FH+H Partner Jennifer Huber Included in Law360 Female Powerbrokers List
Jan 24, 2014 02:00 pm | Fluet Huber + Hoang
Fluet Huber + Hoang is pleased to announce that Partner Jennifer S. Huber was included in the recently published Law360 Female Powerbrokers list and was interviewed in a Q&A format. Text of the interview can be found below.
Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Fluet Huber’s Jennifer Huber
January 23, 2014
Jennifer S. Huber is a founding partner of Fluet Huber & Hoang PLLC. She is an international trade and business transactions attorney and has particular experience negotiating and closing complex international transactions involving numerous parties, complex regulatory requirements, corporate formation overseas, and the interplay of foreign and domestic law in emerging economies.
Huber routinely counsels corporate clients in all aspects of cross-border transactions, including export control, anti-bribery and corruption, international joint ventures negotiation, structuring, and documentation, and establishment of foreign subsidiaries. Her practice also includes counseling in international compliance support and the review of transactions requiring approval by the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States. She has specific expertise in the defense, intelligence, and security industries, and holds an active TS-SCI security clearance.
Q: How did you break into what many consider to be an old boys’ network?
A: To be honest, I grew up with an older brother and was raised by a single father — who was a U.S. Marine. I learned early the unique and positive power of combining practicality with feminine intuition. It can completely change the dynamic in a room.
Q: What are the challenges of being a woman at a senior level within a law firm?
A: Interestingly, I do not find there to be any substantive professional challenges of being a woman, despite operating in an extremely male-dominated environment (defense, intelligence and security overseas). My biggest challenges have to do with balancing a demanding career with being a loving wife and mother.
Q: Describe a time you encountered sexism in your career and tell us how you handled it.
A: I was recently overseas leading negotiations for a half-billion-dollar transaction in a country that is historically male-dominated. As is often the case, I was the only woman in the room. It sounds like a cliche, but one of the gentlemen at the table turned to me and asked me to get him coffee. I said, “Of course.” I went to the corner coffee bar, gathered a carafe, and walked around the entire table offering coffee and speaking to each person.
When I was subsequently introduced as the lead attorney, several of the attendees at the table looked very embarrassed. We started negotiations with the distinct advantage that comes with being underestimated by your counterparty … and I had had the opportunity to personally meet everyone at the table.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring female attorney?
A: I have two pieces of advice for aspiring female attorneys.
The first is important, but not specific to women: There is no such thing as a draft. When a partner or client asks for a “draft,” what they really want is the best possible product given time (and other) limitations.
The second is also important, and very specific to women: Embrace the differences in genders. Men and women often (but not always, of course) approach problems very differently. Look for opportunities to capitalize off of those different approaches. I’ll be blunt here — in a professional environment, most men find it very difficult to be offensive or disrespectful to a woman. My experience is that this is true worldwide. Business deals and litigation are often high-stakes and fast-paced, with a “winner” versus “loser” aspect that triggers ego-based reactions and decisions. As a woman, you are often uniquely positioned to redirect negotiations or testimony in a way that allows the alphas in the room to stand down. This creates room for resolution and justice — which is, after all, what most of us sought when we decided to go into law.
Q: What advice would you give to a law firm looking to increase the number of women in its partner ranks?
A: The same advice I would give to aspiring female lawyers: Embrace the differences in the genders. The practice of law is an art, not a science. Creativity is critical to success. Reward lawyers (of either gender) for creativity of all kinds, including client counsel, billing structures, work and scheduling plans, marketing, etc. A collaborative work environment will naturally draw in women.
Q: Outside your firm, name an attorney you admire and tell us why.
A: I’m going to make fun of myself for a minute. For years, I admired Sandra Day O’Connor for many things, including an original quote that went something like, “As a woman, you can have it all. You just can’t have it all at the same time.” I lived by that thought, giving myself comfort while I was at the preschool bake sale (postponing client calls) or on an overseas flight (missing my children) — all the while believing that someday, I just might STILL be able to be a Supreme Court Justice.
At some point I became aware that this may not have been an original SDO quote. Whether (or not) Sandra Day O’Connor spoke these words, she certainly embodied them. She graduated from Stanford Law School in 1952. Over 40 law firms refused to interview her. She eventually got a job after offering to work for free. She loved her husband, took care of him through illness, and raised three kids. And then she became the first woman Supreme Court Justice. I admire her not just as an attorney, but also as a woman, wife and mother.
FH+H Partner Jennifer Huber to Speak on U.S. Trade Controls Panel
Jan 23, 2014 01:10 pm | Fluet Huber + Hoang
On Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, FH+H Partner Jennifer Huber will be participating in The Bar Association of The District of Columbia’s National Security Law, Policy & Practice Committee panel discussion on U.S. Trade Controls. Jennifer will be joined on the panel by Hon. Kevin Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration at the Department of Commerce. The panel discussion is free to attend, details of the event are below.
BADC’S NATIONAL SECURITY LAW , POLICY & PRACTICE COMMITTEE
PRACTITIONERS’ GUIDE TO U.S. TRADE CONTROLS
Export controls and trade sanctions play a critical role in U.S. national security strategy; and, perhaps more than any other component of this strategy, it relies substantially on the cooperation of the private sector. A changing regulatory landscape amid increasingly aggressive enforcement, however, complicates the compliance challenges now faced by exporters. For both exporters and their counsel, the recent Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative may be raising as many questions as it answers. Some of these questions relate to the implementation of the newly expanded Export Administration Regulations by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, with which exporters of defense articles and services may be unfamiliar. Others may concern the future of enforcement by BIS and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls at the U.S. Department of State, which administers the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The ability of exporters and their counsel to understand and adjust to ongoing developments will have an important bearing on their ability to implement effective, sustainable compliance programs. Please join us for our panel discussion.
