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Spotlight: Alyson Spurlock Danner
Profile photo of Alyson Danner

Alyson Spurlock Danner

Q: Please tell us about your current role and how you got to where you are today.  

A: Current Role. I am a Managing Director, Associate General Counsel leading the Global Payment Solutions and Global Banking Digital Strategy Legal Teams (“GPS Legal Team”). The team is comprised of about 30+ lawyers that sit globally in Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, London & the US.  The GPS Legal Team provides legal advice with respect to the following products: Commercial Card, Trade Finance, Liquidity, Receivables, Payments & Digital Platforms.

How I got to where I am today: I started as a lawyer at MVA working on syndicated loans. After about 6 years at MVA, I left to join Bank of America’s Global Commercial Banking practice where I advised on various client issues, including loan issues, for Middle Market and Healthcare, Education & Not For Profit businesses. After starting to develop an expertise in eSignatures and digital work, I was asked to take on a newly created role supporting the Global Banking Digital Strategy team. After a few years in that role, I was asked to lead the GPS Legal Team.

Q: What are three keys to your professional success?

A: Taking Ownership: I’ve always felt a sense of ownership of my work (regardless of how little or big my role was on a deal). I always felt compelled to make sure that if I was working on something, I was driving the work forward and considering all issues. I never wait for someone to tell me what to do, but instead am always thinking “what do I need to do” and would go and do it.

Being Agile: My dad has always said “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” and that really has been a great quote that illustrates my career. I have always been willing to learn new issues—whether it was about eSignatures or digital platform issues or to learn about new and emerging technologies—and that willingness to learn ultimately ended up intersecting with opportunities that have led to various promotions in my career.

Being Responsive: I think that if any one of my clients or managers were to ask what my best trait was, they would say that I am extremely responsive. Our business is about getting deals done and getting them done quickly. Being responsive helps drive that business success.

Q: What suggestions do you have for an in-house attorney looking to better engage his or her client and become a more integrated, trusted advisor?

A: Be Responsive: Being responsive is probably the character trait I look for most in my outside counsel. If outside counsel does not provide prompt feedback/advice, that impacts our business in a detrimental way. In most cases, quick responses that provide initial guidance (even if that needs to be confirmed with further diligence that may take a longer time) are extremely helpful and all that we may need.

Provide Advice: Many outside counsels just provide us the laws or regulations but don’t actually make recommendations on how to solve the problem. To be a trusted advisor, outside counsel should provide actionable advice and recommendations that helps move the business forward. Regurgitating the law is generally not as helpful as someone who is willing to help problem solve and provide recommendations that can be actioned upon.

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