Attorney Spotlight

Meet the Team: Carolyn Ramm

15 July 2024

In this series, we are introducing the West Hill team. Carolyn Ramm is a Technology Transactions Attorney at West Hill who joined our team from Qualcomm Technologies (QCOM), where she was in-house Legal Counsel.

What drew you to West Hill?

When I first became aware of West Hill, I had taken early retirement from a Fortune 500 legal department where I had worked for 15 years. After a few months of goofing off, I realized that I still needed some structure in my life and that I wanted to keep using my legal skills. At the same time, I did not want to give up my new-found freedom completely by returning to a conventional job. West Hill, with its mix of great lawyering and ability to offer a flexible schedule to fit my needs, was a perfect fit.

What do you like about working at West Hill?

I love the collegiality and warmth of the team. The office felt like a safe and friendly place from my first day there. Excellence is required, and is achieved through nurturing and mentoring rather than through harsh criticism or other less constructive means. I feel that my knowledge and skills are appreciated and put to good use, and that at the same time I can learn a lot from my coworkers.

What makes West Hill unique?

As a woman-founded, women-owned, women-managed, and largely women-staffed firm, West Hill is unlike any firm I have ever come across. The culture is respectful of everyone’s needs: clients, attorneys, and staff alike. With a business model that specifically seeks to provide attorneys and support staff with the control and flexibility they need at various stages of their careers and their lives, West Hill is a particularly good place for women to work.

What is your favorite part of being a lawyer?

I love making deals. As a transactional attorney for many years, I get my thrills and professional sustenance from closing contracts that leave everyone feeling treated fairly. I don’t believe that a good deal needs to harm anyone, or that most contract negotiations are zero-sum games where one side has to win, and the other side has to lose. A well-negotiated transaction that gets the client what they need while being fair to both sides and providing a solid foundation for their future relationship is what I try to provide for my clients.

What do you like to do outside work?

I’m a classically trained violinist and in the last few years have gotten into traditional music (read: fiddling) in a big way, so there is always something musical going on. (I sing too.) I enjoy traveling and spending time at our second home in Maine, I read constantly, and most of all I love being with my 8-year-old granddaughter.

Contact Carolyn Ramm

Click here for more information and contact info for Carolyn.

Nine Key Takeaways from the 2024 WBENC National Conference

7 May 2024

Attending the 2024 WBENC National Conference was truly an inspiring event. With over 5,000 women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders connecting and supporting each other. West Hill’s Louise Kennedy, Shehla Syed and Jennica Holoquist discovered innovative best practices and celebrated the accomplishments of women-owned businesses.

1. Women entrepreneurs should never be afraid to ask for help.

This conference was all about supporting women business owners, making connections, and sharing ideas. Answers and help were around every corner, from informal advice to corporate mentorship programs for diverse businesses. The focus was on helping women-owned businesses grow and thrive. 

2. Corporate leaders see the value of working with women-owned businesses.

According to WBENC, more than 1,000 corporations in the US have committed to spending over $1 billion each year with Women-Owned Businesses. At the conference this year, many of these corporations were honored for their long-term commitment to diversifying their supply chains. 

3. Be prepared. There’s opportunity around every corner.

Some of the best connections are made while standing in line for coffee, waiting for a program to start, or wandering through the expo. Make the most of these opportunities by introducing yourself. Explain what you do and who you serve. Tell your brand story. Know your differentiators. Ask about others’ businesses. Each person you meet may not be an ideal potential client, but they can be connectors, referral sources and mentors. 

4. Celebrating the accomplishments of women-owned businesses is important.

The conference included a variety of celebrations and fun activities to recognize the achievements of women entrepreneurs. The business journey, particularly in male-dominated fields, is challenging, and it’s important to celebrate wins along the way! Shout out to the 2024 WBE Stars, including the West Hill Founding Attorney, Louise Kennedy, for being recognized for their achievements live at the conference. 

5. Birds of a feather flock together.

Dynamic entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to improve their skills and build their networks. So it’s not a surprise that the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program was well represented with both an expo table and lots of alumni in attendance. The 2024 WBE Stars alone included multiple 10KSB alumni, including Louise Kennedy, Barb Smith, Michele Adams, and others.  

6. Roll out the welcome mat.

The vibe of the West Hill conference booth was friendly and approachable. Tucked in a corner but with brightly colored graphics, a bouquet of flowers, and a pitcher of lemonade, WBEs, and corporate members stopped by for a chat. Smiling, friendly, and passionate about what they do, the West Hill team put people at ease (despite their prior experiences talking to lawyers).  

