7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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7:30 AM

Registration and Breakfast Buffet

8:00 AM

Welcome and Introductions

Christina L. Martini 
Global Head, Trademark Prosecution and Controversy Practice, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

David Susler 
Associate General Counsel, National Material L.P. 

8:15 AM 

Meet the Recruiters: Everything You Want to Know But Are Afraid To Ask

Join us first thing this morning for an animated and interactive session with four top legal/executive recruiters who will offer a rare insight into the recruiting world.  Both individual lawyers and hiring entities will learn how to better engage with executive recruiters to make smarter, more efficient and more fulfilling career/hiring choices.  Panelists will address a variety of hot button topics including:

  • Variations in Recruiting Roles and Terminology (and why it matters)

  • The Human Dimension to Recruiting   

  • Can Recruiters Assist in Career Transition?       

  • How and When to Approach (and Choose) the Right Recruiter

  • Whose "Side" is the Recruiter On?  

  • What's Next When a Recruiter Can't Help You

  • Ethical Obligations in Dealing with Recruiters

  • The War for Talent in the Post-COVID Market



Cheryl Rich Heisler, J.D (Moderator/Speaker)

President/Founder, Lawternatives


Chris Batz

Partner, The Lion Group LLC

Anne Driscoll

Partner, McCarthy Bertschy 

Michael B. Sachs

Partner, In-House Counsel Recruiting, Major, Lindsey & Africa


Sonya Olds Som

Partner, Heidrick & Struggles


9:15 AM


9:30 AM 

Substance Abuse in a Time of COVID-19 - How it is Affecting the Legal Professional?

As we begin to see the return to the office, we cannot ignore the disruption that the pandemic has caused in the health and well-being of legal professionals. Even before the pandemic struck and remote work was established, lawyers were almost twice as likely to struggle with substance abuse when compared to the general population. They also suffered from disproportionally higher rates of mental health issues often leading to the abuse of prescriptive medication. Addiction in the legal profession is a major problem that has led to many promising careers and lives being cut short. Join us to learn more about the substance abuse issues affecting the legal profession and some of the measures that are being taken to address this crisis.

The panel will feature perspectives from human resources, the Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program, and the Gateway Foundation, a recognized leader in evidence-based treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and co‐occurring mental health conditions that compound addiction.


Jennifer Bluestein (Moderator/Speaker)

Chief Talent Officer, Perkins Coie LLP

Dr. Thomas Britton

President and CEO, Gateway Foundation

Dr. Diana Uchiyama

Executive Director, Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP)

Stacy Sampeck

Director, Assistant General Counsel, 3M Legal Affairs

Thank you to our sponsor

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10:30 AM


10:45 AM 

What Do Ethics Have To Do With It?

In-house counsel are facing new and unique ethical challenges arising from a rapidly changing business and technology environment. This program focuses on the ethical issues presented by technology matters, including in-house counsel’s ethical responsibilities in technology contract negotiations and compliance.  Panelists will review relevant Model Rules of Professional Conduct and other ABA directives and then discuss realistic scenarios featuring Artificial Intelligence, medical devices, working with business partners and data incidents.




Paul Brown 

Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, UL

David Gilmartin

General Counsel, American Health Information Management Association

Helena Ledic

Associate General Counsel, CSC


Aparna Dasai Williams

Associate General Counsel (Corporate), Imperva   

Thank you to our sponsor


11:45 AM



A Year of Transition - The Workplace Changes That Keep General Counsels Up At Night

The past twelve months have seen major transitions in the business world, from the impact of COVID-19, a new administration, and new laws at the state level. Joined by in-house counsel and a member of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Group, attorneys Jeremy Glenn and Christopher Hennessy will recap key changes in the law over the past year, upcoming developments in Springfield and Washington, D.C., and how businesses are adapting as the city, state, and nation emerge from the pandemic.


