2020 Legal Elite — Corporate Counsel Profile
Kate Seikaly, Reed Smith LLP, Tysons
Other legal specialties: White collar defense, government investigations, False Claims Act defense
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Colorado, Boulder; law degree, University of Virginia School of Law
Spouse: Kevin McGovern
Children: Emma McGovern, 6; Claire McGovern, 5
First job as a lawyer: Associate at Bryan Cave
Fan of: “Get Organized with The Home Edit” on Netflix
Recently read book: “How to Be an Antiracist,” by Ibram X. Kendi
Career mentors: My parents are attorneys and, even though their career paths were very different from my own, they have been incredible mentors to me throughout my career.
Why did you choose to participate in the #SeeHer movement?
I must give credit to Reed Smith’s forward thinking in partnering with #SeeHer. As a mother to two young girls and an aunt to six, I have become so aware of the importance of accurate and positive portrayals of women and girls in media. This is also true within the legal profession. I have personally experienced the positive benefit of strong women mentors and hope that my own story can inspire younger lawyers to push to achieve gender equality within the profession.
What was most challenging about co-leading the defense of Russia-based Concord Management & Consulting LLC, which was charged with interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election?
The perception that the mere fact of our defense was somehow unpatriotic or un-American. As a defense lawyer, I am used to my clients not being popular, but this particular case was incredibly polarizing because of the politics involved. At times I received messages from strangers accusing me of being a traitor (and worse), which were scary and disheartening. Thankfully, my colleagues and family understood the nature of our representation and offered tremendous support.
See more from our 2020 Legal Elite package: