Kate Nanney had been practicing law merely three years and was corporate counsel at Bedford-based State National Companies for only a few months when she was given a new assignment: work with some of the most experienced M&A lawyers in the world at Skadden Arps on a transaction to sell the company to a mega-insurance and investment firm for $919 million.
Five years ago, Sandra Phillips Rogers started an effort to analyze and revamp how the auto giant’s corporate legal department selected and worked with outside counsel. The idea was a more collaborative relationship between Toyota’s in-house counsel and its outside counsel. Today that idea is more than a success: it’s a model for cooperation and diversity.
A couple years ago, Kelly Rentzel faced a daunting question: whether to disclose a mental illness to the world. The GC of Texas Capital Bank had known days of darkness stemming from her struggle with bipolar disorder. But in the process she has discovered that the public revelation of that struggle has meant as much to others as it has to her.
When complex deals become contentious – with emails flying and obstacles accruing and the transaction in danger of falling apart – Shruti Krishnan is likely to do something unusual: she picks up the phone and talks with opposing counsel. And now, as a top lawyer at Table Top, she is known as one of the most effective and personable dealmakers around.
Brandy Treadway’s first task when she joined J.C. Penney in 2011 was to prepare an 8-K SEC filing announcing that Ron Johnson was being hired as the CEO. Much has happened since then and Treadway has been there to help the retail giant through it all. A major proponent of diversity, she is the fourth consecutive woman to be J.C. Penney’s GC.
When Mauri Miller arrived at Platinum Dermatology Partners in May 2016, the business had three offices and 16 providers in Texas. Fifteen transactions later, Platinum has 33 offices and 83 providers in multiple states. Miller, who is 31, oversees Platinum’s M&A and has been integrally involved in each deal.
You would think a merger between two affiliated entities would be easy to pull off. Not so with Energy Transfer Equity’s purchase of Energy Transfer Partners, which is a finalist for the 2018 M&A Deal of the Year award by the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Two retirement funds sued Pier 1 and two of its executives in 2015 claiming they made false statements and misled shareholders about excessive inventory levels, which led to millions in financial losses. Pier 1 GC Mike Carter and Bracewell partners Stephen Crain and Bradley Benoit executed a near-perfect defense strategy to have the case dismissed.
Cori Ulrich, deputy GC of RealPage, has been busy with acquisitions and capital-raising transactions during the past three years. Ulrich has spearheaded legal teams in executing 12 acquisitions ranging from $5 million to $300 million and CapM transactions, including a $450 million follow-on equity offering and a $345 million convertible debt offering.
Jennifer Brown loves coffee, especially South American coffee. She drinks three cups a day, no cream and no sugar. “It is a huge factor when you are a lawyer for a business and you really believe in the company and the product, and I love coffee,” says Brown, who is assistant GC at coffee manufacturer Farmer Brothers.