What led you to a career in the deal-making industry?
I worked for Texas Instruments on the business side, negotiating Advanced Weapons contracts, before I went to law school, and I loved it. After 9 years at Tl, I went to SMU for law school and never looked back. I thrive on helping companies grow -- and on finding common ground where there doesn't appear to be any.
How does diversity add value in the deal-making process?
Having a diverse team brings different perspectives and different ideas for problem solving. Diversity of thought, background, gender, education, socio-economic factors, race, religion, etc. brings a broader range of potential solutions to complicated problems.
The most memorable deal I worked on.... why?
I represented Medicis in their acquisition of the North American rights to Restylane (1st wrinkle filler) prior to FDA approval. Within a year Restylane was approved and was featured in every newspaper and even on Oprah.
My advice for achieving success in the industry....
Relationships matter. Values matter. Never compromise your integrity. Remain committed to quality. Listen more than you talk. Know your strengths. Hire people on your team who are smarter than you and who can balance your strengths and weakness.
Gemma is the mergers and acquisitions lawyer of choice for buyers and sellers in today’s most active global industries: technology, private equity, media, transportation, and health care. She is known for both her vision and diligence in shaping a deal, always keeping the desired and most advantageous result in mind. Gemma is also a passionate advocate and board volunteer for various non-profit organizations, including the past President of the DFW Association for Corporate Growth (DFW ACG) and the University of Texas Center for Women in Law.
Education: J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1998, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif; and B.A., Grove City College.
Location: Sheppard Mullin, Dallas, Texas.