New Skills. programme, which is focused on upskilling both PwC’s own people and developing and sharing technologies to support clients and communities.

“I am delighted to welcome Carol to PwC’s global leadership team to head up our Tax and Legal Services practice. Her experience leading multinational teams and working with clients to solve their most pressing strategic challenges will prove invaluable as we work through the ups and downs of work and life in a post COVID-19 world”, said Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of the PwC Network.

“It’s an honour to be asked to lead our 55,000 strong Tax and Legal Services practice across the world. As we navigate some very difficult times, our focus will be on helping our stakeholders to build and grow the businesses and organisations of tomorrow”, said Carol Stubbings, PwC’s Global Tax and Legal Services Leader.

Carol replaces Colm Kelly who will take on a new role as PwC’s Global Purpose and Corporate Responsibility Leader.

“I would like to thank Colm for his outstanding leadership of our Tax and Legal Services team over the last four years and I look forward to continuing our work together on Purpose”, added Bob Moritz.

Clifford Chance adds Sharis Pozen to Wider Leadership Group

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has today announced that Sharis Pozen has joined the firm’s global leadership team.

Pozen is is the co-head of the firm’s global Antitrust group. She has extensive experience in both government and private practice. Over the course of her career, Pozen has held senior positions at General Electric, the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Trade Commission. She joined the firm as partner in May 2019.

Pozen now sits on Clifford Chance’s Wider Leadership Group (WLG) which includes the heads of the firm’s global practice areas, as well as the members of the firm’s Executive Leadership Group (ELG), Clifford Chance’s top strategic decision-making body.

Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance Managing Partner offers, “Given Sharis’ exceptional legal skills and broad leadership experience, we’re excited to bring her perspectives to our leadership group as we execute our strategy and plan for the future. With her addition, we continue to see the diversity of this group grow. Such variety of voices and perspectives only strengthens our firm, and this is equally true at leadership level. I very much look forward to collaborating with Sharis over the coming years.”

The WLG undertakes two formal reviews of the firm’s strategy each year. Pozen will join these meetings, as well as other relevant ELG sessions, including those hosted by the Americas. She will serve a term of two years.

Pozen has also been appointed to Clifford Chance’s Americas Management Committee, which is responsible for strategic and business planning, operational performance and financial management of the firm in the Americas region.

Hogan Lovells to refresh practice structures and leadership

Hogan Lovells is making a series of changes to its practice group structure and the leadership of its International Management Committee (IMC). The IMC is the body that is responsible for setting and implementing the strategic direction and business operations of the firm and is made up of the heads of Hogan Lovells’ practice groups and administrative regions plus clients and markets.

These changes take effect from 1 July 2020 under the leadership of the new incoming CEO Miguel Zaldivar and Deputy CEO Michael Davison.

According to Miguel Zaldivar: “We are uniquely placed as a fully-integrated global firm. We have a high-quality business, great clients, genuine international reach, and extremely talented people. The combination of our industry sector knowledge and our market-leading position at the meeting point between business and government is admired by clients and competitors alike. These are the strengths on which we are building our firm.”

“I set out my priorities in December as being: client service; investment in our key markets; incentivising even more collaboration across the partnership; managing our profitability; and supporting citizenship, diversity & inclusion, and sustainability. The changes to our structures help achieve those priorities by bringing increased speed and efficiency to our management decision-making, continuing the work which Steve Immelt started in 2014 in moving from co-leaders to single leaders.”

The firm’s practice groups will shift from five to three. The Corporate and Finance practice groups will be combined to create a new Corporate and Finance practice made up of around 400 partners. Hogan Lovells will also more closely align its Global Regulatory and IPMT practice groups and put them together under one umbrella, Global Regulatory and IPMT, comprising around 230 partners.

Commenting on these changes Miguel Zaldivar said: “There is already a significant amount of overlap between Corporate and Finance, particularly in the capital markets space as well as in areas such as joint ventures, M&A, and commercial work. Bringing them together creates a powerful force for our clients. With Global Regulatory and IPMT there are already synergies between them in areas such as privacy and cyber-security; pharmaceutical and technology patent litigation; and antitrust investigations. Both are also top-rated practices groups in their own right in the market and we will protect those positions in terms of how we go to market.”