The panel will cover the following:

  • Issues in the workplace related to COVID-19 and the status of COVID-19 litigation trends

  • The impact of a new administration at the federal level and changes in the law at the state level

    • The latest on the independent contractor/employee divide

    • Illinois and other states place limitations on restrictive covenants

    • Changes to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act and the mandatory reporting on wage data

    • A ballot question to amend the Illinois constitution related to union representation

  • What might next year bring and how businesses can prepare

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Christopher Hennessy

Member, Cozen O’Connor 

James Argionis

Member, Cozen O’Connor


Morgan Walbridge

Vice President, Deputy Chief Legal Officer, The AZEK Company Inc.

Darren Collier

Member, Public Strategies Group, Cozen O’Connor

Thank you to our sponsor

Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Talent in a Changed World

No one can dispute the importance and benefits of a diverse team, but the challenge is attracting and then retaining these key staff members in a competitive job market. A lot has happened in the world since March 2020. In this interactive session you will hear from both in-house and private practice attorneys on the ways they have succeeded and where improvement is needed. A few topics to be covered are imposter syndrome, mentorships and community (i.e., affinity groups).



Rita McNeil Danish

Partner, Taft Law 

Lizzy Diaz-Ortiz

VP, Senior Advisor, Governance & Inclusion Attorney, BMO Harris

Payal Keshvani

Partner, Taft Law


Gilda Spencer

Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel - Dispute Resolution Services, Allstate Insurance Company

Thank you to our sponsor



Trade Secrets or Not: Determining What Is a Trade Secret in 2021

Many in-house counsel may not know that trade secrets are a valuable piece of intellectual property that affect all types of corporations—whether it be in the form of customer lists, financial information, marketing intelligence, or proprietary software. This panel will provide an upfront discussion on the law of trade secrets, including what constitutes a trade secret, the potential value of trade secrets to a company, how a company can use trade secrets to its advantage, and what can be done if there is a misappropriation of the company’s trade secrets



Brian Michalek (Moderator/Speaker)

Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Randall D. Lehner

Associate General Counsel, Litigation, Guaranteed Rate

Chadwick Sullivan

Vice President, Associate Counsel - Intellectual Property, Dover Corporation

Charulata Shah

EVP General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Meridian Group International

Thank you to our sponsor

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Defying Convention: Unconventional Terms to Manage Litigation Risk     

It’s conventional wisdom that an arbitration clause will be beneficial to a corporation, but that may not actually be the wisest move in every context. This panel contends that the conventional wisdom is often wrong on conventional terms. Instead, there are numerous unique terms that few contract attorneys use that may actually be more effective than conventional terms in mitigating litigation risk. Learn from the panelists’ real-life examples on how including unconventional terms in your contracts will minimize the risk and maximize the outcome when your company is faced with litigation. 



Peter E. Carlson

Senior Counsel, Motorola Solutions

Paul J. Loh

Partner, Willenken LLP

Fred Stein

CLO, Fareportal Holdings

Jason H. Wilson

Partner, Willenken LLP

Thank you to our sponsor


2:00 PM



3:15 PM



What Should GC’s Be Doing to Help Optimize Their Corporation’s Real Estate Facilities in a Post-COVID Return to Work Environment?

The panelists will explore the challenges companies are facing as the market returns to the office.  With potentially shrinking work forces and hesitant employees being asked to return to “normal,” what initiatives should companies be considering?  What are various options for structuring leases to give companies the most future flexibility?  What are some considerations for space planning?  What are suggestions for dealing with landlords in connection with restructuring leases, exploring the sublease market, and giving back space? 



Erin Lavin Cabonargi

Managing Director, URBAN ReSOLVE

Eric Gaertner

Assistant General Counsel, Revantage Corporate Services

Todd Lippman

Vice Chairman, CBRE

Michelle McAtee

Partner, Jenner & Block LLP                          


Thank you to our sponsor

Supply Chain Compliance Traps for the Unwary

This presentation will cover hidden compliance traps in your supply chain, including those related to forced labor, force majeure, enforcement of export controls and sanctions, special duties in force, among others. We’ll also look at compliance best practices and ways you can mitigate risk for your organization.