7. WBENC certification is a valuable tool for women-owned businesses.

According to WBENC, women-owned businesses that are certified through their program are more likely to win contracts and secure new business opportunities. The WBENC application (especially the legal documentation section) can be daunting, but if you are ready to get certified as a Women-Owned Business, West Hill can help you navigate the process.  

“West Hill has been WBENC certified since 2013 and it has unlocked countless opportunities for our firm. WBENC is truly the leading women’s business development organization and I encourage all current WBEs and other women-owned businesses to tap into the limitless potential of the WBENC network,”

said Louise Kennedy.

8. Amplify. Collaboration is key to success in business.

Through productive Meet & Greets with corporate members and other networking opportunities at every turn, we were able to connect with other women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to explore potential partnerships and collaborations. It was also a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with friends from WBENC educational events like WeThrive and the Advanced Leadership Seminar. 

9. Walk the Walk.
The best way to help a woman owned business is to work with a women owned business.

Hire or source products from a woman-owned business. It is good for business and good for your community. Women-owned businesses fuel the economy, representing 39.1% of all businesses – over 14 million – employing 12.2 million workers and generating $2.7 trillion in revenue. According to the 2024 Wells Fargo Impact of Women-Owned Business Report, in partnership with Ventureneer, CoreWoman, and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), the number of women-owned businesses increased at nearly double the rate of those owned by men between 2019 and 2023; and from 2022 to 2023, the rate of growth increased to 4.5 times. 

 “How long do you want to sit and admire the problem before you start working on addressing the issue? Ignite change.”

Nellie Borrero, author of Unwavering

2024 WBENC National Conference Recap

30 April 2024

On Tuesday, March 21, 2024, Louise Kennedy, West Hill Founding Attorney was honored by WBENC (Women’s Buisness Enterprise National Council) as a 2024 WBE Star in Denver, CO. President & CEO Pamela Prince Eason and WBENC Board Chair Nedra Dickson, kicked-off the conference with an inspiring welcome. Bringing the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) President, Gabrielle King Morse , and Louise on stage to be recognized for outstanding business achievement, leadership and impact among women owned businesses. 

  • WBENC 2024
    2024 WBENC National Conference
  • Shehla Syed, Louise Kennedy and Jennica Holoquist
  • President & CEO Pamela Prince Eason
  • Loiuise Kennedy and Gaby King Morse
  • Louise being recognized as a 2024 WBE Star
  • Louise Kennedy and Gaby King Morse
  • Conference theme: A-M-P-L-I-F-Y
  • Louise Kennedy, West Hill Founding Attorney
  • Louise carrying the “A” in Amplify

Legal Questions? Ask West Hill.

A glimpse at the WBENC Expo and the inside the West Hill booth. The team was asked questions about the complexities of buisness ownership, challenges in executing a Strategic Alliance, entering into contracts with corporates, Saas problems and in-house lawyers did not know anything about Saas. Interestingly, when we asked the business owners about plans for their exit, most people said, “no”.

  • Louise, WBE Star 2024
  • Jennica Holoquist, Louise Kennedy and Shehla Syed in the West Hill booth
  • Legal Questions? Ask: Shehla.
  • Legal Questions? Ask: Louise
  • West Hill Vision and Mission

Evening Receptions at Wings Over Rockies and Gaylord Hotel Colorado Ski Lodge Party

  • Jennica Holoquist, Shehla Syed and Louise Kennedy at the Colorado Air & Space Museum
  • Shehla Syed and Jennica Holoquist
  • Jennica Holoquist and the WBENC party blimp
  • Gaylord Resort dinner at sunset
  • Jennica Holoquist, Louise Kennedy, Shehla Syed and Kim Patrick

Louise Honored as a 2024 WBE Star at the VIP Brunch

  • Louise Kennedy 2024 WBE Star
  • Louise Kennedy WBENC Conference 2024
  • Louise Kennedy WBENC 2024
  • 2024 WBE Star Louise Kennedy being recognized
  • Louise and Brendan Kennedy at the VIP Brunch
  • Comics for Hire getting the VIP Brunch moving
  • Magnificence

Louise Kennedy Honored as a 2024 WBE Star by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

26 February 2024

The WBE Star Award is the nation’s premier award for women’s excellence in business leadership

Louise Kennedy, Founding Attorney at West Hill Technology Counsel, has been recognized as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses and leader in women’s business development. The WBE Star Award is the nation’s top recognition for excellence among women-owned businesses, honoring 14 women who are leaders in their local business communities and respective fields from across the country within each Regional Partner Organization. Louise was nominated by the Northeast regional partner, Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE). CWE serves the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The 2024 WBE Stars will be honored during the 2024 WBENC National Conference, the largest event of its kind for women-owned business entrepreneurs and business leaders taking place March 19-22, 2024, in Denver, Colorado.

