Page 12 - Minnesota Vol 8 No 6
P. 12

Rhona E. Schmidt
A woman who stands at a commanding six feet, two inches tall and speaks in a distinctive Scottish brogue, Rhona Schmidt certainly stands out among her colleagues.
At Dorsey, where she has forged her reputation as an accomplished practice group and  rm leader, Schmidt’s unique attributes and international perspective are regarded as striking advantages.
Asa partner in Dorsey’s technology commerce practice group and a member of the  rm’s man- agement committee, Schmidt plays a key role
in de ning Dorsey’s culture and core values, and shap- ing Minnesota’s business landscape. At Dorsey, she is a champion of diversity who has helped re ne and expand the  rm’s  exible work policies, furthering its status as a trailblazer in the recognition, recruitment and advance- ment of diverse individuals. In her law practice, Schmidt has more than 20 years’ experience helping clients from a variety of business sectors to commercialize their technol- ogy products and services. She is an expert in structuring, dra ing and negotiating technology product and services contracts, ensuring that businesses e ectively license or outsource these assets.
Negotiating relationship contracts requires particular  nesse, because the terms must be optimal for both sides if the parties are to maintain successful, long-term a li- ations. Schmidt commented, “First, you have to under- stand the business objectives of both parties. If the needs of both aren’t met, then it will most likely not result in a long-term, happy relationship. I don’t believe in one-sided
contracts, because I don’t think they work. It’s a lot like a marriage – both parties need to be getting something positive out of it for it to work. Second, you have to make sure the contract aligns the incentives of both parties. You have to get out your crystal ball and anticipate what could go wrong in the relationship, and then  gure out how to dra  the contract to address those anticipated issues. If you build in the right protections contractually, those pro- visions can help the parties work through the issue when it arises to continue the relationship, or allow terminating the relationship with minimal di culty.”
Schmidt’s multicultural background strengthens her skill as a negotiator. “As a European, I was introduced to multiple cultures at a young age. Everybody there travels, so I’m used to dealing with new ideas, places and tem- peraments.  at’s what I bring to the table when I coun- sel clients. I can both understand and relate to various and sometimes opposing cultures and help bring them together. I think you need to be able to do that when you negotiate for a living. You might not agree with someone’s perspective or approach, but you need to understand it and empathize with it.”

   10   11   12   13   14