Seasoned antitrust litigator Linda Cenedella has joined Morgan Lewis in New York as a partner, arriving from JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she served as executive director and assistant general counsel in the litigation and corporate and regulatory law departments. Shortly before her arrival, Morgan Lewis added to other prominent litigators: Sandra Moser from Quinn Emanuel and Robin Nunn from Dechert.
Cenedella recently reflected on her move.
What about private practice was alluring after many years in-house?
I have always enjoyed working with different clients in a variety of industries. There also is a lot happening in the antitrust world, here in the U.S. and abroad, so there are many opportunities.
What drew you to Morgan Lewis?
The people. The forward-looking philosophy of the firm. The dedication to doing the best work for each client. The commitment to diversity and community. Collaboration is not just a buzzword at Morgan Lewis. In the few weeks I have been here, I have witnessed the true cross-collaboration opportunities available across the firm. Different people in different groups with different expertise coming together to provide the best representation for each client. It was important for me to join a firm with cross-office teams capable of providing seamless representation of clients, something I valued when I was in-house working on global matters.
What kind of antitrust work do you expect to be working on over the next few years?
Given my financial services background, I expect to continue to service financial services clients. The financial services industry is incredibly dynamic and the line between financial services and technology is increasingly blurred. Technology seems to be the current focus of antitrust regulators around the world and I think I can play a role there as well given my experience.
Over the course of your career, what have you learned about the value of diverse teams?
I am quite diverse myself. I am of Asian descent, was born and educated in Australia, raised in the South Pacific, and live in a melting pot of many cultures: New York. It’s always good to have a team made up of people with different backgrounds and experiences. We learn from each other, so different viewpoints should not only be tolerated but encouraged. There really is no one way to do things, and diversity often facilitates change to the status quo.
Do you think the emphasis companies place on diversity internally affects who they chose as outside counsel?
I think many factors are considered when clients are evaluating outside counsel, especially shared values. Our clients recognize our commitment to diversity and inclusion and understand the importance of diverse perspectives and how they benefit both them and us. Morgan Lewis is the largest law firm in the world led by a woman, which is one of the many ways we demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion. When I was considering joining the firm, I was immediately impressed by the number of female leaders at the firm such as Grace Speights, leader of the labor and employment practice and co-leader with Jami of our Mobilizing for Equality task force, and Frances Murphy, London office Managing Partner and antitrust litigator. The firm is also Am Law A-list ranked and is #9 on Female Equity Partner Scorecard.