Honoring Women in Business

“West Hill has been a long-time supporter of CWE, hosting and participating in events and encouraging other woman-owned businesses to apply for WBENC and SBA Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certifications. West Hill was founded in part to address inequality in the legal workplace as described in the West Hill Vision and Mission. Our work with CWE is an extension of this.” said Louise Kennedy. 

“We could not be prouder of our 2024 WBE Stars,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC. “Each one of them exemplifies the vital role women-owned businesses play in our economy. They are outstanding leaders, mentors and innovators, and we look forward to honoring them in March and throughout the year.”

“This year we sought to recognize and celebrate WBEs who embody the spirit of “AMPLIFY” – having grown their business, strengthened a challenging area, expanded to new products and services or markets, heightened performance with development of talent, leadership, relationships, or accelerated business impact and results. Louise Kennedy, Founding Attorney and CEO of West Hill Technology Counsel has certainly done that and is an inspiration for the entire WBENC network.”

Pamela Prince-Eason

Tap Into WBENC

“Being recognized as a 2024 Women’s Business Enterprise Star by WBENC and my Regional Partner Organization, Center for Women and Enterprise, is an incredible honor. Our WBENC Certification has unlocked countless opportunities that we take advantage of continuously. WBENC is truly the leading women’s business development organization and I encourage all current WBEs and other women-owned small businesses to tap into the limitless potential of the WBENC network.” said Louise Kennedy.

2024 WBE Stars

Top left to right: Cate Heaman, Prelude Solutions, Paula Edwards, Lexair Electronics Sales Corporation, Heather Cox, Certify My Company, Mary Fehlig, The Fehlig Group, Barb Smith, Journey Steel, Inc., Gwen Hale, Reagan Mechanical LLC, Louise Leduc Kennedy, West Hill Technology Counsel, Inc., Sue Bhatia, Rose International, Inc., Linda A. Hamilton, Grow Profit Sale LLC, Brenda Boral, Boral Agency.
Front Left to right: Ashwini Vasudeva, Astute, Patricia Thomasson, Thomasson Company, Kathleen Hunt, Personalized Payroll Services, and Michele Adams, Levy Recognition.

“We applaud Louise Kennedy’s accomplishments and congratulate her on the selection to receive our highest achievement award for WBEs.”

Gaby King Morse, President and CEO, Center for Women and Enterprise

About WBE Star Award

Learn more about the WBE Star Award at https://www.wbenc.org/about-wbenc/awards/wbe-star-award/

About the 2024 WBENC National Conference

Register or find out more about Amplify, the WBENC National conference at https://www.wbenc.org/conference/.

About WBENC

WBENC is the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, supported by more than 540 Corporate Members that value our world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. Throughout the year, WBENC provides professional development, business development, and outreach opportunities for more than 18,000 WBENC Certified women-owned businesses, Corporate and Government Members, and the national WBENC network. Partnering with 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. Learn more at www.wbenc.org.

About West Hill

West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing pro-active, practical legal advice to help IP-focused businesses grow, assess risk, and plan for and execute a successful exit.

Meet the Team: Jennica Holoquist

6 March 2024

In this series, we are introducing the West Hill Law team. We’re starting with Jennica Holoquist, a Business and Transactions Attorney who joined our team after graduating from Suffolk University Law School.

What areas of law are you most interested in?

In law school I was most interested in intellectual property, mainly trademarks and copyright, but since coming to West Hill, my interest and focus now includes business transactions and data privacy.

What drew you to West Hill?

A combination of the firm’s focus areas and company culture. I was excited that West Hill does IP work, which was my concentration at school. In addition, it handles other practice areas so I could expand my skills and knowledge base. I loved that the firm was a women owned business as I have always felt more comfortable and encouraged when being around women. As a young attorney, I was looking for the opportunity to be supported in my growth. I also really respected the mission of West Hill which is to provide effective and enthusiastic legal services to all our clients at competitive rates while respecting the needs of the legal staff.

How would you describe working at West Hill to a friend?

I often describe West Hill as a very collaborative work environment. The whole team is open to working together to put out the best work possible for all the clients. There is a good balance between having the space to bunker down and do the work on your own but also to run to a colleague and get their perspective on any issues. I would describe West Hill as open, dedicated, and encouraging.