Sulema Medrano Novak (Moderator/Speaker)

Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Mollie Sitkowski

Counsel, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Sonia Zeledon

Corporate Counsel & Head of Ethics, Compliance and Data Privacy, The Hershey Company

One additional speaker to be added soon​

Thank you to our sponsor



4:45 PM


5:00 PM 

Taking Control of Your Own Success:  Advice from the General Counsel

As in most positions, in-house success does not happen by accident.  It requires thoughtful introspection about what your organization needs from its in-house team, what you can deliver and what you need to develop as a strategist and contributor, what you need from those around you, and how to position yourself, your team and your organization for success.  Hear from General Counsel who have been through -- and who continue to grow and learn every day as they go through -- that exercise, and learn some of their tips and tricks for success.



Vicki Donati (Moderator/Speaker)

SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Crate & Barrel Holdings, Inc.

Nancy Paridy

SVP, Chief Administrative Officer, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab


Meredith Ritchie

Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Ethics Officer, Alliant Credit

Georgia Vlamis

Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, USG Corporation                         

Thank you to our sponsor


6:00 PM 


The Importance of Pro Bono Work  

John Gallo, CEO and Executive Director, Legal Aid Chicago, formerly known as the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. Legal Aid Chicago is the largest civil legal-aid organization in the Midwest.

Thank you to our sponsor 

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Registration Fees

Members may register for $100.00 and non-ACC members for $125.00.  Early bird pricing - members may register for $70 until August 15.  See registration site for details here. 

Note – if you registered in 2020 for the original Summit, you should have received your confirmation from ACC Chicago previously.  Reach out to Lisa at with questions.



The 2021 Summit is an in-person only event. The Union League Club is located at 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL  60604. 



Smart Casual Attire is required throughout the Clubhouse and is defined as:  A relaxed, well-dressed look. Smart Casual may include jeans, denim, and collar-less shirts. We will comply with mask, social distancing guidelines and/or other health and safety requirements that are in place on September 1, 2021.  All attendees will be required to follow ULCC’s then current guidelines.



Discounted Parking is offered through the Club - both Valet and Self-Parking.  Visit


Overnight Accommodations are available

Standard rooms are offered at a daily group rate of $199.00 per room + 20% per night surcharge.  Reservations are available by calling 1.800.443.0578 or Emailing:  Please reference: ‘ACC Chicago’ for the group rate which expires August 17.  Guests pay their own charges. Please have a credit card number ready to provide as a guarantee.


Illinois Continuing Legal Educations Credits

ACC Chicago is an Approved Provider with the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois.  The association will be seeking CLE credit for seven (7.0) hours with the State of Illinois including 2.0 (pending) for Professional Responsibility – Substance Abuse and Ethics.  To receive MCLE credits with Illinois, an attendee must sign in at every session they attend and provide their IL Bar Number and email address. 


Summit Registrations – Transfers and Cancellations

Transferability:  Registrants will be permitted to transfer their registration to another person prior to Monday, August 30 at 5:00 pm.  After that date and time, registration cannot be transferred. 

Refunds and Cancellation:  Registrants may cancel their registration, prior to Thursday, August 26 at 5:00 pm, subject to a $10 administrative fee which will be deducted from the refund.


The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy.


ACC anticipates and understands the needs of the in-house bar; helps members deliver services to their corporate clients efficiently; promotes the value of in-house services; influences the practice of law as it affects the in-house bar; and delivers a mix of relevant, timely services including information, education, networking and advocacy.


With more than 40,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries, ACC connects its members to each other and to the people and resources necessary for their personal and professional growth.


ACC Chicago is one of the largest, most progressive and highly successful Chapters within ACC. We have more than 2300 in-house counsel members representing virtually every leading local, national and international company in Chicago and the surrounding areas. ACC Chicago is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of the Chicago in-house counsel community. We also proudly focus on promoting diversity. We strongly encourage members to become more involved with our Chapter, and non-member in-house counsel to join. We believe that you will find it to be both professionally and personally rewarding.

Visit for more information.