N America News May 2017

22 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / MAY 2017 , Scott D. Nader, Lawyer of the Year - NewYork, talks in-depth about his role within the firmand what it takes to create an award-winning leader. Legal Eagle Garden City Group, LLC (GCG) provides claim administration services to the legal sector. For more than three decades, GCG has executed the most critical legal administrative tasks efficiently and effectively, so its clients can get back to work. It the premier provider for class action settlement administrations, restructuring and bankruptcy matters, mass tort settlement programs, regulatory settlements, and data breach response programs in the United States and internationally. GCG’s team comprises attorneys, paralegals, finance and banking experts, software engineers, in-house legal notice specialists, graphic artists with extensive website design experience, and U.S.-based call center professionals hired, trained and managed by GCG. Its high- quality staff, superior quality assurance, and commitment to fraud prevention, compliance, and privacy protection underpin every matter it handles. GCG has a staff of approximately 600 employees with full operations facilities in New York and Seattle and a state- of-the-art mail, processing and contact center in Dublin, Ohio. With regional offices in Toronto, Ottawa, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Orlando, as well as its Tallahassee based subsidiary specializing in labor and employment class action administrations, Settlement Services, Inc. (SSI), GCG has feet-on-the-ground in cities throughout the United States and Canada that are available to clients on short notice. Scott Nader is GCG’s Executive Vice President & General Counsel. He reports to the firm’s CEO and is responsible for identifying, managing and mitigating risk to the organization, whether through contractual risk-shifting, corporate governance controls, regulatory compliance, insurance or bonding programs, etc. He tells us more about his role. “To manage our risk most effectively, I structured the Office of the General Counsel to include not only the Legal team, but also the company’s Privacy and Compliance and Information Security teams. By combining these three interrelated functions, we provide a coordinated approach to risk management, governance, and compliance. “Because our clients entrust us with sensitive personal information in almost all of our engagements, it is critical that we (a) understand the privacy laws and regulatory environment surrounding, for example, international, cross-border data transfers, (b) have the controls and processes in place to ensure compliance with the same, and (c) ensure our technology infrastructure is designed to both safeguard and protect this information, and to respond to attacks and outages – should they occur – with vigor and speed. This model has proven to be an effective means to identify, manage and mitigate risk for GCG.” The pace of technology-evolution is a challenge for all businesses, and Scott tells us how the firm strives to stay on top of emerging trends within the industry. “We keep an eye on legal developments affecting class actions and bankruptcies, of course, but we also monitor developments in data privacy and information security. To keep up, we are constantly investing in technology that ensures our claims management systems and call center stay ahead of the curve. We provide ongoing in-house training to educate our teams in safely and securely handling sensitive data, and we host continuing legal education programs for our clients on how to protect private information in a legal administration. We also commit significant time and resources each year to an outside audit of, among other things, our privacy and confidentiality practices.” Scott also has a business leadership role. As a member of the company’s executive team, he partners with the CEO, COO and other company executives to develop and refine GCG’s business plan and market strategy. “In order to provide the best possible advice to clients, it is imperative that an in-house attorney fully understands the nature of the business, knows the industry, and is able to provide strategic alternatives and ideas on both pure legal issues as well as business issues affected by legal considerations. This role as a strategic business partner at the intersection of legal and business decision-making is one of the most satisfying aspects of my job.” Scott moved from private practice into his first in-house role in 2007. “The move in-house was initially challenging, as I transitioned from being the profit-center at a law firm to being a cost- center within the company, but I soon appreciated the close relationship an in-house attorney forges with his or her clients,” he explains. “Over time, as I learned more about the business and about managing risk in our sector, my business clients started coming to me before they ran into legal trouble, which let me know that I had crossed the Rubicon and was becoming a trusted advisor, rather than simply an attorney who worked at the same company. “As I progressed in my career, I realized that I excelled at working with senior executives and board members to develop strategic plans and implement governance processes that allow businesses to grow in a responsible, ethical manner. The role of the general counsel has steadily evolved over the two decades – instead of reactively analyzing issues from a purely legal perspective, today’s general counsel proactively solves problems and foster business objectives, while ensuring the company maintains the highest standards of legal and ethical behavior. The most effective general counsel engages the board to leverage its authority and set the tone for the legal and compliance culture of the company. At the same time, the general counsel must actively counsel executive management and board members on how legal and regulatory environments can be used to a company’s strategic advantage.” 1703CA31