What makes West Hill unique? 

The company culture makes West Hill unique. For example, I am someone who has struggled with asking for help which has the ability to hinder growth or efficiency.  At West Hill, that is not something I have to worry about. I can ask anyone here questions and they will be treated with understanding and responded to with care. In the short amount of time that I have been here, this has allowed me to grow as a lawyer and improve my client work. I will also add that the way West Hill cares about the clients is unique. Here you are not just another name on a file. West Hill does a great job of communicating with clients and really understanding both short and long term goals. The team helps clients plan for the best and most efficient way to reach those goals.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to dance, I did many different types of dance all the way through college. It’s something that brings me a lot of joy. I spend a lot of time with my dog Macfarlane mainly playing fetch (sometimes even in the house). I am also a big movie and television fan so I am always looking for something new to watch.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

From a very young age, I wanted to be able to support others who did not have the ability or the knowledge to do something on their own. I would say that is another reason I really like working at West Hill, especially with start-ups. I get the chance to help people grow their businesses or protect their work in a way that they might not be able to without that guidance and support.

Contact Jennica Holoquist

Click here for more information and contact info for Jennica.

Attorney Spotlight: Louise Kennedy to present NSTC Program on How Non-Patent IP Protection Can Increase the Value of your Company

10 January 2024

Your company’s intellectual property may be one of your most valuable assets. But how do you go about protecting that asset? What intellectual property do you have in your business and how can you protect it? The North Shore Technology Council has invited Louise Kennedy, the West Hill Founder, to lead a program titled IP is Not Just Patents. Join Louise for a FREE lunch-hour zoom on Thursday, January 25th, from 12-1 pm. Register here today. Both NSTC members and non-members are welcome to attend.

This program will discuss how using copyright, trademark, and trade secret protection can increase the value of your company. Louise will also walk through the steps required to protect non-patent intellectual property assets. These include copyright and trademark filings, as well as company policies. The discussion will cover the role of contracts for routine business transactions in preserving these rights. Finally, Louise will walk through typical IP-related questions in M&A due diligence and why you should ask them or be prepared to answer them.

About the North Shore Technology Council

The NSTC hosts unique learning/networking events for innovators, entrepreneurs, service providers and career-seekers north of Boston – and beyondconnecting them with global experts across technology and the sciences – and each other – to build knowledge and foster collaboration that drives personal and business growth. Find out more about the NSTC and its membership here.

About Louise Kennedy

Louise Leduc Kennedy is the founding attorney of West Hill Technology Counsel. She has extensive experience advising technology companies on intellectual property and strategic matters. She is passionate about service agreements and ensuring her clients understand the legal jargon in their agreements so they are legally protected and positioned for growth. Louise loves working with innovative women and their entrepreneurial businesses.

Prior to forming the firm, Ms. Kennedy worked as in-house counsel at IBM Corporation for 9 years. During this time she supported the Global Sales and Distribution Group, IBM Business Consulting Services as well as the Lotus brand within IBM Software Group. Her responsibilities included the structure and negotiation of complex e-marketplace offerings as well as supply-chain management and e-procurement software alliances.

Louise received her B.A. in Economics from Smith College and her J.D., with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. 

Attorney Spotlight: Boston magazine Selects Shehla Syed to 2023 Top Lawyers List

1 December 2023

West Hill is pleased to announce that Shehla Syed has been named to the Boston magazine Top Lawyers™ 2023 list. Shehla has been recognized for excellence in Intellectual Property Law. This annual accolade, initiated in 2021, is designed to highlight outstanding legal talent in the region. Attorneys have the opportunity to nominate their peers in specific areas of expertise, with the rankings determined through peer voting and an advisory board.

“I am honored to be named a Top Lawyer by Boston magazine alongside so many great peers also recognized on this year’s list,” said Shehla Syed.

Shehla has also been recognized by Best Lawyers (2023) and Super Lawyers (since 2019) in her areas of expertise.

Click here to view Shehla Syed’s listing.

About Shehla Syed

Shehla Syed is a West Hill Shareholder and IP Strategist specializing in Intellectual Property, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ms. Syed counsels clients onhttps://www.bostonmagazine.com/lawyers all aspects of their intellectual property – trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets – to help them maximize the value and enforceability of their content, brands and technology.

About Boston magazine Top Lawyers List

Click here to view the complete list of 2023 Top Lawyers. The December issue of Boston magazine featuring the highly anticipated 2023 Top Lawyers list is now available in print and online.

