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Top Billing: Leading Women of Palo Alto

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Cheryl Cauley, Cynthia Cole and Kaylee Yang continue to push the boundaries to achieving more.

They make the Palo Alto office a popular destination for lawyers across practices and industries to find opportunities and support at every stage of their career.

Cheryl Cauley

“I am driven by the challenge of approaching new cases and new clients,” said Cheryl Cauley, Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Palo Alto office. “Each client has unique and often cutting-edge legal problems, especially in the technology arena, which is where I tend to focus my practice.”

Cheryl focuses on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property disputes. She has experience trying cases from inception through appeal in district and appellate courts across the country, as well as arbitrations. She also has diverse experience representing technology clients in fields such as search, sales and advertising, medical technologies, and autonomous vehicles.

She said the pandemic has impacted her practice, and litigation more broadly, in its move toward the use of different types of technology and access to the courts.

“Zoom mediations and hearings work very well, which I think is going to be popular for clients,” she said. “Clients won’t have to fly lawyers out to mediations and hearings every single time that there is one. While sometimes it will still be important to attend in person, it will often be just as effective to present arguments and settlement positions remotely.  The change in people’s use of technology has provided greater connectivity and potentially lower overhead costs.”

Despite working in a more virtual environment, Cheryl said that collaborating with her fellow lawyers at the firm has been no less invaluable.

“I really enjoy working as a team,” Cheryl said. “It’s great when associates and partners can all put our thoughts together and brainstorm the best solutions for our clients.  People approach issues through the lens of their own unique experiences and viewpoints and it’s always fun to see what creative solutions we come up with together.”

Gender diversity, equality, and inclusion are vitally important to Cheryl, as well.

“I work with tech companies and emerging companies, where there are a lot of women who are leaders and decision-makers,” Cheryl said.  “It’s vital for those leaders to see female leaders and team members at the law firms that represent them.  Gender diversity is also important in front of juries.”

Cheryl said that she loves being a part of a well-established firm with great resources while also working in Palo Alto.  “The Palo Alto office is very entrepreneurial and we’re growing the West Coast,” she said. “I think that’s a nice combination that allows us to work with really exciting clients.”

Cheryl adds: “I especially love Baker Botts’ dedication to its attorneys and making sure that they’re being trained from junior associates up through the partner level.  That’s not something that’s found at every firm.”

Cynthia Cole

“If my work keeps my clients out of litigation, then that is a victory,” Partner Cynthia Cole said.

“Relationships are important to me,” she added. “I want to see my clients succeed in what they want to do, so I am happy with every client accomplishment, no matter the size.”

Cynthia is the Deputy Department Chair of the Corporate Section in the Palo Alto and San Francisco offices, as well as a former CEO and General Counsel. Her practice focuses on corporate, strategic and technology transactions, data privacy and security. She advises clients across a wide variety of industries including technology, retail, energy, telecommunications, social media, and life sciences. She acts as outside general counsel to many executive teams and boards of directors and also advises on mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases and joint development agreements.

“What drives me is the idea that there is more to do—and I don’t mean more to accumulate, I mean more to do, more to learn,” Cynthia said. “More to do to give back and create better structures for the people who are coming up behind me.”

Cynthia is sought-after for her depth of experience in complex cross border transactions, IP and data-driven transactions, often creating bespoke agreements in novel technology fields. She advises clients on implementation and compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. She is certified as an Information Privacy Professional by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

“I have never been happier in my career than I am today,” Cynthia said. “I work with clients on cutting-edge issues around data privacy, security and technology. I am able to give back through pro bono work, mentoring and teaching as an adjunct law professor.”

Cynthia teaches a course on information and data privacy at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She has been recognized, as well, for her community involvement and influence, most recently by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a 2020 Woman of Influence.

A recognized thought leader, Cynthia is a frequent author and speaker and is often quoted by media outlets on data privacy and leadership. Most recently, she was honored by the Daily Journal as a 2022 Top Cyber Lawyer in California. In 2019, she was recognized as a California Trailblazer in data privacy by The Recorder for her foundational work in data privacy.

“Some days I get tired and overworked trying to balance my work and my personal life, but what drives me is the sense that I am creating and building,” she said. “As a junior associate coming out of law school in the year 2000, I never thought I would have this career path.”

From working as general counsel to now practicing law as a partner, Cynthia has a unique perspective.

“As a former general counsel, I think the evolving role of the general counsel is something that everyone should be looking at closely,” Cynthia said. “General counsel have become business and product line experts, brand stewards and pillars of initiative around diversity and ethical business practices. General counsel have become drivers of positive change and they are taking more and more boards of director seats. It is inspiring.”

Kaylee Yang

“The most important part of my law practice is to help clients solve their most complicated problems,” Special Counsel Kaylee Yang said. “This requires us to keep learning and exploring the knowledge, not only in the legal field but also various other areas. I enjoy learning and growing with our clients.”

Kaylee, who works in the firm’s Palo Alto office, has made full use of her legal background and connections to bring in matters to Baker Botts.

She represents public and private companies across a broad range of industries in corporate, security and antitrust matters. Her practice focuses on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investment and antitrust compliance and litigation. She also advises companies on intellectual property transactions, joint venture transactions, foreign direct investment and general corporate governance.

“I really care about providing high-quality work to the client in an efficient way,” she said. “Potential clients reach out to me because they received a good reference about me. The biggest accomplishment in my career is gaining the trust from the clients, both intellectually and emotionally.”

Kaylee said she feels inspired by all the great mentorship and female leadership at the firm, which is particularly important because it adds balance to the organization, she said.

“Considering that lots of our clients also have female leaders on their board, having female leaders in the firm helps with our clients,” she said. “In addition, female leaders add diverse perspectives to our legal practice.”

“Baker Botts is where I grew the most during the past four years. I started here as a mid-level associate, and the firm provided me all the resources I can benefit from as an associate. I believe I still have lots of potential to grow here and contribute back to the firm.”

ABOUT BAKER BOTTS L.L.P.
Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit bakerbotts.com.

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