“The minute I exited the elevator and was offered a glögg I realized this was not going to be your everyday typical holiday luncheon..."
Lillian Stenfeldt and Sedgwick
“The minute I exited the elevator and was offered a glögg I realized this was not going to be your everyday typical holiday luncheon but really, a trip down memory lane and a chance to connect with people on a new level.”
Lillian Stenfeldt, of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP, an international litigation and business law firm, joined SACC-SF/SV in January after attending the annual Christmas Luncheon. In April she upgraded to a Business Membership.
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. Stenfeldt enjoys business and learning about the details of a wide variety of industries, and 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 to help companies accomplish their goals,” she says.
Stenfeldt is also the Chair of the Women’s Forum at Sedgwick, which she helped get off the ground when she came to the firm seven years ago. “Currently 50 percent of all U.S. students graduating from law school are women and yet the national average of female partners in law firms is only 19 percent. And the percent of senior women partners in key leadership positions in law firms is much lower than that.”
The forum is organized to change those statistics, 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.
“It is a great organization since it helps connect and celebrate female professionals in dynamic settings,” Stenfeldt says. The forum is now well established and assists the firm in identifying future leaders.
Stenfeldt studied 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 she thinks of the Bay Area as “the perfect place to live, because of the fabulous weather, the strong international and diverse community, and the fact that there are thousands of things to do within a short distance, such as hiking, skiing, cycling and big city cultural events."
All four of Stenfeldt’s grandparents were born in Europe, three of them in Scandinavia—two in Sweden and one in Norway. Stenfeldt grew up close to her Swedish grandmother, an active member of the local Vasa Order in New England, which allowed 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 Stenfeldt now feels a strong connection to Sweden because of that. Her grandmother even sewed and embroidered a Swedish folkdräkt for her, and she still treasures it. She travels 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 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.
Stenfeldt says Sedgwick is always looking for new clients and is open to establishing new business relationships. The company has 350 attorneys, and many global company clients are looking to expand their lists of outside contacts.
“Maybe something will come from the new Swedish connection through SACC SF/SV, maybe not; it is a fun connection regardless,” Stenfeldt says.
Lillian Stenfeldt, ESQ.
Managing Partner, Head of the Creditors Rights Group in the Commercial Practices Division
Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP
One Market Plaza
Steuart Tower, 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
International litigation and commercial law.
350 attorneys in the U.S. and London
140 based in San Francisco. Other offices in the U.S. include Los Angeles, Orange County, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Bermuda and Florida. Sedgwick serves corporate, often multinational clients in litigation and all types of corporate transactional work.
Text to pictures:
That was a photo of her when she first came to this country when she was 19 (to Chicago) in the early nineteen hundreds and then one of our passport photos when I was a kid.