The second day of our Global Technology Summit began with a welcome from Jay Rains, global co-CEO and US co-chair of DLA Piper, who noted that in-house counsel of innovative tech companies are moving much faster than government regulators, creating a reactive environment focused on protectionism, rather than one in which parameters are being established proactively. "The horse is out of the barn," Rains said, "but the government still feels the need to corral it."
This was echoed in the day's first keynote, where CNBC's Sally Shin moderated a discussion in which all panelists agreed that more privacy regulations are coming to the United States. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, senior counselor for the Cohen Group, Eleanor Lacey, senior VP and GC at Sophos, and Eve Saltman, VP of Corporate Business Development, GC, and Secretary at GoPro, also dove into the history and current state of US-China relations. For 40 years, the US has pursued a policy of strategic engagement and cooperation on big-picture issues like global warming, even while competing on various business and political grounds. Today, Burns noted, the current administration favors "strategic competition," in which everything is hotly contested.
Attendees then split off for mid-morning panels, with Margo Tank, a partner at DLA Piper, leading a conversation on the "Rise of the Machines: Smart Contracts and Digitization of the Corporate Enterprise." After a video demonstrating the driver of a leased car reviewing payment options, selecting the insurance for that specific trip or time period, and securely storing the information about that car and its driver via blockchain, the audience was happy to hear the panel say we're closer to that reality than we think – but, the panelists added, digital transformation is also reliant on humans to improve their processes and modernize laws.
Meanwhile, Brett Ingerman, global co-chair of DLA Piper's Compliance and Governance practice and managing partner of the firm's Baltimore office, led a panel on ways to respond to a cyberattack. His fellow DLA Piper partner Jim Halpert, co-chair of the firm's US Cybersecurity and Global Data Protection, Privacy and Security practices, as well as Alisa Bergman, GP and Chief Privacy Officer at Adobe, and Jerry Kral, SVP, Chief Risk, Ethics & Compliance Officer at Brown-Forman, addressed an array of cyber issues, ranging from the new California Consumer Privacy Act class action provision to eventual remediation.
The lunch keynote was a fascinating presentation by Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, at the New York University School of Law and Director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, sharing his years-long research on "Uncovering Talent: A New Model of Inclusion," a study done in partnership with Deloitte. Among the workplace behaviors the study analyzed was "covering," through which an individual downplays a known stigmatized identity to blend into the mainstream; the study found that, 61 percent of respondents from Fortune 500 companies have done this at work. Yoshino acknowledged that finding common ground within organizations is increasingly difficult, because you can't make assumptions about someone's authentic self. "It's on companies to know their values and create workplaces with those in mind, then let individuals come with what they need to be their authentic self at work - create conditions and don't pre-judge," he said.
DLA Piper partner Vanina Guerrero then led a panel on hot topics in M&A from the buyer's perspective. Dena Acevedo, senior corporate counsel at Juniper, addressed the difficulty of acquihires and studies that have shown employees to be less motivated by money than by overall comfort, underscoring the importance of merging organizational cultures: "If integration of the new acquired company doesn't work, you aren't getting what you paid for. It has to come together in a productive way." Wei Chen, VP and Associate General Counsel for Salesforce, then explained the group's role in smoothing things over with tech through collaboration. "Lawyers can't solve the data problem, but can work together with the AI community and let them solve it. Living in the Bay Area, it's our responsibility to lead the AI movement in legal."
Next door, the discussion on conceptualizing and implementing trade secret protection, led by DLA Piper partner Eric Hagen, took a close look at privacy's impact on healthcare. The group discussed doctors' ability to track patients' ingestion of prescribed dosages via wearable devices. Then Neela Paykel, Head of Legal Affairs and Compliance at Proteus Digital Health, mentioned her team is working on a patient bill of rights to generate understanding of how patient data is being used.
To conclude the day of #TechLaw and #DLAPiperTech18, Reggie Davis, GC and Chief Legal Officer at DocuSign, and Mary Anne Becking, VP, Corporate Legal at Dropbox, joined DLA Piper partner Angela Agrusa for a timely conversation on what in-house counsel can do to maintain a discrimination- and sexual harassment-free work environment in the #MeToo era. All in attendance recognized the issue as paramount and went home further educated about promoting respect and fairness in their own businesses.