April 11, 2014 // Franchising.com // San Francisco, CA - The San Francisco Business Times has named Dentons Employment and Labor Litigation partner Sandra McCandless and Insurance Regulatory partner and Insurance Sector co-leader Kara Baysinger among its "Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business," recognizing their roles as local leaders and their extraordinary contributions to the business community. They will be profiled in a special issue of the Business Times and honored at a gala awards dinner in June.
Sandra has demonstrated a history of leadership within the Firm, the global employment and labor sectors and the legal community. As head of Dentons' Employment and Labor practice in California and member of the Firm’s Ethics Committee, Sandra is an employment and labor thought leader in the US and abroad and has achieved numerous successes throughout her extensive career. Her board memberships, presentations to legal and business groups, community involvement and awards have made her a prominent figure in the Bay Area business world.
Sandra's exceptional efforts have earned her numerous accolades. In addition to her nomination and election to the US College of Labor and Employment, which honors the leading labor and employment lawyers nationwide, Sandra is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Liberty Achievement Award For Enhancing Diversity on the Legal Profession and of the Certificate of Commendation for High Quality Performance from the National Labor Relations Board. She has been elected or selected to leadership positions in a multitude of legal organizations and serves as an Arbitrator on the Northern California Employment Panel of the American Arbitration Association and an Early Neutral Evaluator for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
In addition, Sandra dedicates her time and efforts to supporting the arts and giving back to a variety of Bay Area organizations. She has served as a Board Member, Chair of the Corporate Council, and member of the Executive Committee of the Tony-award winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre, as well as the former Chair of the Bay Area Arts Council Gala. She is also highly involved in local efforts to connect Asian economies with business in California, having held positions as a Board Member of the California Asia Business Council , Chair of its "New Silk Road" Gala, and as past President and current Board Member of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco.
Kara leads the cross-practice Insurance Sector and the Insurance Regulatory practice. She is a member of Dentons’ management team, sitting on both the US Policy and Planning Board and the Global Advisory Committee. Kara is highly sought-after by clients to advise insurers on their most complex, mission-critical and sensitive business and regulatory issues, based on her successful career in private practice and years spent in-house at insurance companies. Her efforts have garnered her recognition as among the leading insurance transactional and regulatory lawyers, having been listed in Chambers USA and Legal 500 each year since the category was created. Kara was also recently profiled in Law360’s "Female Powerbrokers" Q&A series.
She is a frequent speaker on insurance regulatory issues to trade and private organizations, including Law360, the American Insurance Association, the ABA’s Tort and Insurance practice section and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. She is a former member of the California Bar Association's Insurance Law Committee and former Chair of the Committee on Group Insurance Programs, and continues to serve on the Board of the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society Foundation, the Women's Network at Children's Hospital Oakland, and Kala, Inc., a technology company.
Kara is also actively involved in leadership of the Firm's Women's Leadership and Growth Network. Her dedication to workplace diversity and women’s advancement has earned her numerous accolades, including her recent recognition by the ABA's Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law. In 2011, Kara co-authored Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500, a widely-heralded volume tracing the career arc of 42 women general counsel at some of America’s largest corporations and setting forth a roadmap for women aspiring to leadership within the legal departments in corporate America. She serves as a relentless advocate for attorneys and staff, from partners to junior associates to legal secretaries, both under her management and Firmwide.
Dentons is a global firm driven to provide a competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. It was formed in March 2013 by the combination of international law firm Salans LLP, Canadian law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC) and international law firm SNR Denton. Dentons is built on the solid foundations of these three highly valued law firms. Each built an outstanding reputation and valued clientele by responding to the local, regional and national needs of a broad spectrum of clients of all sizes—individuals; entrepreneurs; small businesses and startups; local, regional and national governments and government agencies; and mid-sized and larger private and public corporations, including international and global entities.
Dentons' clients now benefit from approximately 2,600 lawyers and professionals in more than 75 locations spanning 50-plus countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS, the UK and the US who are committed to challenge the status quo and offer creative, dynamic business and legal solutions.
Sandra R. McCandless
Partner, San Francisco
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Partner, San Francisco
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Senior Public Relations Manager, United States
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