Chicago Office Hosts Panel Discussion with AbbVie on Partnering to Further Diversity

In The News
March 1, 2019

On Feb. 15, the Ropes & Gray Chicago office hosted a panel discussion with members of Illinois-based biopharmaceutical company AbbVie’s legal team that focused on furthering diversity and inclusion. Participants shared the ideas and initiatives that they were working on within their respective companies. The panel was moderated by litigation & enforcement partner Laura Hoey, and panelists included health care counsel Alison Fethke and five members of AbbVie’s various legal teams (Brad Patrick, Keya Milla, Shawn Moon, Iris Gafni-Kane and Sanjay Narayan). Joan McPhee delivered opening and closing remarks and applauded the opportunity to partner with AbbVie to foster and promote our common goals.

The discussion covered several topics, including: how diverse perspectives foster creative and sustainable solutions; the importance of building mentor and leadership programs that are committed to promoting and retaining diversity; what in-house counsel demand and value when working with outside counsel; and advice on the transition between in-house and outside counsel.


Deborah Gersh, co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s health care practice, noted that she was “truly impressed by the passion and caliber of ideas shared during the panel discussion.” She added, “It’s critical for in-house legal teams and outside counsel to develop platforms and facilitate open dialogues to address this ongoing issue.”

Perry Siatis, VP of Legal Commercial, Acquisitions & R&D, was impressed by the AbbVie and Ropes & Gray attendance and commitment to diversity, stating that “diversity of thought is central to our industry as it fosters innovation and a more robust exchange of ideas. I was excited by the participation of both our organizations and the focus on partnering to address the issues.”