The firm’s regions will also shift from five to three. The firm’s current Americas and D.C. regions will be combined into a single region. The firm is also creating a single Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region which combines its existing UK and Africa region with Continental Europe and its offices in the Middle East. The current Asia Pacific and Middle East region will focus on the emergent markets of Southeast Asia as well as the established economies of Australia, Greater China, and Japan.

Zaldivar commented: “Having a ‘One Americas’ region will enable us to more easily take a holistic and integrated approach to sharing clients, work, investments, and resources.

We have already adopted the same approach very successfully with our offices in Germany and Greater China. Having a single EMEA region is an approach taken by many of our clients and competitors, and reflective of the economic and social ties in that part of the world as well as time zone and geographical proximity.”

He continued: “I have tried to ensure continuity of leadership while prioritising bringing on a new and diverse generation of leaders.”

Zaldivar said: “The UK and Washington, D.C. offices will continue to have participation in IMC discussions where relevant and, with Stefan Schuppert also attending IMC meetings by invitation, we are now adding Germany, given the importance of that market to the firm.”

“Susan Bright, Eve Howard, and Cole Finegan will be stepping down from the IMC after many years of hard work and significant contributions to the firm. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude in managing very important regions through some of our strongest and most successful years as well some uniquely challenging times.”

Susan will take on a new responsibility as Global Managing Partner for Diversity and Inclusion and Responsible Business. In addition she will continue to act as the OMP for the UK until the end of the year. This is in order to ensure a smooth transition to accommodate Penny Angell’s current intense workload advising lenders on financing’s impacted by COVID-19. Eve Howard will serve as Global Head of our combined Capital Markets practice. Cole Finegan will continue serving as office managing partner of the Denver office and support the expansion efforts of the Government Relations and Public Affairs practice in the Americas.

Women in Healthcare Leadership Collaborative gains momentum

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP recently announced the formation of the Women in Healthcare Leadership Collaborative (WHLC), an exclusive leadership initiative for women in-house attorneys, compliance officers, business leaders and other professionals in the healthcare industry who have the talent and drive to advance their careers in a dynamic and heavily regulated industry. WHLC provides its members with legal and industry insights on critical issues in healthcare today, as well as professional skills training and development, networking and mentoring opportunities.

The WHLC kicked off its programming series with a well-attended roundtable discussion on September 17 on “Social Determinants of Health: Developing & Leveraging Partnerships with Community-based Organisations,” featuring presenter Dr. Amanda Parsons, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at MetroPlus Health Plan and Dawn Johnson, Principal at COPE Health Solutions.

“There wasn’t an empty seat in the room; proof that members are hungry for this type of engaging, substantive and highly relevant content and for the opportunity to connect with other women leaders in the healthcare industry,” said Amanda Zablocki, senior associate and co-leader of Sheppard Mullin’s WHLC program.

Danielle Vrabie, senior associate and co-leader of Sheppard Mullin’s WHLC program, added: “We saw members already forming new connections and discussing future collaborations. We are excited to build on this momentum and create additional programming on topics our members are eager to digest.”

“This collaborative is unlike any other within the healthcare industry,” said Eric Klein, leader of the firm’s Healthcare team. “As a leading healthcare law firm, Sheppard Mullin is well positioned to connect like-minded women leaders in healthcare and offer targeted programming on critical issues that matter to them. We are very proud of bringing this vision to life and how quickly it has attracted national interest.”

The WHLC will host its next program in New York on January 23, 2020 and it will be streamed live in the firm’s San Francisco office. It will feature a lively roundtable discussion with Sheppard Mullin healthcare attorneys Christine Clements, Bevin Newman, Allison Fulton and Kathleen Stratton on “A View from the Capitol: 2020 Healthcare Policy, Legal and Regulatory Predictions.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.sheppardmullin.com/