Alpharetta-based Aptean is an application software provider that serves more than 7,000 customers in more than 20 industries. Since 2015, the company has completed 16 acquisitions. Katherine Dunn serves as Aptean’s vice president and general counsel.
Aptean’s legal team includes 10 people, with five located in North America, four in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and one in the Asia-Pacific.
Dunn keeps the majority of Aptean’s legal work in-house, including traditional corporate governance matters, license agreements, intellectual property, compliance and employment issues.
“We outsource when we’re addressing a new topic or regulation, such as the export policy we recently developed,” she says. “That way, we can also learn the material elements and requirements and place ourselves in a better position to spot and manage issues going forward.”
Aptean’s primary outside counsel includes: Bodker, Ramsey, Andrews, Winograd & Wildstein for general legal and intellectual property matters, as well as collections; Ballard Spahr for trademark matters; Smith, Gambrell & Russell for patent matters; and Balch & Bingham for litigation.
As general counsel, Dunn focuses largely on the overall vision and strategy for Aptean’s legal function. Much of her time is spent providing advice and counsel to the company’s executive team based on Aptean’s strategic goals and aligning the legal team’s initiatives to those goals.
“I also select and manage outside counsel and manage the work of our in-house legal team,” she says.
During her tenure with Aptean, the legal department has established an export compliance program, updated the company’s whistleblower policy, implemented a reseller oversight process and streamlined the collections process.
Route to the Top
After she received her law degree from the University of Denver, Dunn started her legal career as an associate in the Denver law firm of Rothgerber, Appel, Powers & Johnson. When she moved to Atlanta, Dunn worked briefly with Morris, Manning & Martin until she joined ChoicePoint (later acquired by LexisNexis), where she spent nine years in several positions, including assistant general counsel.
Dunn later served as assistant general counsel at Equifax for almost five years and joined Aptean in January 2015.
“Aptean’s business also is technology, but it’s less restricted in many ways, and it allows for more creativity in our work,” she says.
Hired as director of legal and senior counsel, Dunn spent time learning more about the software business and its issues before being promoted into the general counsel position nine months ago.
Dunn is originally from Colorado and loves to ski—a passion she hasn’t indulged often since moving to Georgia in 2000. Married with a 15-year-old stepdaughter, she and her husband enjoy traveling and are big Atlanta Falcons fans. The season ticket holder thinks the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is great, with one exception: “After the game is over, getting through the exits and out of there is horrible,” Dunn says. “Other than that, the stadium is beautiful inside.”
“The Last Bridesmaid” by Pam Carpenter, a cousin who published the book on Amazon. “I wanted to support her, and I knew it would be hilarious,” Dunn says. “It’s about a woman who’s constantly a bridesmaid and wants to be the one getting married for a change.”