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Name and title: Katherine Butler, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary Age: 52 The company: Software AG Inc. (known colloquially as Software AG USA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Darmstadt, Germany-based Software AG, and is the North American branch of Europe’s largest systems software provider. Since 1974, the publicly traded company has specialized in enabling very large organizations to store, organize and retrieve millions of pieces of information very quickly, and it offers its products and services to federal, state and local governments, the financial services industry and the transportation sector. Its combination of products allows users to view data through a single Web browser although the information is stored in many different systems and locations. Software AG Inc. provides consulting, maintenance and training services as well. Software AG Inc.’s customers include the U.S. Navy, various Fortune 500 companies, the state of Alaska, the North Dakota Legislature and the New York City Department of Buildings. It has also entered into partnerships with service and hardware providers such as Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Sun Microsystems Inc. Software AG is a pioneer in the “core technology” of XML (extensible markup language), a text-based standard for representing data. Software AG Inc. has 450 employees sited in its Reston, Va., headquarters, a “substantial facility” in Denver and regional field offices throughout the United States. The home company reported $500 million in global annual revenues, but Butler declined to disclose domestic figures. The GC: Butler was trained as a transactions lawyer but has evolved into a generalist. Her position is “a mile wide,” as she supervises all legal and contractual matters and advises the management team on legal affairs. She also oversees human resources and the corporate services department. Butler reports directly to Haskell Mayo (the president of North American operations) and communicates with Chief Executive Officer Karl-Heinz Streibich as needed. Workers’ compensation and benefits are some of her “bread and butter” concerns, as well as intellectual property. Butler works closely with Software AG’s “quite large” U.S. research team, part of its IP program, as it assesses potential technology and development plans. She is also involved, along with the marketing group, with licensing and advertisements. In the Northern Virginia area, many employees with technology expertise are foreign-born, so Butler focuses on compliance with immigration regulations. She is not particularly concerned with outsourcing, as the employees mostly work on site in the United States. Software AG primarily does business with domestic clients in the United States, but Butler participates in global deals should they occur-for instance, if a client here buys software for installation elsewhere in the world. She coordinates with the home firm’s 59 international offices in such cases, with “fairly frequent” travel as a result. Butler follows the tenets of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a “best practice,” although Software AG is publicly traded in Frankfurt, Germany. Butler said that “the law lags changes in technology,” and that this is always an issue for her industry. She added, “The industry changes all the time, so the challenge is to continually reinvent ourselves.” Her goal is to make sure that the client is as pleased with the negotiation and contracting process as it is with the products and services being delivered, and she describes the legal department as “not only an integral part of that, but the driver for making it happen.” Keeping current on law developments is a prerequisite, Butler stressed. Knowing what a court has decided is important and interesting, but so is “anticipating what the need is going to be.” Her motto is to prevent trouble before it starts and aggressively defend if it arises. Butler said that “like any company, we have litigation from time to time, but I can’t comment on it.” The legal team: Five attorneys, including Butler, assisted by “a few” support staff, comprise the Software AG legal team. Butler characterized its role as that of a traditional legal department combined with the duties of a sales support or contracts group. Butler said she “comes from the school, and I am an advocate for, doing as much in-house as we possibly can.” Transactional work, in particular, is done internally, but litigation and heavily technical matters go outside. Butler “works very hard to partner with good law firms,” and she seeks a national/regional mixture. She is a “big fan” of Venable, and her firm partners with Atlanta’s King & Spalding for mergers and acquisitions as well as litigation support. Butler is also a believer in “going after excellent regional firms” such as Portland, Maine-based Pierce Atwood, “for good, strong representation at lower prices.” Route to the top: Butler graduated from Smith College in 1973. She has a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School (1980) and an LL.M. in taxation from Boston University (1987). Prior to her arrival at Software AG in 1998, Butler spent 17 years in various legal capacities within the high-tech portion of General Electric Co. Her stint at GE, including GE Information Services and wholly owned subsidiary Software International Corp., included intensive training in business management and Six Sigma, a “quantitative method for process improvement.” The positions “provided me with exposure to a wide range of business issues, and whetted my appetite to serve in a senior management role.” She spent eight years with GE as European counsel in Paris; London; and Milan, Italy. Personal: Butler, who is single, is an avid cyclist and triathlon enthusiast. She recently completed a 100-mile “century” ride. The Baltimore native also serves as a trustee of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, “one of her passions in life.” Last book and movie: Every Second Counts, by Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins, and Seabiscuit.

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