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MVA Today an Alumni Newsletter- Spring 2019- Vol.2

June 2019
Hello Again!
Welcome to the second edition of our MVA Today Alumni Newsletter. We hope that you enjoyed the inaugural issue and that you will find this version informative. We wanted to start off this update with a focus on diversity and inclusion.
At MVA we recognize that having people with different backgrounds and perspectives is critical to our ability to provide the highest level of legal services. By fostering an inclusive work environment we come together as one extraordinary team with the common purpose of providing truly outstanding legal services to our clients. Our commitment to diversity goes beyond our firm to the communities we serve through extensive outreach initiatives. These core principles are embraced by the firm’s leadership and is one of the reasons our managing chair serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee.
For your reference we are including our latest Diversity Report . 
MVA was recently ranked a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for 2019. The firm received its final rating for the 2019 Corporate Equality Index and achieved a perfect score of 100 which earned the honored designation. 
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We are also extremely pleased to be adding a leading financial services lawyer to our ranks. Barbara Meeks joined our Financial Regulatory Advice and Response team from Wells Fargo & Company where she served as an Associate General Counsel. She understands the complexity of issues facing the financial sector and will provide the firm’s clients with a pragmatic and solutions-based approach to challenges. Barbara’s move to MVA has been covered by multiple outlets, including Reuters, Law.com, NC Lawyers Weekly, Mecklenburg Bar, NC Headlines and the NC Bar all announcing the news.  The National Law Review also featured Barbara in an article titled, “ Industry Expertise & Emphasizing Women’s Financial and Career Empowerment: Barbara S. Meeks Joins Moore & Van Allen ” on April 15.
Awards, Accolades and Publications
MVA Attorneys and Practices Recognized in 2019 Chambers & Partners Guide
 
Chambers & Partners has ranked seven firm practice groups and 26 firm attorneys in the 2019 edition of its legal directory Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business .
2019 Super Lawyers
 
North Carolina
24 MVA attorneys have been named to Super Lawyers’ 2019 list of top attorneys in North Carolina, and ten attorneys were named to Super Lawyer’s 2019 Rising Stars list. These attorneys represent the firm’s Charlotte office. 
South Carolina
Additionally, MVA has three attorneys who have been named toSuper Lawyers’ 2019 list of top attorneys in South Carolina, and one attorney was named to Super Lawyer’s 2019 Rising Stars list. These attorneys are located in the firm’s Charleston office. 
 
Public Service
 
Our attorneys have also found time to actively engage in public service. 27 MVA attorneys were named members of the 2018 NC Pro Bono Honor Society .
Publications and Media
 
Financial Regulatory Advice and Response (FRAR) Co-Chair Neil Bloomfield’s article The Regulation of the U.S. Financial Industry Under the Trump Administration was published inGlobal Banking & Finance Review . Neil and Litigation Associate Kate Wellman’s article FRB and FDIC Cast a Critical Eye on Resolution Plans was published in Banking Perspectives . And finally, an article by Neil, fellow FRAR Co-Chair Ed O’Keefe and Litigation Associate Elena Mitchell titled The Time Is Now to Prepare for Congressional Inquiries from a Democrat-led House was published in the Westlaw Journal on Bank & Lender Liability
Charlotte Privacy & Data Security Member Karin McGinnis was quoted in the TechTarget article, “ Data breach legislation proposes jail time for CIO, HR execs ” which was published April 8. The article discusses how data breaches caused by negligence may lead to jail time for corporate executives under legislation introduced recently by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
MVA was pleased to have been a gold sponsor at the 2019 SIFMA C&L annual seminar that took place March 24-27 in Phoenix, AZ. SIFMA’s C&L annual seminar is the premier event for compliance and legal professionals working in the financial services industry. FRAR Member Ed O’Keefe and White Collar, Regulatory Defense, and Investigations Member Valecia McDowell served as panelists for this year’s seminar. 
 
For more information on Firm news, accolades and recognitions click here .
Everything I Need to Know About Conflicts of Interest, I Learned in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton V. J-M Manufacturing
July 16
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Our CLE offerings are updated weekly. Please contact us for the latest information.
What Clients Want-
The Importance of Relationships and Service
June 4
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Taking Ownership of
Your Career
June 4
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Young Professional Beer & Wine Tasting
June 6
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
2019 Sally & Bill Van Allen
Public Service Luncheon
June 6
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Our Events are updated regularly. Please contact usif you would like to attend the events listed above.
Greg Murphy
In our first Alumni Spotlight we are featuring Greg Murphy. As many of you know, Greg served as Chair of our Litigation Practice Group from 2002-2010 and served on the Firm's Management Committee from 2000-2010. Greg left the firm to become the first General Counsel at Nucor Corporation and he has been kind enough to take some time away to share his perspective on professional success, best practices, and relationship building.
 
