Founder, Maura A. Smith Law Offices LLC, 2015 – Present; Ex. Vice President, General Counsel & General Secretary, Delhaize Group, 2013 – 2014; Ex. Vice President, Government Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary, PepsiCo, Inc., 2011 – 2012; Sr. Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary & Government Relations, International Paper, 2003 – 2011. Sr. Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Owens Corning, Inc. (1998-2003); Vice President & General Counsel, GE Plastics (1991-1998); Private Practice: Partner, Baker & McKenzie (1987- 1991), Associate, Steel Hector & Davis (1982-1987).
Broad commercial and corporate experience. Partner, Baker & McKenzie, then served as vice president and general counsel of large GE division,before becoming the GC and corporate secretary of four public companies since 1998 (Owens Corning, International Paper, PepsiCo, and Delhaize Group).
Expertise includes successfully addressing matters in the following areas: corporate governance and securities; executive compensation and termination; compliance and risk management; complex transactions and commercial contracts (including multi-billion dollar joint ventures, licensing and supply agreements, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures), including non-U.S. transactions and joint ventures.
Responsible for managing significant litigation (antitrust, environmental, product liability, employment, and intellectual property), frequently resolving matters through alternative dispute resolution methods.
Representative matters include nationwide class actions and individual actions for product liability, property damage, personal injury, antitrust and unfair competition, theft of trade secrets, patent infringement, wage and hour and other discrimination claims, consumer labeling, and violations of various environmental, health and safety regulations, including matters arising under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and RCRA, as well as other state regulations affecting air, water, solid waste and hazardous materials (including the manufacture of chemicals, transport-storage-disposal, cleanup and emergency preparedness, and community right to know), noise, pesticides land use controls and endangered species.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience
As the general counsel for several large public companies, resolved several significant matters through arbitration and/or mediation. Disputants were large public companies, and the amounts in controversy often exceeded $100 million.
Types of matters ranged from breach of contract, and patent infringement, to disputes related to large transactions and joint ventures. In private practice, represented clients in complex commercial and banking matters, as well as in partnership disputes resolved through mediation.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Training
AAA Rise in Retaliation Claims – Risks and Best Practices, 2017 AAA Arbitration Awards – Safeguarding, Deciding and Writing Awards (ACE01), 2017; AAA “Exceeded Powers”• – Recent Trends in Cases Challenging Arbitrator Authority, 2017; AAA Addressing the Challenges of Demanding Arbitrations: Part 1 ~ The Pre-Hearing Landscape, 2017; AAA Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators, 2016; Awards; Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards, 2016
Publications and Speaking Engagements
“Appellate Arbitration,” February 10-12, 2016, Appellate Advocacy Conference, sponsored by Defense Research Institute, in Scottsdale, AZ.
“ADR Hot Topics: Appellate Arbitration, Sanctions and Arbitrability,” June 18, 2015, webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution, Section of Litigation, and Center for Professional Development.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution: The National Settlement Program and Asbestos Liability in the U.S.,” October 2013, International Corporate Counsel College, sponsored by the International Association of Defense Counsel, in Paris, France.
“Discovery about Discovery and Defense of Transparency and Cooperation,” April 5, 2013, The Seventh Annual National Institute on E-Discovery: Practical Solutions for Dealing with Electronically Stored Information, sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Development, in New York, NY.
General Counsels’ Roundtable, “Responding to Crises; Viral Social Media; The Expected vs. Unexpected, and other Hot Topics” June, 2012, Corporate Counsel Training Academy, sponsored by the International Association of Defense Counsel, Chicago, IL.