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Second annual Vanguard Forum for General Counsels

General Counsels today face unprecedented challenges. They must lead their teams and their companies through the continuing chaos of the pandemic, while also reinventing their roles and their organizations to drive a recovery. And they must meaningingfully address the emerging new imperatives for society and racial equity.  All this, as digital and AI accelerate the transformation of how legal departments are structured, and what they do.

The Forum for GCs 2020 addressed these leadership challenges through intimate, interactive dialogues in a variety of highly engaging formats.


The Forum was by invitation only. It was conducted as virtual sessions, noon-noon September 30 - October 1, 2020.


Each session was a dialogue or workshop of approximately 45 minutes.


Session leaders are highly experienced General Counsels, Senior Counsels, Board members, and top leadership experts. Advisory Board members helped us plan the Forum agenda and we included topics that were of the most importance to GCs.

  • Bob Bailey; Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Allergan

  • Andrew Brownstein; Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

  • Noni Ellison; General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary, Carestream

  • Mark Goodman; Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

  • Mary Ann Hynes; Senior Counsel, Dentons; career General Counsel

  • Garrick Isert; President, Executas; past Managing Director of World 50, Inc.

  • Igor Kirman; Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

  • Michael O'Connor; General Counsel, MassMutual

  • Tom Sabatino; Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Aetna; past GC of Hertz, United Airlines, Walgreens, Schering-Plough, Baxter

  • Brandon Smith; General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Tenneco

  • Bjarne Tellmann; General Counsel, GSK Consumer Healthcare

  • Caroline Tsai; CLO and Corporate Secretary, Western Union



  • What Is the Evolving Role of the GC?

  • My COVID Experience (includes small group breakout sessions)

  • DEI, Social Justice, and the GC, Part 1

  • DEI, Social Justice, and the GC, Part 2

  • Fresh Eyes as a Leader


  • Case Study: Lessons in GC Leadership from the M&A Frontlines (includes small group breakout sessions)

  • Talent and Culture



Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Russell Reynolds Logo
Debevoise & Plimpton
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