Innovation Starts with Legal: How In House Lawyers can serve a Company beyond a Traditional Legal Role

Nishat Ruiter, VP & Associate General Counsel, CA Technologies
Thomas Konowalczyk, VP & Associate General Counsel, CA Technologies
Sharyn Dodson, VP & Associate General Counsel, CA Technologies
Charles Blackburn, VP & Associate General Counsel, CA Technologies
Richard Anthony, VP & Associate General Counsel, CA Technologies

Have you ever had a project that involved business issues, challenged the status quo and pushed your legal skills to the limit? You are not alone. In fact, there are at least five lawyers at CA Technologies from around the world that have something to say about just this situation. You will hear the role of In House Counsel stretched and compared with terms such as lawyer, advisor, business leader, arbitor, confidante, collaborator and innovator. You will hear about methods such as collaboration, advocacy, communication, organization and listening. Moreover, you’ll see how values such as teamwork, innovation, trust, respect and loyalty played a large part in getting the challenge resolved. These are some of the themes that a team of lawyers share. This paper describes a journey consisting of at least 200 man hours each person, multiple conference calls, video conferences and intense drafting sessions resulting overall in an innovative solution that is more valuable as a whole and much more than the sum of each part. A group of lawyers at CA Technologies were placed in a unique position to recommend and drive changes in the company with respect to its contract between itself and its customers across the globe. CA Technologies reinvented its model agreements for its customers worldwide based on multi-faceted research, analysis and review of negotiations with customers across the globe. Using a task force made up of lawyers around the world with very different challenges and legal systems, the team challenged itself and other groups in the company to find innovative ways to improve its model agreements, with the aim to create agreements that were even handed, fair and addressed many customer concerns. The innovative solution finally developed was rolled out across the company in 2011 and continues to gather pace as the best customer agreement in CA Technologies’ three and a half decade history.

Read full paper Subscribe to the IICJ
Australia Germany UK USA Management IT February 2013 Vol. 6, No. 22, Winter 2013

Nishat Ruiter


Nishat Ruiter is Vice President and Associate General Counsel at CA Technologies and manages the North American Sales legal team covering all licensing transactions for software, services, SaaS, support and complex transactions for three regions of the United States including Canada. Her work includes advising the senior business executives of sales legal risk, assisting with integrations of acquisitions into the field for Mergers & Acquisitions team, and managing a team of lawyers and contract managers including training, certification and negotiation programs. Prior to CA Technologies, her career included IP licensing and regulatory analysis for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies; Senior US Counsel for a multinational professional services firm Capco; General Counsel of Binary Tree.Com.; and litigation in NY. Nishat lives in Hillsborough, New Jersey, is married with two children and finds passion as a global citizen, in music, work, and life

Thomas Konowalczyk


Thomas Konowalczyk is an Attorney at Law admitted to the German Bar since more than 16 years and manages the Legal Department for CA, Inc. in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Eastern Europe and the Middle East covering all relevant areas of Law. He is also the company's Subject Matter Expert for Mergers and Acquisitions in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before joining CA Technologies he was working in private practice, specialized on IT Law. He also has a lecture-ship on IT Law at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt / Germany and is a member of its Scientific Advisory Council. He is a member of several professional associations including the Amercian Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) and the German Federal Association of Corporate Counsel (BUJ). Thomas lives near Heidelberg/Germany together with his wife and his daughter.

Sharyn Dodson


Sharyn Dodson is Vice President, Managing Assistant General Counsel for CA Technologies UK & Ireland and EMEA Privacy Officer. Sharyn is a Solicitor admitted to the roll in 2002 and manages the Legal Department for CA Technologies in the UK & Ireland covering all areas of law but with particular expertise in Information Technology (IT) law and practice. She is also Privacy Officer for the company in EMEA. Sharyn originally joined CA in 1997 as a legal advisor, having successfully completed law school. In 2000 Sharyn left CA to go into private practice specializing in IT law during which time she finalized her training and was admitted as a Solicitor. She spent time working for clients such as Microsoft and Dell. Sharyn re-joined CA in 2002 and took her role as manager of the UK legal team in 2006. Sharyn is a member of various professional associations and forums including The Law Society, the American Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and the Technology In House Forum. Sharyn lives in Surrey, England with her husband and they enjoy travelling, reading and skiing (both snow and water) and Sharyn is a keen runner.

Charles Blackburn


Charles Blackburn is Vice President and Managing Assistant General Counsel for CA Technologies. Charles is the chief lawyer supporting the company's consulting services, indirect sales and marketing organizations, having also previously advised its sales and development units. He previously advised two other publicly traded technology companies as In-House Counsel, following his time in private practice where he specialized in IP, venture capital, structured finance, and mergers and acquisitions transactions. Charles is based in New York, NY, USA.

Richard Anthony


Richard Anthony is Vice President and Managing Assistant General Counsel for CA (Pacific) Pty Limited. Richard manages the Legal department for CA, Inc. in Australia and New Zealand, including the Federal government contracting and Channel Sales. He is also very active representing the Asia Pacific region in a number of global CA projects. In his 19 years since admittance as Solicitor and Barrister in the State of South Australia, Richard has advised government, EDS and PeopleSoft, holding a variety of technology roles including the functions of contract management, internal audit and In House counsel before he commenced with CA in 2005. Prior to qualifying as a lawyer Richard was awarded an Honours degree in Arts focusing on English Literature. Richard is a member of Law Society of New South Wales and Australian Corporate Lawyers Association. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife Cathleen and three young children.

CA Technologies


CA, Inc. is a large computer software company. More information can be found at

Australia Germany UK USA Management IT February 2013 Vol. 6, No. 22, Winter 2013