Global Chair Quarterly Note
2021 Annual Attorney Meeting
Our interactive virtual Annual Meeting, held on April 20-21, was a great success due to the fantastic work and dedication of our Annual Meeting Committee and commitment by our members to participate and connect. This year’s Annual Meeting theme was Innovative, Resilient, United – certainly what we have been during this historic time of the pandemic. We had a great turnout at the virtual live meeting on April 20, and the re-broadcast on April 21 for our Asia Pacific members and others who could not make it to the live version. Our speakers, including Keynote Speaker Preet Bharara, inspired us, and I hope that everyone who joined enjoyed networking with each other and learning more about WWCDA's engaging activities and initiatives and ways to get more involved.
A video of the April 2021 Annual Meeting is available on the WWCDA website, and I urge you to watch it if you were not able to attend. It will inspire and inform you, and leave you with a renewed sense of the importance of the WWCDA mission and the work of so many in pursuing those goals.
December 2021 Annual Awards Program and Gala
Please mark your calendars for the annual awards gala, which we currently plan to host in person in Washington, D.C., on November 30, 2021, in conjunction with the ACI’s annual Foreign Corrupt Practices Act conference. The Awards Program recognizes women and men and groups who have enhanced white collar practice while making the field more diverse and equitable, or who otherwise have used their platforms to support women in the practice. In addition, this year WWCDA will give a new award that was announced at the 2020 Awards Gala to honor the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Student Award. The award will be given annually to a female law student who is in the final year of her legal education and who best exemplifies Justice Ginsburg’s commitment to excellence, perseverance, resilience, extraordinary work ethic, and tireless efforts to ensure justice for all in the eyes of the law.
Nominations for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg award can be submitted until September 30, 2021, via the WWCDA website. The website nomination process has closed for all other other awards.
Maintaining and Strengthening Our Connections
Regional & Chapter Conferences: One of the most exciting new initiatives launched during the last year by the WWCDA Executive Committee is a series of regional conferences and events. The Regional Leaders who serve on the Executive Committee have convened the leaders in each of the chapter regions to discuss WWCDA initiatives and plan activities so that chapters can collaborate and have events at the regional level.
As highlighted on our website (Chapter Region Chart and Executive Committee Members), WWCDA has five chapter regions: North America East Coast, Midwest and West Coast, Europe/Latin America, and Asia Pacific. This spring, the chapters in Europe worked together to launch a series of events for the year where each European Chapter will host an event on how the following topics apply in their jurisdiction:
- Internal Investigations
- Legal Privilege
- Disclosure of information to other countries
- External/internal lawyers – who can conduct investigations
This past Spring, London, Italy, and Ireland each held amazing events, covering topics like “English Privilege” and “Application of UK Laws to Non-UK Companies” in London, to “The Gradual Rise of Internal Investigations in Italy” and “The Limited Scope of Privilege in Italian Law” in Italy, to “Mandatory Legal Reporting Obligations Under Irish Law” and “Offences Committed by Directors, Officers, and Managers of Companies” in Ireland. The Leaders in the other regions are in the process of making similar plans.
I am so impressed by our chapter leaders who have put the many amazing programs together, and would encourage other chapters to do the same. For any chapters needing help, please reach out to me or the Chairs of the Chapters Committee, Joanelle O’Cleirigh and Kristin Winemiller.
Our Continued Growth
Year after year, we continue to add Chapters and our presence is increasingly global. Last year, WWCDA launched chapters in India and Peru. Already this year, a new chapter was launched in Québec, bringing our total to 44 chapters, and I anticipate that additional international chapters will be launched this fall I am incredibly proud of, and humbled by, this accomplishment, and I look forward to our continuing growth in the coming year and the years to come.
WWCDA has continued to successfully place women on panels at conferences and other events and promote the professional accomplishments of our members and sponsors on social media and our website. WWCDA is also using the size and strength of our organization in seeking to have more women included in the rankings of top professionals — rankings that we know prospective clients rely upon in choosing who to hire. For example, just recently we celebrated the fact that no fewer than 10 of our members were named among The Top FCPA Practitioners by Global Investigations Review. What an accomplishment! Many thanks to the WWCDA committees that are leading these different initiatives.
Thank you for being a part of WWCDA. If you are interested in getting more involved by serving on a WWCDA committee, check out the list of committees and volunteer here. Many personal and professional relationships grow from the sisterhood of our members working together in building WWCDA.
Innovative, Resilient, United. This year’s Annual Meeting motto says it all. When women lift up other women, incredible things are possible.
Global Chair and Co-Founder