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Name and title: David Stryker, senior vice president, secretary and general counsel of BASF Corp. He is also the United States corporate compliance officer. Age: 46 Chemical company: BASF Corp. is a Florham Park, N.J.-based subsidiary of BASF AG, a public company located in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Since 1865, BASF has produced and distributed chemicals (petrochemicals and inorganics), agricultural supplies for farming and food processing, pharmaceuticals and nutritional products for animals and humans. It is also involved in the exploration/production of crude oil and natural gas, and is a leading global supplier of plastics. With sales of 8,000 products to customers in 170 countries, BASF achieved worldwide 2004 sales of 37.5 billion euros ($10.2 billion in the United States). It employs 82,000 on five continents, with between 10,000 and 12,000 domestic employees. Key case: Since the late 1990s, “a substantial portion of the department’s resources on the litigation side” were consumed by a case concerning “the extraterritorial application of the antitrust laws in a price-fixing context.” It ultimately went to the Supreme Court and was “our most significant risk”: F. Hoffman-LaRoche v. Empagran S.A., No. 03-724, 315 F.3d 338. Several years ago, various global players in the vitamins business agreed to fix prices. They were caught, and most of the participants in the informal cartel eventually pleaded guilty. BASF cooperated with the investigation and paid substantial fines. It terminated the wrongdoers and “prepared to face the inevitable litigation.” According to Stryker, direct and indirect purchasers of vitamins, among them Ecuador’s Empagran S.A., then filed suit in the United States, allegedly to take advantage of potential treble damages and to recover substantial legal fees. The case climbed the legal ladder to the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately resulting in “a huge victory” for BASF and its colleagues. In a unanimous decision led by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the court ruled that “foreign producers making claims for conduct in foreign lands could not sue here in the United States,” based on international or prescriptive comity grounds. Alongside BASF, Mayer, Brown, Row & Maw’s Stephen M. Shapiro handled the case. They were supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s R. Hewitt Pate, who successfully argued that allowing foreign entities to sue in the U.S. for acts committed abroad would interfere with government enforcement efforts. Daily duties: Stryker’s principal responsibility, he said, is to counsel BASF’s board and senior management on business-related issues, and to provide advice on risk, litigation and regulatory matters. Intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance are “on his plate in some capacity” and are “the guts of his counsel.” His work is cyclical and he concentrates on “whatever the flavor of the moment is.” The chemical industry is subject to strict regulation and Associate General Counsel Steve Goldberg is the point person in dealing with the appropriate authorities. The Environmental Protection Agency is the primary one, and BASF answers to the Food and Drug Administration apropos its genetic division and plant science business. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Agriculture also regulate as necessary. Issues of chemical plant safety, both before and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are of critical importance. BASF works with the Department of Homeland Security and, concerning facilities near, or on, waterways, the U.S. Coast Guard. He also deals with the possible misuse of so-called precursor chemicals that can be used in weapons or drugs such as methamphetamine. Legal team and outside counsel: BASF’s legal department has 32 lawyers, six of whom report directly to the general counsel. Ten paraprofessionals, including legal assistants and a nonattorney regulatory expert, round out the staff, assisted by “15 or so” support personnel. Stryker is a trial lawyer by training, but now views himself as a generalist, with lawyers working for him who specialize in virtually every area of the law. He travels to Germany monthly, where he meets with the global general counsel and compliance officer. Stryker hires outside counsel as needed. Attorneys from Chicago-based firms Kirkland & Ellis; Mayer Brown; and Schiff Hardin have received the call. He has also partnered with lawyers from Houston’s Baker Botts and, typical for the chemicals industry, receives regulatory counsel on Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act matters from Washington-based Beveridge & Diamond. Route to the top: Stryker is a dual graduate of the University of Indiana, having obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1980 and a juris doctor degree from its law school in 1983. He launched his career with a 10-year stint at Kirkland & Ellis, first in its principal office in Chicago, and later, in New York. In 1993, he joined Siemens Corp., a manufacturer of high-value electronics including CAT scans, MRIs and X-ray equipment, and, like BASF, a subsidiary of a German multinational firm. Starting as a litigation attorney, by 1998, Stryker was associate general counsel and compliance officer. He signed on with BASF in 2004, a move that “made sense” to him because of the German company’s “consensus-oriented” management style and decision-making process. Personal: Bloomington, Ind.-born Stryker asserts that as an in-house attorney, “what I do is serve my client, and then I’m happy.” He derives satisfaction from seeing lawyers he recruited succeed in the field, and speaks warmly of time spent with colleagues including Fred Bartlitt, Phil Beck and William Jentes. Clerking with Judge Robert H. Bork “taught me how to think about legal issues.” Stryker and his wife, Josie Bizzari, are the parents of four: Joshua, 24, Joseph, 18, Hannah, 17 and Samuel, 10. He fills his spare time with running, camping and fishing. Last books and movie: Stryker is at the moment reading three books: “Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First,” by Mona Charen; “Nobody’s Perfect: Writings from ‘The New Yorker’,” by Anthony Lane; and he is “rereading his judge’s book, appropriate in light of the upcoming confirmation hearings,” “Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline,” by Robert H. Bork.

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