Features

Danielle Sheer – Bottomline Technologies

Business payments are complex but don’t have to be

More than 10 years ago, Danielle Sheer took a contemplative walk from her midtown Manhattan office back to her Upper West Side apartment. As an attorney at a big-city firm, she’d just finished helping a company through an acquisition and realized she had no practical reason to stay in touch with her clients.

“I had lived and breathed the story of this company for several months, got close with the management team and prepped them for their future. Then, when the company was sold, my reason for being part of their journey had come to an end,” Sheer reflects.

Danielle Sheer | General Counsel, Corporate Secretary| Bottomline Technologies

Danielle Sheer | General Counsel, Corporate Secretary| Bottomline Technologies

Now, she gets to keep those relationships going and be part of building a company’s future. And as the general counsel and corporate secretary for Bottomline Technologies, she’s working with customers that include banks and other companies all over the world.

Those customers rely on her employer’s products and services to facilitate smart, simple and secure domestic and international payments, she says, adding that, “The financial world is changing fast. We help our customers keep pace.”

Checking lists twice

With the Biden administration promising to enforce sanctions more aggressively, Sheer and her legal department have kept a close eye on the Office of Foreign Assets Control lists—a part of the U.S. Treasury Department which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions in support of U.S. objectives. Sheer’s also keeping tabs on laws places where Bottomline has a presence.

These sanctions lists “are dynamic and tend to be responsive to changing political landscapes,” she says. After the well-known SolarWinds cyberattack, for instance, the Biden administration announced it would seek new sanctions against Russian entities. In another recent example, at the beginning of 2021, a new French bank was added to the OFAC entity sanctions list in addition to several people and companies associated with the coup in Myanmar.

Because Bottomline Technologies has employees, customers and vendors around the world, Sheer believes it is important that sanctions compliance not be viewed as a U.S.-focused matter, but as a culture of respect for the laws of different nations.

“How do legal teams keep pace with sanctions compliance for their global customers, suppliers and partners?” she asks. “It’s a great question, and the answer must be simple to understand and to action. It takes some cross-functional elbow grease to make it happen.”

There’s also the matter of educating a global employee base of more than 2,000 Bottomline. To do this, Sheer is hosting “Sanctions Spotlight,” a companywide virtual event where she’s selected a handful of current global events, like the Myanmar coup and the Alexei Navalny poisoning, that have led to government sanctions. She then shows how events like these create a chain reaction that can eventually create impacts for local businesses.

Appreciating the legal team

This is all part of a larger strategy to ensure her legal team is seen as solution seekers, says Sheer, or “part of the glue that keeps the bigger machine moving forward.  

One way Sheer does that is by leading acquisition activitiesAt her prior company, Carbonite, one of those deals was to acquire one of Carbonite’s competitorsMozyDuring this negotiation, a unique relationship developed between her team and opposing counsel. 

“Negotiations to buy a company can be complex and at times, emotional. The Foley Hoag M&A partner and I formed a fastworking relationship. We really enjoyed working together to find collaborative and progressive solutions to complex legal matters, and we genuinely had a good time being part of building a combined future for two good companies,” Sheer says. 

Now at Bottomlinethe legal team and Foley Hoag continue to work together, but this time on the same side, to support global M&A transactionswhich often involves navigating complex and dynamic sanctions matters. The latest project: a tech company based in Lebanon. 

According to Alex Aber, a partner at Foley Hoag and cochair of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group, Sheer wastes no time earning the respect and admiration of colleagues and adversaries. Foley Hoag attorneys sat across from her during the Mozy deal and since then, the firm has worked alongside her on a series of transactions.

“We continue to be impressed by her relentless drive, energy and creativity,” Aber says. “She is a rare talent.”

That’s the Bottomline

After graduating with a degree in philosophy from George Washington University and a law degree from Georgetown, Sheer started as a corporate lawyer for Willkie Farr and Gallagher in New York City. After completing the acquisition that left her strolling through Central Park to her apartment in Manhattan, Sheer began the process of transitioning from big law to an in-house position and landed her first in-house role a few months later.

It was 2009, and Carbonite was on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies with dreams of going public. When she left Carbonite a decade later to join Bottomline Technologies, Carbonite was a Nasdaq-listed public company with more than 2,000 employees around the world, had survived a hostile takeover attempt and activist shareholders, and grown through several acquisitions.

“It was a wild ride, and it was exactly the journey I hoped to be part of with a team.”

Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.

Testimonials

It was a great honor to be featured in Vanguard Law. Working with every member of the team, from the initial interview with Erin Clark, through production with Victor Martins, writing the article with Taryn Plumb and creating the final content with Dave Gushee, was a true pleasure. Everyone was very professional, enthusiastic and supportive, and their creative approach and positive attitude clearly came through in the final product.
– Kevin C. Rakowski, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Compliance with Radian Group Inc.
I was honored to be the subject of an article. I enjoy reading Vanguard articles and seeing how other attorneys got to their positions and see their jobs. It's also interesting to see how different law firms partner with the subjects of the articles.
– Henry Marquard, in-house counsel, Stanley Consultants Inc.
As promised in advance, my feature in Vanguard has increased my visibility within the profession and prompted more than a few people I have not communicated with recently to reconnect. One of the Italian law firms I have used in the past is now in the process of interviewing me for an article on their website and tweeting out the feature story. Activity and the number of people connecting with me on LinkedIn has soared, which is great. The Vanguard writers and editorial staff were great to work with—highly professional and made the effort to make the experience both fun and rewarding (they were also respectful of the time pressures and demands all lawyers face). I was very pleased with the experience and the final outcome. Needless to say, I have been very pleased. All in all working with Vanguard has been a very positive experience which generated good publicity for both Shawcor and myself. My sincere thanks.
– Tim Hutzul, General Counsel, ShawCor Ltd.
The piece highlighting my company, Bob Baker Enterprises, Inc., came out fabulous. Our company is in the new and used car sales and service industry. Everyone was great to work with and extremely professional. They produced a high-quality product and have provided expert assistance and guidance post-production of the article.
– Wade Poulson, General Counsel, Bob Baker Enterprises Inc.

LATEST EDITION

Fall II 2021

READ NOW

GET VANGUARD IN YOUR INBOX.

  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.