chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
April 01, 2021

ABA Business Law Virtual Spring Meeting to offer showcase programming

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2021 The American Bar Association’s Business Law Virtual Spring Meeting will be held online April 19-23. In addition to a wide array of programs on important topics affecting businesses and industries in the U.S. and around the world, this year’s conference will include a daily plenary showcase program from 12:15-1:45 p.m. CDT featuring thought leaders in the business law community and a keynote address by the general counsel of one of the top-ranked Fortune 500 companies.

The five-day conference brings together 4,500 business law professionals from around the world and will feature over 300 speakers representing more than 25 countries participating in more than 70 CLE programs.

What:   Business Law Virtual Spring Meeting Sponsored by Business Law Section

When:  Monday-Friday, April 19-23

Where: Online

Sandra Phillips Rogers, chief legal officer and chief diversity officer at Toyota Motor North America, Inc., will give the keynote address on Thursday, April 22, at 3:30 CDT. 

Program topics include:

  • “Pandemic Relief Response and Lasting Impacts on Access, Credit, Banking and Equality”
  • “What Does Good AI Governance Look Like?”
  • “Should the Internet be Regulated? Approaches to Global Internet Regulation”
  • “Financial Regulatory Policy in the Biden Administration”
  • “Consumer Bankruptcies in the Age of COVID-19”
  • “Impact of COVID-19 on the Personal Property Financing and Consumer Experience, One Year Later”
  • “Dialogue with the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance Meeting”
  • “2021 State of the Trends in the Private Equity and Venture Capital Market: How Things Changed in 2020 and an Outlook”
  • “Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology in Consumer Gaming or Prediction Mobile Platforms”
  • “Where Are We Now? The Continuing Evolution of U.S. and International Privacy Laws”

Showcase programs, held each day from 12:15-1:45 p.m. CDT, are:


“2020 Hindsight and the General Counsel’s New Normal: How COVID-19 and Social Justice Issues Have Changed In-House Counsel and What They Expect of Outside Counsel” —General counsels from different industries, including Jeannie Frey, chief legal officer and general counsel, Christus Health; Ivan Fong, senior vice president, legal affairs, and general counsel, 3M Company; Rachel Gonzalez, executive vice president/general counsel and secretary, Starbucks; and Amy Tu, executive vice president/general counsel and corporate secretary, Tyson; discuss how the pandemic and social justice issues have affected the work and perspectives of corporate legal departments and their expectations of outside counsel. .


“The Pandemic and Its Lasting Impact on the Deal Environment: How the Pandemic is Shaping M&A and Business Restructurings” —A panel of experts will answer these questions: How has the pandemic changed the deal environment, including diligence? How has the pandemic impacted bankruptcy and restructuring transactions? How is the pandemic shaping valuations, deal terms and financing? What are the current hot sectors in the M&A arena and why?


“Confronting and Managing Difficult Situations: Leadership in the Time of Crisis” — This program, part of the Business Law Section Leadership Academy, will explore best practices for crisis management and test them against shared international and national surreal 2020 experiences. The panel of experts includes Maura Healey, attorney general, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and Richard Pound, counsel, Stikeman Elliott, and member of the International Olympic Committee.


“The Data Dilemma: Regulating the Lifeblood of Fintech Innovation” — Panelists will discuss the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Consumer Access to Financial Records,” including how data aggregation is driving innovation, the role and impacts of regulation and the benefits and risks to the consumer. The speakers are Grace Powers, senior vice president and managing counsel, Enterprise Functions – eCommerce, Innovation & Technology, Wells Fargo; Thomas Devlin, managing counsel, Office of Regulations at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Meredith Fuchs, general counsel, Plaid; Chris Hill, vice president, assistant general counsel, Finicity; and Christina Tetreault, manager, Financial Policy, Consumer Reports.


“Diversifying Corporate Governance Institutions: Who Should Be at the Table?” — Before racial justice became a salient political issue, companies and corporations considered and addressed diversity and inclusion within governance structures. This panel, including Natacha Carbajal-Evangelista, deputy director, Regulatory Affairs, New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Speakers: David Larcker, professor, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; Eric Douglas Keene, founder and president, Keene Advisory Group; R. Mark McCareins, clinical professor, Strategy Department, and co-director, JD/MBA Program, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management/Northwestern University; and Richik Sarkar, partner, Dinsmore & Shohl; will discuss why, despite the unquestioned social and economic benefits of diverse boards, changing the face of corporate governance remains difficult and how to address the same.

The complete agenda can be viewed online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Robert Robinson at [email protected]

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.