Part 2: Legal Execs Explore Emerging Technology, Litigation

Legal Direct Reports (L2) Committee Meeting Highlights

This is the second of a two-part recap from RILA’s summer meeting of the Legal Direct Reports (L2) Committee. See part one here.

Retail Privacy and Cybersecurity Challenges

Retailers collect a vast amount of consumer data, which is critical to providing high quality and personalized service that customers want. With increasing government regulation and cybersecurity threats, retailers are challenged to meet consumer expectations and compliance obligations. Attendees heard from two industry experts on how companies are proactively tackling these challenges. Diana Kelly, Microsoft Chief Technology Officer, Cybersecurity led with an industry-focused discussion on current cybersecurity threats and steps businesses are taking to protect business information and consumer data. Brandon Lynch, Microsoft, Chief Privacy Officer followed with a discussion of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act compliance requirements.

Using Technology to Increase Efficiency and Effectiveness of Retail Legal Departments

Rounding out Day 1:

  • Member case study panel on implementing technology and bots in legal departments to increase efficiency and streamline operations featuring Microsoft’s Lead Attorney, U.S. Southeast Commercial Enterprise Ryan Benjamin, REI’s Associate General Counsel Jolene Wall, and Macy’s Group Vice President, Law Operations Wendy Beadles;

  • Practical discussion on the role of legal teams in advising business partners on risks while supporting business objectives led by Microsoft’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Commercial Expenses & Readiness, Neal Suggs; and

  • Benchmarking session on implementing technology to first line workers led by Greg Jones and Sam Kim, Microsoft’s Associate General Counsel

Member Case Study - Negotiating a Civil Penalty Settlement with Government Regulators

Day 2 featured a presentation by Costco Corporate Counsel Derek Snead and Supervisor, Product Safety Analysis and Reporting Erin Bradley on how Costco navigated the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) civil penalty settlement process. They walked attendees through the events leading up to the CPSC reporting the violation, as well as the settlement process itself, highlighting valuable takeaways and how Costco has incorporated the lessons learned from the experience into compliance process and procedures and new strategies for government regulator engagement.

What’s New in Washington - RILA Public Policy Update

RILA’s government affairs and legal and compliance team provided updates and insights into current legislative and regulatory issues. Hun Quach, VP of International Trade, provided much-needed clarity to today’s chaotic trade landscape. Nick Ahrens, VP of Innovation, discussed RILA’s efforts to enact federal privacy standards. Evan Armstrong, VP of Workforce, highlighted RILA’s new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative and Tool Kit.  Autumn Moore, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance, discussed federal and state regulation of consumer products and recent enforcement trends. Joe Williamson, Director of Government Affairs, discussed evolving federal and state regulation of CBD products, and Austen Jensen SVP of Government Affairs, provided insight into the upcoming 2020 election cycle.

Peer-to-Peer Benchmarking

RILA members consistently rate the opportunity for peer-to-peer benchmarking as one of the most valuable benefits of active engagement. Meeting attendees discussed a variety of practical questions with their retail legal peers such as demonstrating value with legal department metrics, the role of legal departments in compliance programs, and professional development for attorneys and paralegals.

Legal and Business Partnership to Drive Operational Excellence

To conclude the L2 meeting, Tom Padilla, Costco’s Vice President Operations and Derek Snead led attendees on an interactive walk through of a Costco store. Tom discussed various aspects of the store through an operational lens (store layout, staffing and inventory turnover, and their membership model), and highlighted partnership with the legal department to drive operational excellence at the store and facility level.
For more information on this meeting or to get involved with RILA’s L2 Committee, please contact Kathleen McGuigan. For information regarding the Retail Litigation Center and the new Defense Division, please contact Deborah White.

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