Q: What are three keys to your professional success?
A: The number one contributor is the people around me who made me better. Many people (family, teachers and colleagues alike) showed interest, encouragement and offered constructive advice along the way. I am confident my career would have been different without them.
The second factor is a natural sense of curiosity.  A diverse legal practice makes for a highly interesting legal practice. 
Finally, I have a deep competitive drive to improve. I am not entirely sure where this came from but it has always been a key aspect of my success.
Q: What recommendations do you have for managing outside counsel that are often times more senior than the in-house lawyers tasked with managing them?
A: Regardless of seniority, I believe the key to any positive in-house/outside counsel relationship is clear communication and setting expectations. This is a shared responsibility. It is not the job of the outside lawyer to guess or divine what the client wants or needs. It is the client’s responsibility to set clear goals and objectives and to give context to the work. And if the inside counsel does not do this, the outside lawyer should probe until this is clear.
This common disconnect can sometimes be amplified when the in-house lawyer is less experienced and is working with a more seasoned outside counsel. The more senior lawyer can offer alternative approaches or options – but in the end, it is the client’s responsibility to make decisions and provide the ultimate directions. And if this is done well, the outside lawyer and the client will enjoy a trusting relationship for years to come.
Q:  What are some best practices for junior lawyers looking to stand out and move up in a crowded legal department?
A: At Nucor we do not have a crowded legal department, but the advice would be the same, regardless of the size of the department. First, have ownership over everything you do. Just because you have outside resources to help you, does not mean that you should not be fully vested in the process and the outcome. Second, be responsive to your internal clients and to your outside lawyers. Answer your phone, return calls as promptly as possible and respond to e-mails. Our profession is based on service and you should strive to provide better service than your peers. Third, never go through the motions. Use your knowledge of the organization to find better ways to solve problems. Good lawyers are ultimately good problem solvers. And if by thinking creatively and understanding your organization better you can make fundamental change, then that is what you should be doing. Finally, never take for granted those who have helped you on your journey. Be generous with praise when it is warranted.
Q: How do legal, compliance, and risk interact at your company and how do you see that changing in the next 5-10 years?
A: The general counsel role – especially in a lean organizational structure – is all about all three functions. Our job is to effectively and responsibly manage risk and to comply with laws and regulations. In many highly regulated industries, compliance has become a separate function from legal and risk management. While I understand and appreciate the need for that in heavily regulated organizations, I believe a general counsel needs to be informed and fully invested in all three areas.
The world is becoming more “compliance-centric”. Events like the financial crisis accelerated this phenomenon. But I am not entirely convinced that some of the laws and regulations have done much to truly make the world safer or better for stakeholders. Much of it seems to be event-driven and not terribly flexible or practical. And in other cases, compliance rules are adopted to respond to extreme cases which are usually outliers.
Unfortunately, I do not see this changing in the near term. If anything, I see the trend accelerating. One example is in the area of data protection and privacy. The EU’s adoption of GDPR (shortly followed by California’s new data privacy regime) does not really address the root cause of the problem. But it undeniably has led to a lot of confusion, expense, and likely little practical benefit to most companies, shareholders and customers.
Q: At many firms, there has been a trend for bringing more legal work in-house and reducing the reliance on outside counsel.  Is your company a part of this trend, and if so, what have been the benefits and challenges?
A: To an extent, all companies are doing some of this, and Nucor is no exception. But the degree to which it is occurring depends largely on the service model at each company and the internal resources available. I would say that the key is not whether to move the work inside or out, as much as it is determining where the work can be most efficiently and effectively done.
Good law firms recognize this and get out ahead of it. If they can identify large “buckets” of work that they can effectively manage on an outsourced basis, they offer to do just that. After all, from our vantage point, the key is that the work gets done and done well and in the most efficient manner. If a law firm can come up with a way to reduce workloads and at lower cost without the results suffering, then why would we not do that?
Other work is highly specialized. And it is not repetitive. Those are also the perfect opportunities for law firms to deliver those services, rather than trying to do it all in-house. Finally, certain work is so large or complex that legal departments need to leverage the outside resources. And that is usually the work that the law firms find most desirable anyway.
I think the biggest challenge facing all lawyers today is to adapt to an ever-changing world. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation will continue to evolve and make many tasks that we all did as younger lawyers a thing of the past. This creates opportunities for law departments and outside firms to collaborate and to find new ways to create value. But it may also cause disruption for those unwilling to adapt. There will always be a need for good lawyers. But the kinds of work they do will continue to evolve at an accelerated pace in the next ten years.