HBAM Member Spotlight: Monica Navarro

What is your name?

Monica P. Navarro

What company/firm do you work for, and what is your position there?

I am Senior Counsel to the Freudenberg Group in North America.  The Freudenberg Group is a German conglomerate in 65 countries; I am responsible for providing legal support to the Freudenberg companies in four of those countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

What legal practice areas do you primarily focus on?

My practice consists of commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance, dispute/litigation management, and cross border transactions in the medical device, automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, chemical, alternative energy, and household consumer product manufacturing sectors.

Where did you attend law school, and when did you graduate?

I received my J.D. in 1993 from the University of Michigan Law School.

Describe the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in your legal career.

The biggest challenge I faced in my legal career was achieving work-life balance.  As the mother of three now-adult children, having a successful legal career and a healthy family required a strong work ethic, but also clear priorities and boundaries, together with superior time management skills.  Easier said than done.

What has been the biggest accomplishment/victory in your legal career?

Choosing a single accomplishment as my “biggest” accomplishment is difficult.  Every single accomplishment, small and big, is a necessary stepping-stone to the next one.  However, if success is to be defined in terms dollars and cents, my largest recovery was a case against ABSG, which settled for $885 million.  Money aside, being selected as Crain’s Detroit 40 Under 40 and by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in the first class of Women in the Law opened many doors for me that settlement dollars alone would not have.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A Lawyer!

What word would you use to describe yourself?

Resilient.

What are two things about you many people might not know?

I was class action counsel in one of the Florida Election Recount cases following the 2000 Hanging Chad Gore-Bush Presidential Election.

I am a rehab addict (real estate).

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

Bear.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

“Don’t get bitter; get BETTER” and

“When You Lose, Don’t Lose the Lesson.”

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