About West Hill

West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing proactive, practical legal advice to help solve problems before they arise. Our clients are new and growing businesses that create or leverage technology as a core part of their business model. 

Attorney Spotlight: Shehla Syed named to Super Lawyers 2023 edition

18 October 2023

About Super Lawyers

West Hill is pleased to announce that Shehla Syed was recognized by Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property. Super Lawyers is an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specific practice areas who were selected after a thorough evaluation of numerous criteria. No more than five percent of attorneys in a state are named Super Lawyers.

“I appreciate the honor of being named a ‘Super Lawyer’, and congratulate my peers also recognized on this year’s list,” said Shehla Syed.

This marks the fifth consecutive year Shehla has been selected as an honoree in Massachusetts since 2019. Super Lawyers select attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research.

This marks the fifth consecutive year Shehla has been selected as a Super Layers honoree in Massachusetts since 2019

About Shehla Syed

Shehla is a West Hill Shareholder and IP Strategist specializing in Intellectual Property, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ms. Syed counsels clients on all aspects of their intellectual property – trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets – to help them maximize the value and enforceability of their content, brands and technology.

Shehla is a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, the Boston Patent Law Association and the New England Muslim Bar Association, for which she was one of the founding members. Shehla has also served on the Community Ethics Committee at the Division of Medical Ethics of the Harvard Medical School which provides ethics feedback to Harvard teaching hospitals.

About West Hill

West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing proactive, practical legal advice to help solve problems before they arise. Our clients are new and growing businesses that create or leverage technology as a core part of their business model.

About Super Lawyers

For more information on Super Lawyers, a part of Thomson Reuters, click here.

Attorney Spotlight: Shehla Syed named to 2024 edition of Best Lawyers 

17 August 2023

West Hill is pleased to announce Shehla Syed was recognized by Best Lawyers® in their 2024 edition for Litigation – Intellectual Property. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers follows a peer-reviewed process recognizing lawyers in the U.S. who are demonstrating professional excellence in private practice. Best Lawyers has earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as a reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. The selected lawyers are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo an authentication process.

About Shehla Syed

Shehla is a Shareholder and IP Strategist specializing in Intellectual Property, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ms. Syed counsels clients on all aspects of their intellectual property – trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets – to help maximize the value and enforceability of their content, brands and technology.

Shehla is a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, Boston Patent Law Association and the New England Muslim Bar Association, for which she was one of the founding members. Shehla has also served on the Community Ethics Committee at the Division of Medical Ethics of the Harvard Medical School which provides ethics feedback to Harvard teaching hospitals.

About West Hill

West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing pro-active, practical legal advice to help solve problems before they arise. Our clients are new and growing businesses that create or leverage technology as a core part of their business model.

About Best Lawyers

For the list and more information on Best Lawyers, click here.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: Louise Kennedy Speaking at the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

20 June 2023

Louise Leduc Kennedy has been invited to speak at the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation F3 Summer Conversations in Entrepreneurial Leadership series at the University of Connecticut. She is an alumna of the University of Connecticut School of Law and will address the cohort of First Year Female Founders.  

The Werth Innovator F3 Cohort pilot launched in 2020 to address the gender gap that exists in the business world when it comes to female-founded ventures. This cohort of Werth Innovators was selected at the beginning of the fall semester from a pool of first-year female-identifying students. The program focuses on building self-confidence through mentorship and peer networking at the beginning of their college career. 

The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way.” 

Louise has been inspired by this quote from Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer science and mathematics, and it sums up her approach to creating a unique business and technology law firm.  In her conversation with the F3 cohort, Louise will share her story of stepping off the large law firm/in-house path to launch West Hill. Since its founding, West Hill has sought to retain the best parts of sophisticated legal practice, such as constant learning, deep and practical knowledge in its areas of expertise, and commitment to superior client service. But Louise and her team have also worked hard to replace many parts of the typical law firm that weren’t working. The firm’s vision, mission, and values and a commitment to supporting its team members’ commitments to family, community, and self. Louise will discuss her journey of reimagining her industry for the better and not getting bogged down in the way things have always been done.   

West Hill is a certified woman-owned business, actively redefining the concept of private law practice. Diverse hiring practices are important to West Hill and many of West Hill’s clients either because of a corporate commitment to diversity or because hiring a certified woman-owned business assists them in attaining supplier diversity goals. 

The support and empowerment of women – including young women entrepreneurs — is a critical component of the West Hill’s success.

  

https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/wi/

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