Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel
218 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
Overview (Program Summary)
Postponed – New Date TBA
Every legal team is being asked to do more, even as resources — including headcount, technology and time — remain flat. Securing vital investment means Modern GCs and Legal Operators across companies of all sizes must become experts at building business cases for their teams. This panel will provide hard-won insights from leaders who have secured headcount, budgets for legal tech, larger investments and driven internal alignment across technology investments to lower outside counsel costs and get Legal a seat at the business table within their organizations.
Suzanne Sykes, Associate Director, Contracts, AppDynamics
Suzanne has two decades of experience organizing and running Contracts functions at companies ranging from divisions of Fortune 500's (SAP & AT&T), start-ups (Jibe (an iCIMS company)and consumer health companies (WebMD). She has a strong background in in negotiations on"both sides of the table" as well as compliance, program management and legal operations. Suzanne says that she "enjoys challenges and working for organizations that value initiative and a pioneering spirit. Implementing the Ironclad solution at AppDynamics has been a perfect opportunity to pursue that passion, and she especially enjoys talking to those who are considering Ironclad in an honest, user-based community environment."
Ayana Free, Director of Legal, Zocdoc
Ayana is the Senior Director of Legal Affairs at Zocdoc, Inc., a healthcare tech company that empowers patients by helping them find providers and book medical appointments online. At Zocdoc, Ayana manages the company's litigation, employment and intellectual property portfolio.
Before joining Zocdoc, Ayana worked for a decade in litigation and enforcement. After graduating from NYU School of Law, Ayana clerked for Hon. Reginald C. Lindsay in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and worked as a litigation associate for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where she was actively involved in the firm's diversity, recruiting and pro bono programs. Following Cleary, Ayana served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. As an AUSA in the Civil Division, she successfully defended federal agencies and officials in district court and appellate cases.
Ayana is a proud Spelman alumna, member of the NYU Law Association Board of Directors and an avid mentor committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion.
Elyssa Dunleavy, Advertising Attorney and AVP, L’Oreal USA
Elyssa is an advertising lawyer with an expertise in influencers, advertising review, and intellectual property at L’Oreal USA, Inc. She has extensive experience drafting and negotiating influencer agreements and counseling clients on the regulatory landscape and advertising best practices. Elyssa has developed social media related policies and trainings which are utilized by L’Oreal worldwide.
Prior to joining L’Oreal, Elyssa was the head of Grey New York’s Advertising Standards and Compliance Department where she oversaw the review and clearance of all advertising campaigns across multiple categories and media. Elyssa developed a robust in-house compliance program for creatives and executives, which included trainings and policies to reduce risk to the Agency and its clients. Elyssa was the recipient of Grey’s “Gravy Award” which recognizes employees for their outstanding contributions to the Agency and forward thinking.
Ms. Dunleavy is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (B.S. Political Science) and New York Law School.
Moderator: Chris Young, GC, Ironclad
Chris is General Counsel at Ironclad, Inc., the venture-backed startup that helps in-house lawyers create, automate, and track their contracts—all from one intuitive, powerful platform. He draws on his years of experience as a corporate attorney and public servant to help shape and carry out the strategic vision of the company. As the company’s chief counsel, he is responsible for a broad range of legal, regulatory, and policy matters.
Chris spent most of his career between private law practice, politics, and government. Following law school, he worked as a litigator at the San Francisco-based law firm, Morrison Foerster. After litigating a high-profile educational inequality case, he took a leave of absence to join the 2008 Obama campaign as the Deputy Finance Director of Northern California. Shortly after the President was elected, Chris returned to his hometown Sacramento to serve as the then-Mayor’s Senior Advisor and Counsel, before moving to DC to serve in the Obama Administration. After stints in both the White House and Department of Justice, Chris moved back to the Bay Area and joined the law firm of Keker, Van Nest & Peters. There, he served as a litigator and trial lawyer, handling a wide range of criminal, civil, and regulatory cases.
After four years at KVP, Chris left to join OpenGov and served as its Head of Business Development and Counsel. After OpenGov, Chris spent three years at GoFundMe serving as their General Counsel. While at GoFundMe, Chris became the Founder and President of GoFundMe.org (formerly the Direct Impact Fund), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to supporting individuals impacted by natural and manmade disasters and social movements like TIME’S UP and Equal Pay Day. In its first year, the charity raised over $33 million from over 180,000 donors.
Chris received a degree in Philosophy from San Diego State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. After spending a year as a fellow in the California State Senate, he started working on his law degree at UC Berkeley School of Law, where he graduated in 2005. Chris served as a law clerk for Judge Susan Illston, a Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of California. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his wife and young son.