Lillian Stenfeldt joined SACC-SF/SV in January of 2010 after attending the annual Christmas Luncheon event. In April she upgraded her membership in order to become a Business member, together with Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP, an international litigation and business law firm. The company has 350 attorneys in the U.S. and London, of which 140 are based in San Francisco. Other offices include Los Angeles, Orange County, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Austin and Florida. Sedgwick serves corporate clients in litigation and all types of corporate transactional work.
Stenfeldt has been practicing law for 29 years and currently serves on Sedgwick’s management committee. She is a commercial lawyer and the head of the Creditors Rights group in the Commercial Practices Division. The firm handles all aspects of commercial law for corporate clients, many of which are global enterprises. The attorney got into law because she enjoys business and learning about the details of a wide variety of industries. For example, she has worked closely with multinational electronics, music and real estate companies, even a small regional circus.

“Law provides an opportunity to meet amazing people, to always keep learning new things and provides one with a skill so that you can help companies accomplish their goals,” she says.
Stenfeldt is also the Chair of the Women’s Forum at Sedgwick that she helped get off the ground when she first came to the firm seven years ago. The Forum organizes events to foster and encourage the careers and development of Sedgwick’s female attorneys and clients. Some events are fun activities, such as book clubs and wine and cheese tasting parties. Some are serious team building, internal leadership and training sessions. Other events are networking activities featuring external speakers and tea. Stenfeldt says it is a great organization since it helps connect and celebrate female professionals in dynamic settings. It is now well established and assists the firm in identifying future leaders.

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Stenfeldt ended up in the Bay Area after studying economics and business at Stanford University where she met her husband 33 years ago (a rocket scientist at NASA). She now teaches as an invited lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business from time to time. She says that when she thinks of the Bay Area she thinks of “the perfect place to live.”
All four of her grandparents were born in Europe, three of them in Scandinavia—two in Sweden and one in Norway. Stenfeldt grew up very close to her Swedish grandmother who was an active member with the local Vasa Order in New England, allowing her to participate in Vasa events throughout her childhood. Her grandmother took her along every summer of her childhood to visit “the old country” and now feels a strong connection to Sweden because of that. She says that although her connection to Sweden is distant, her grandmother really made her feel it's a part of her. Stenfeldt’s grandmother even sewed and embroidered a Swedish folkdrakt for her, and she still treasures it. Stenfeldt travels back and forth to Sweden often and keeps in close contact with relatives and friends there.

When Stenfeldt learned about SACC SF/SV’s annual Christmas Luncheon with the Swedish food and traditions she was reminded of Sweden and decided to attend the event. “Everyone was so friendly and had such interesting businesses that I decided to join the organization,” she says. Since then she has been to other SACC cultural and networking events. Last month there was a speed networking event organized at Sedgwick’s own offices at One Market Plaza in San Francisco, together with SACC SF/SV and the German-American Business association, the British-American Chamber and the Irish-American Chamber.
When it comes to the future of the company, Stenfeldt says Sedgwick is always looking for new clients and is open to establish new business relationships. They have 350 attorneys, and many global companies are looking to expand their lists of outside professionals. “Maybe something will come from the new Swedish connection through SACC SF/SV, maybe not; it is a fun connection anyhow,” Stenfeldt says.