Ann Baskins has spent almost her entire career at Hewlett-Packard Co., and has been general counsel there for the last six years. Now she finds herself at — or at least very near — the center of the growing storm over the boardroom investigation at the computing giant.

Newspaper stories detailing the crisis — kicked off by HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn’s decision to investigate leaks to the press by fellow board members — place Baskins at several key junctures in the ongoing saga. The controversy so far has led to a criminal investigation by the state attorney general and public sniping by famed venture capitalist and now ex-HP director Thomas Perkins at HP outside counsel Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.