Focus On The New York City Chapter ~ Spring 2021 Newsletter Print

President's Message

With spring upon us again, we reflect on the year-long pandemic behind us while being cautiously optimistic about the early signs of a return to some version of normal.  Unemployed and safely traveling around Arizona, California and Hawaii for the last three months, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the pandemic and its effect on America, Americans and NYC.  Seeing and hearing about the disproportionate impact that the pandemic has had on parents, especially mothers, Black Americans and Asian Americans only amplifies systematic issues that have disproportionately impacted these communities throughout American history.  In our own legal community, the disproportionate impact on the careers of women and underrepresented minorities practicing law further highlights the progress we need to make as a profession.

After three months away, I eagerly return to NYC to start a new role as Vice President, Associate General Counsel at Sotheby’s with a mix of excitement and trepidation.  What version of NYC awaits me?  While I have full faith that she will return to her pre-pandemic glory, I can’t help but wonder how she’ll have changed, how we’ll all have changed.  What will be temporary and what will be permanent (and how can conditions that have lasted longer than a year be considered temporary)?  Perhaps most importantly, how can we keep the positive change, sustain our energy to support continued progress and re-engage with our community in person as we transition to what will inevitably be a more hybrid personal and professional existence?

On behalf of the Board, I want to thank those of you who participated in our recent member survey.  As we navigate this new normal, your feedback and insights are invaluable.  While we eagerly await the return of in person events, we have learned a lot about the benefits of virtual programming.  As an association focused first and foremost on meeting our members’ needs, we too need to embrace the hybrid future that awaits us.  With your support and participation, we know the strength of this community will not only survive the pandemic but embrace the change and emerge as leaders for our community and companies in the months ahead.

Best wishes,

Penny Williams
President, ACC New York City Chapter


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Featured Articles

Tying Compensation to Furthering Inclusion and Diversity Goals

Featuring: Susan Eandi, Emily Harbison and Krissy Katzenstein, Baker McKenzie

Organizations continue to look for ways to incentivize employees to support and advance inclusion and diversity (I&D) goals, and the issue has gained renewed focus in the last year as companies address the global reckoning on race and privilege. It's reported that only a small number of large companies have tied executive compensation to goals for hiring and promotion of workers from underrepresented groups. But, for many years, companies have tied pay to different types of business goals, like stock price performance and profits. With more and more companies wondering why not, Baker McKenzie's global counselors and litigators share a framework for thinking through both the practical and legal considerations when designing a reward system related to I&D.


New York Department of Financial Services Issues Cyber Insurance Risk Framework

By: Megan Gordon, Clifford Chance

On February 4, 2021, the New York Department of Financial Services issued its Cyber Insurance Risk Framework to help insurers effectively price and manage cyber insurance risk. In a Circular Letter introducing the Framework, DFS cautioned insurers that failure to accurately price cyber risk can lead to compounded losses that threaten their stability and viability. DFS also expressed concern that insurers may create improper incentives for their clients, who may see paying for cybersecurity insurance as a substitute for an effective cybersecurity infrastructure. The Framework reflects the DFS's continued focus on cybersecurity.


Managing Parallel Government Investigations and Civil Lawsuits: A Primer For In-House Counsel

By: Adam H. Schuman, Perkins Coie

Defending against parallel government investigations and civil lawsuits can feel like treading water — the longer it goes on, the happier you are that your head remains above water. In-house counsel must master content from voluminous documents and numerous witnesses and provide regular status updates and outcome forecasts. Developing strategy that contemplates the big picture is critical.

The following are three key elements to building a multi-front defense strategy:

1. Parse Out What Is at Stake in Each Matter

In the rush to respond to investigations and lawsuits, periodically pause and rethink what is at stake. Is the downside risk of a given matter largely monetary? If so, how significant? A class action lawsuit might be costly, but it is usually only money at stake. A congressional investigation could have a big impact upon a corporation’s reputation and stock price, but there’s no direct risk of out-of-pocket damages.



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Past Presentations

Did you know ACC NYC curates a webpage of all our past presentations exclusively for our members? Whether you’re looking to reference a particular topic that was raised or you’re curious what you may have missed at an event, make sure to bookmark this important resource:


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AAPI & Ally Resources

Please make sure to check out our new AAPI & Ally Resources Page, located here.


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Member get a Member

Your ACC membership has transformed the way you engage with your role and the in-house community. Now is your chance to share the value with your in-house colleague and give them and yourself something extra! Get new members involved at a discounted rate and earn various perks including gift cards, recognition through and even a complimentary event registration!

Learn more about this initiative from ACC online here.

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