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Title: Deputy general counsel, corporate law department, Boston headquarters Age: 47 The Organization:FleetBoston Financial, established last October when Fleet and BankBoston merged to create a 50,000 employee workforce and became the eighth largest financial holding company in the nation. Life Before the Merger: Liva started out in 1977 as an attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C., in the Division of Investment Management. She joined BankBoston in 1980, developing expertise in a number of corporate areas, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings of securities, and SEC reporting and compliance. From 1986 until her bank merged with Fleet, Liva served as assistant general counsel. She led the merger integration between the BankBoston and Fleet law departments. Duties: One of four deputy counsel, Liva oversees 27 lawyers. There are more than 100 lawyers in the company worldwide. She was involved in putting together, from both sides, the new group of directors for the bank. Liva is involved in shareholders’ meetings; financing work on behalf of the holding company of the bank to fund business growth; and human resources responsibilities, including employee benefits and compensation. She manages the company’s lawyers who oversee legal offices in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Integration is Key:“Everything is different for everybody,” Liva says of the merger, the planning for which began in May 1999. Early on, the lawyers spent a “very intensive” two days, off-site, in an exchange of information to learn what the others do. “It all comes together because lawyers basically service all key areas of the company.” How’d They Do It? It was a “very hard process.” The two law groups “showcased their respective practice areas” in numerous meetings that lasted seven or eight hours. “We tried to put together the “best of the best.” We had to put aside our own histories and personal views on things. Outside Help: A significant portion of the FleetBoston’s legal budget, which FleetBoston doesn’t release, is spent on outside counsel, for such areas as litigation and dealing with loans that go bad. Closer to what Liva gets involved in, the company uses a couple of larger New York firms frequently. Locally, Bingham Dana and Edwards & Agnell advise FleetBoston on a number of general matters, such as corporate lending, mergers and acquisitions, and transactional work. Women in Banking: When Liva began in banking in 1980, women other than secretaries were few. She recalls looking for an executive in the BankBoston cafeteria one day. She thought she would recognize him, but “they all looked the same to me. The room was filled with white, middle-aged men.” Checks and Balances: Liva and her husband, Kevin G. Tubridy, a lawyer for TJX Cos. in Framingham, Mass., keep separate checking accounts — “but mine is always balanced.” She Said It: “The company is going on all cylinders, and you can feel that when we work here. As a lawyer, you are either the bottleneck or the helper to the company. What we’re trying to build is a group of people who are connected as business partners to the various businesses and move the business forward.”

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