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Speaker Series Attracts High-Profile Business, Law Professionals
Several speakers, some of them who have held federal positions and others with ties to companies such as Citibank and Allstate, will speak as inaugural members of the Mundheim Speaker Series at the UA.
Some of the nation’s leading business law experts will speak during a spring lecture series sponsored by a University of Arizona program that is geared toward students interested in law and business careers. The series will be open to the public.
The James E. Rogers College of Law's Business Law Program is hosting several lecturers during the Mundheim Speaker Series, with the first speaker slated to talk in March.
The UA program, also known as BLP, incorporates finance and economics and also corporate, commercial, tax, antitrust and intellectual property law. It exists to prepare students for work in business law, providing a mentoring component and the lecture series.
Though guest speakers have long participated in BLP, this is the first year the program is offering a formal lecture series, one named in honor of Robert H. Mundheim, currently of counsel to Shearman & Sterling in New York who also has served as an Arizona Law Sabbatical Visitor since 2005.
In addition to teaching a spring course in corporate governance, Mundheim mentors students seeking careers in business law.
Mundheim, who also chairs the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, will speak during the series.
“Bob has offered all of us mentorship and inspiration. The speakers he brings to the college every spring semester bring extraordinary depth to cutting-edge topics in business law,” said UA associate professor of law Barak Orbach, who leads BLP.
“It enriches our student experience so greatly, in both intellectual and practical terms," Orbach said.
All lectures in the series will be held in Room 237 of the James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway.
The series is free and open to the campus community, and members of the general public will be accommodated as space allows.
Speakers for the inaugural Mundheim Speaker Series are:
- Cornell University Law School faculty member Charles K. Whitehead and Simon M. Lorne, vice-chairman and chief legal officer of Millennium Partners, L.P., who will speak March 9, at 10 a.m. Whitehead and Lorne will discuss the regulation of financial institutions.
- Mundheim and John Cannon III, both of Shearman & Sterling in New York, will speak alongside Simone Sepe, a UA associate professor of law, March 21. The 9-10 a.m. talk will be on executive compensation.
- Michele Coleman Mayes, general counsel for Allstate Insurance, will speak alongside Edward Greene of Clearly Gottleib located in New York. Both will speak about the role of general counsel members 12:30-2 p.m. on March 24.
- James H. Cheek III, of Bass, Berry and Sims in Nashville, and Mundheim will discuss professional networks April 11, 9-10 a.m.
The speakers bring a broad range of expertise and experience.
Whitehead specializes in law related to corporations, financial markets and strategic transactions.
After clerking for the Hon. Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland, U.S. Court of Appeals, Whitehead practiced in other U.S. cities and also in Europe and Asia.
Lorne's primary responsibility is the development, enhancement and oversight of the internal control environment, as well as preparation for and attention to the evolving regulatory environment, for hedge funds.
Prior to joining Millennium, Lorne was at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles. His private law practice has focused on corporate governance issues, particularly special committee and audit committee reviews and examinations and corporate transactions.
Cannon is Shearman & Sterling's practice group leader for the Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group, focusing on all aspects of compensation and benefits, including corporate, securities, bankruptcy, employment and tax laws. He has extensive experience in executive compensation and corporate governance matters and employee issues raised in the mergers and acquisitions context.
Sepe's areas of expertise include business organizations, corporate finance, contract theory, law and economics. His scholarship focuses on corporate governance, corporate finance and the theory of institutions.
Greene, former general counsel to Citibank and also the Securities and Exchange Commission, has authored several books and articles on a range of legal topics and implications in the U.S. and abroad.
Mayes, also chief legal officer for the Allstate Insurance Company, is responsible for guiding Allstate's strategy to ensure sound compliance of governance practices, and fostering a healthy legal, legislative and regulatory environment. She joined Allstate in November 2007.
Mayes has extensive legal, corporate and government experience. From 1976 through 1982, she served in the U.S. Department of Justice as assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit and Brooklyn, eventually assuming the role of civil division chief in Detroit.
In 1982, she entered the corporate sector as managing attorney of Burroughs Corp. and, in 1992, joined Colgate-Palmolive Company as vice president and associate general counsel.
Cheek's national practice focuses primarily on advising clients in the areas of corporation finance, corporate governance, mergers, acquisitions, private equity and securities offerings. He also has an active regulatory practice, serving as an independent consultant and monitor for companies in need of an independent review of regulatory policies and procedures.
Additionally, Cheek serves as the regulatory of the New York Stock Exchange and is an adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt University Law School where he teaches a course in current trends in mergers and acquisitions.