Meet the OGCs: Stacey Heller

Meet the OGCs: Stacey Heller

Stacey Heller helped to put OGC on the map in the Washington D.C. metro area by becoming the firm’s first partner there over thirteen years ago. She recalls feeling instantly taken with OGC’s model, especially the flexibility to work from home and the freedom to set her own hours. “As a mom of two young children at the time, I was looking for a manageable schedule so that I could spend more time with my family,” says Stacey. “When the opportunity arose at OGC, I seized it and quickly saw how special and innovative this model is – not only for the lawyers, but for our clients who benefit from working with attorneys who are happy, not overworked, and able to give their full attention to each engagement they take on.”

Joining OGC and forming deep connections with her colleagues and clients has been a career highlight for Stacey. “There are now many more OGC attorneys in the greater “DMV” area (DC, Maryland, and Virginia), and I love the camaraderie and culture we’ve built,” explains Stacey. “Now that my kids are older, I am working full-time again, and enjoying the connections I’ve made with my clients.” She enjoys the variety of work that comes with a transaction-based practice. “One day, I may be negotiating for a retail store client, and the next, I am working with a highly technical SaaS subscription services provider or a digital media company. Although it’s all transactional work, the wide variety of industries and deal types means it is never boring.”

Looking back on her legal career, Stacey attributes her personalized approach to client service, and in particular, her ability to communicate effectively, to her previous in-house roles. “As in-house counsel, I regularly observed the interplay between real-world operational practices and legal principles, which allowed me to engage clients in more meaningful discussions,” describes Stacey. As an OGC, Stacey ensures that her clients understand the potential legal and business implications of a proposed transaction by taking time to discuss key business objectives with them. Recognizing the urgency of most business matters (another in-house lesson), Stacey also strives to balance efficiency with precision, prioritizing quick turnaround times without compromising accuracy.

She is often reminded of a deal early in her in-house career. Stacey had been asked to support the company’s procurement team in negotiations for a huge SAP migration transaction to centralize the company’s data, which involved three separate vendors, fifteen different agreements (all inconsistent with each other) and significant online terms. Senior management wanted to sign the deal “as is” – despite its one-sided and unclear terms – in order to meet an internal deadline. Undeterred by the pressure, Stacey managed to renegotiate more advantageous terms (better service levels, termination rights (exit strategies) and legal terms) – without delaying the project. “My client was thrilled,” recalls Stacey, “and I walked away from this experience realizing the value in pushing back on unreasonable pressures and non-industry standard terms, no matter who has more leverage.” Clients know they are in good hands with Stacey, and it is one of the many reasons why they keep coming back to her.

More about Stacey Heller
In addition to her practice, Stacey regularly contributes to the firm’s blog. She is also very involved in the non-profit organization, Chess 4 Charity, which her children founded. In addition to raising money for a variety of children’s causes, the organization works with other kids who are interested in starting their own charities or franchising Chess4Charity.

This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances not an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

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