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Alumni in Residence with Sally Thurston J.D. ’86 formally of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

March 5, 2024

11:00 am - 1:00 pm

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Tuesday, March 5, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ET.

The Alumni in Residence program connects current HLS students with accomplished HLS alumni for one-on-one career mentoring and advice. You’re invited to meet with Sally Thurston J.D. ’86 during her virtual office hours. Sign up for a 20-minute Zoom appointment.


Sally Thurston J.D. ’86

Sally Thurston is a strategic business partner and problem solver who recently retired from global law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Sally was a results-oriented tax advisor to Fortune 500 companies on multi-billion dollar transactions for 35 years and is an expert on combinations between US and foreign multinationals, cross-border structures and post-acquisition integration planning. As a member of Skadden senior management, Sally was an engaged, pragmatic and collaborative leader on financial, operational, ESG and human capital matters.

Throughout her career, Sally drove strategic outcomes for multinational clients in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, restructurings, business integrations and other transformative transactions in nearly every industry, and regularly advised boards and C-Suite executives on competing risks and priorities arising from these transactions. In her cross-border and integration work, Sally led teams and coordinated legal and accounting advisors with business units around the globe to solve multi-jurisdictional problems in real time. Sally is an expert on supply chain planning, transfer pricing, complex accounting and tax issues, and managing audit risk and compliance. She possesses in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries due to her years of advising clients operating in those sectors.

For over five years, Sally chaired Skadden’s financial oversight and audit committee, establishing the firm’s operating budget, debt levels, capital outlays, and attorney pricing structures, and overseeing its external audits. As a three-term member of Skadden’s executive board, she was responsible for partner compensation, internal and lateral partner growth, executive partner succession planning, practice expansion initiatives, human capital and firm governance. For 12 years, Sally directed Skadden’s tax planning, transfer pricing, compliance and governmental audits throughout 22 offices located in 10 countries. Sally co-chaired Skadden’s DEI committee during her last few years at the firm, utilizing improved metrics and novel initiatives to address client demands for diverse teams on their matters and ultimately improve partner accountability for diverse talent training, retention and promotion.

Sally holds a juris doctorate degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and a chemical engineering degree with distinction from Cornell University.

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March 5, 2024, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

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