Moderated by Steven Cash
Law Offices of Steven A. Cash, PLLC & Deck Prism
Hon. Kevin Wolf
Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Partner, Fluet Huber + Hoang, PLLC
Partner, McDermott Will & Emery, LLP
Partner, Holland & Hart LLP
Managing Director, Forensic Advisory Services, KPMG LLP
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Light reception to follow to follow the discussion.
Graciously hosted by McDermott Will & Emery, LLP, 500 N. Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
(Nearest Metro stop is Union Station on the Red line)
Please RSVP to Mike Abler at email@example.com
The Bar Association of the District of Columbia
1016-16th Street, NW, Suite 101, Washington, DC 20036
202-223-6600; fax 202-293-3388; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.badc.org
Daily Dump: 23 January 2014
Jan 23, 2014 10:57 am | Josh Slade, Esq.
Here is today’s Daily Dump:
– The General Accountability Office denied a protest for a contract bid at $32 million. The GAO agreed with the Army that in exceeding a hard cap of $30 million set by the Army, the bidder fairly lost the contact. The bidder insisted that the Army had a duty to inform them about their bid’s technical deficiency, but the GAO disagreed. [GAO]
– A firm that conducts background checks for security clearances has been charged with fraud. Prosecutors allege that the firm reported unfinished background checks as finished. The firm is the same that did the background checks on Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis. [Federal Times]
– The Senate will debate a major overhaul of Veteran’s benefits, sources report. A proposed bill would eliminate the recent cuts made to military retirees cost of living adjustments, and provide many other benefits advocated for by Veteran’s organizations. [Federal News Radio]
Daily Dump: 22 January 2014
Jan 22, 2014 03:15 pm | Josh Slade, Esq.
Here is today’s Daily Dump:
– The Department of Defense will rely heavily upon Blackberry to provide support for its mobility network. Sources say that the DoD plans on using up to 80,000 Blackberry devices as part of its mobility strategy. [Defense Systems]
– The Department of Homeland Security issued its first task orders under the $6 billion Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation contract, recently. The agency issued awards to Hewlett-Packard ($32 million), Northrup Grumman ($15.8 million), and Technica ($3.8 million). [FCW]
Corporate Governance Best Practices – Lesson #2
Jan 21, 2014 09:19 am | Fluet Huber + Hoang
Today marks part two of our six part series focusing on Corporate Governance Best Practices by Jack L. White, Esq. This series will highlight best practices that are certain to aid corporate leadership along the path to success. Fluet Huber + Hoang boasts attorneys with specialized expertise in advising corporate leadership. We assist corporate boards and senior executives in the nonprofit and for-profit realms as they satisfy their legal obligations while remaining focused on their corporations’ respective primary purposes. In fact, our firm has offered a robust presentation entitled “Corporate Leadership Best Practices” that has been instrumental in the continued success of various corporate leaders.
Lesson #2: You will be held responsible as an organization and a board for the information you present or make available to the public.
Resulting Best Practice: Take measures to ensure that all information presented publicly on behalf of the organization is accurate and not reasonably subject to ambiguity.
Both for-profit and nonprofit corporations rely heavily upon the goodwill of their constituents, whether those constituents are investing stakeholders or donors. Therefore, the reality is that there is a great deal of scrutiny devoted to how corporations communicate with the public. The best way to avoid liability as an organization and individually as a director is to ensure that any publicly available communications are clear, accurate, and unambiguous.
a. ACCURATE COMMUNICATIONS
Without being involved in the day-to-day business, directors cannot reasonably ensure that all information and data provided about the organization’s daily business activities is accurate and complete. However, it is reasonable to consider and establish procedures that will lead to the accurate collection and reporting of information. For instance, corporate directors can direct a marketing division to avoid using fixed numbers and percentages in correspondence, since constantly updating and verifying such information can be tedious and present an elevated risk of inaccuracy in such representations. Also, while the autonomy of individuals involved in the marketing process may be necessary given the pace of conducting business, directors can direct these individuals to routinely report not only to the president/chief executive officer but also to the board itself. This keeps the board directly involved and informed regarding germane business processes.
b. CLEAR CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
In addition to ensuring that all information conveyed is correct, the organization should make reasonable efforts to avoid language that is ambiguous and can be misconstrued. This focus on clear communication must extend upward to stakeholders, sideways to partners and alliances, and downward throughout the organization. While the information that your corporation must convey may be multi-faceted, what I refer to as ‘manufactured complexity’ should not be the objective of your communications. Indeed, the fallacy that I refer to as ‘manufactured complexity’ is often borne of the mistaken beliefs that complex communications will: be perceived as authoritative; immunize leadership against objections; exhaustively satisfy all constituents’ concerns; and, avoid constituents’ doubt of the sophistication of leadership. These mistaken beliefs do little more than frustrate the recipients of corporate communications. One construct that supports the need for clear corporate communication encourages communications that are contextualized, logically structured, essential, ambiguity-free, and resonating. These principles assist in corporate communications ranging from periodic reports to e-mails and memoranda to presentations to diagrams, and even blogs and social media posts. What is consistent is that clear and unambiguous communications will invariably both advance your corporate purpose and assist in avoiding legal pitfalls.
Click here to read Jack’s first corporate governance best practice lesson, Regulatory agencies often present the greatest risk to your corporation’s future viability.