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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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ACC Chicago is excited to publish Member Spotlights that feature a Chapter member in a creative question-and-answer format. 

ACC Chicago has more than 2,200 members, and Member Spotlights are designed to help you get to know your fellow Chapter members better and enhance networking opportunities. We will also archive all Spotlights here so you can go back and access them at any time. 

If you are interested in being the subject of a Spotlight or know someone who would make a good subject, please contact Zack Raimi at

We hope you enjoy this fun feature!

2022 Chicago Chapter Award Badge-Gold

Maria Maras

Associate Director, Intellectual Property Accenture

In current position for: About one year, but almost 10 years at Accenture
Years in-house:  Almost 10 years
Law School:  Harvard Law School
Undergrad:  University of Chicago (B.A., Political Science)


An overview of my role is:

I partner with our business to resolve IP litigation and disputes and investigate matters involving misuse of confidential information and IP around the world. I also develop strategies to protect Accenture’s IP and mitigate IP risk for Accenture’s operations in more than 120 countries.

A brief description of my past legal jobs: 

I joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP as an associate in the intellectual property and litigation departments right after I graduated from law school and became a partner in 2010. I worked on high-stakes IP cases there for almost 10 years until I left to join Accenture in 2014.

The best thing about my current job is: 

I get to partner with smart, passionate people to help our clients and communities accomplish amazing things with technology.

The most challenging thing about my current job is: 

I fondly recall the down time after a big filing or the end of a trial when I was a law firm litigator. Given the size of Accenture, there are always matters to tackle after a big one ends.

What I’ve accomplished as an in-house lawyer of which I’m most proud:

I’ve worked on many pro bono projects with Accenture’s Legal Access program, and this year I’m proudest of helping a refugee from Afghanistan apply for asylum and supporting him at his asylum immigration.

Advice I would give to new in-house lawyers: 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help from your colleagues. There’s so much to learn when you’re new that you can’t just “go it alone.”

My favorite pro bono projects or volunteer activities:

A personal favorite is an ACC Chicago Chapter volunteer event at Bernie’s Book Bank. My family has done it for the past two years, and it was a fantastic experience for all three kids (ages 7, 10 and 12).

Most valuable life lesson that I still apply: 

“Look for the solution.” As a young lawyer, I was very upset about a negative development in one of my cases, which I worried had been caused by a choice I had made. My father (who has now practiced law for 40+ years) advised me to focus on the solution – rather than the problem – and reassured me that there is always a way to move forward, if you can lift your head up enough to see it.

If I were not practicing law, I would probably be: 

A librarian. No question.

My favorite book: 

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I wrote an essay about it for my application to the University of Chicago, and it helped me get accepted.

People may be surprised to learn:

I blast Notorious B.I.G. when I clean the house.

  • Archived Spotlights

    • Rozan Simoni // General Counsel - North America, COFCO International

    • Heidi Stover // Senior Counsel, Technology & Product, KONE Inc.

    • Beth Shapiro // General Counsel; Abt Electronics; Inc

    • John Bates // General Counsel and Chief Information Security Officer; Clarity Insights; Chicago, IL

    • Jacquelyne Belcastro // Vice President & General Counsel; Sapa Extrusions Americas; Rosemont, IL

    • Christine Binotti // Lead Counsel, Labor & Employment; Motorola Solutions, Inc.; Chicago, IL

    • Kathy Hatseras // Counselor; U.S. Cellular

    • Julia Jackson // Senior Counsel; Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

    • Andrew Karabetsos // Associate General Counsel; Capgemini US, LLC; Chicago, IL

    • Joe Klauke // Senior Counsel, MondelÈz International

    • Krystin Latuszek // Counsel; McDonald's Corporation

    • Sallie Moutvic Lupescu // Associate General Counsel; Global Brass and Copper Holdings, LLC

    • Divya R. Mehta // Senior Counsel, Codes & Products; KONE Inc.; Lisle, IL

    • Kendall Mills // Attorney, Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL

    • Dean Molitor // Counsel, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

    • Lyudmila Napoe // Associate General Cousel-Americas, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. (a subsidiary of Mars, Inc.) Chicago, Illinois

    • Reggie Parks // Senior Counsel, Cushman & Wakefield, Chicago, IL

    • Edward ("Ed") T. Paulis III // VP & Senior Assistant General Counsel; Zurich North America

    • Lauren Robinson // Senior Associate General Counsel; American Bar Association; Chicago, IL

    • Brandon Smith // Senior VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary; Tenneco Inc.

    • Dana Wilson // Counsel; Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Inc.

    • Angela Wu // VP & Associate General Counsel; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Chicago, IL


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