Michelle Banks is currently a Senior Advisor at BarkerGilmore LLC where she specializes in providing executive coaching to corporate general counsel and their successors in development.
A consummate public company legal and executive officer with considerable international expertise, Michelle brings an exceptional corporate perspective to her clients to help them successfully resolve the challenges they face. As Gap Inc.’s (Fortune: 178/NYSE: GPS) Executive Vice President, Global General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer, Michelle was a key member of, and strategic advisor to, the CEO’s senior leadership team and dually reported to the CEO and the Audit & Finance Committee of the Board of Directors. Over the course of her career at Gap Inc., she led the global equity, foundation, franchise services, governance, government affairs and public policy, integrity, legal, privacy, and sustainability functions, for the third largest global apparel retailer and owner of the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands. In addition to managing teams in 15 countries, Michelle served the retailer in leadership roles that resulted in successful global expansions, acquisitions, three CEO transitions, and the restructuring of the company’s operating model. She gained extensive experience in corporate governance, crisis management, ethics and compliance, enterprise risk management, regulatory compliance, stakeholder engagement, strategic alliances, strategic planning, and succession planning. A hallmark of her leadership was her commitment to mentoring individuals both inside and outside of Gap Inc.
Beyond her experience in the retail industry, and prior to her tenure at Gap Inc., Michelle had roots in the sports world as Legal Counsel to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. She assisted the franchise in developing and financing a sports arena, practice facility, and office complex, while refinancing long-term debt and reorganizing the ownership structure.
Before then, Michelle advised Latin American companies and U.S. investment banking firms on public and private offerings of equity and debt securities in the United States and other countries while in the Corporate and Finance Group at Morrison & Foerster. As further testimony to the depth of her global expertise, she worked in Tokyo, Japan as American Counsel for the law firm’s client, ITOCHU Corporation, one of the largest Japanese trading companies. There, she advised on global business transactions outside Japan, including securities investments, joint ventures and other strategic alliances, acquisitions, project financings, and restructurings. Beginning her career in the Corporate Practice Group at Sheppard Mullin, she advised U.S. private companies on acquisitions and private offerings of equity securities, and public companies on going private transactions.
Active in many nonprofit organizations, Michelle is Co-Chair of UCLA Law Women LEAD, an initiative she co-founded at her alma mater to empower and advance women students and alumnae. She also serves as a Board member of DirectWomen, a nonprofit whose mission is to increase women lawyers serving on the Boards of Directors of public companies. As former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, she was also a member of the Executive, Governance, and Strategies Committees. Serving the United Way of the Bay Area as a member of the Board’s Executive Committee, Stakeholder Engagement Task Force, and Sustainability Task Force, Michelle chaired both the Strategic Planning Task Force, and a record-breaking fundraising campaign for the organization.
The recipient of numerous national and regional awards, Michelle was recognized as a Legend in Law, receiving the prestigious Burton Foundation award in 2016. She has also been honored as a Top General Counsel to Watch by Corporate Board Member, a Corporate Counsel Innovator by The Financial Times, a Distinguished General Counsel by the Directors Roundtable, and a Most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business by The San Francisco Business Times. Santa Clara University Law School presented Michelle with their Social Justice and Human Rights Award in 2014 and UCLA Law School named her 2016 Alumni of the Year for Professional Achievement.
A frequent speaker on leadership, Michelle has made presentations to numerous organizations, including the Association of Corporate Counsel, Association of General Counsel, Business for Social Responsibility, Center for Women in Law, National Association of Corporate Directors, National Association of Women Lawyers, National Diversity Council, Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, and Society of Governance Professionals.
Michelle received her B.A. in Economics with College Honors from UCLA and her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
Building High Performance Teams
Compliance & Ethics Programs
Corporate Secretary Function & Governance
Crisis Management Planning
Family & Private Company Dynamics
Legal & Compliance Department Assessment
Legal & Compliance Structure & Development
Managing Through Mergers & Layoffs
Confidant for General Counsel & CCO
Leadership for Women & Diverse Talent
Motivation & Retention of Key Individual Contributors
New Leader and Team Assimilation
Succession Planning, Assessment & Development
Strategic Advisor Development