A founding member of the firm, Barrett provides strategic communications counsel and support to Boards of Directors and management teams facing complex, high-profile corporate events, including mergers or acquisitions, proxy contests, executive leadership changes, and crisis situations such as data breaches, accounting irregularities and restatements, and investigations and litigation. In addition, she works closely with clients to develop and enhance their investor and public relations programs to meet both offensive and defensive needs. Her clients have included large, global, public corporations as well as smaller, private enterprises both within the U.S. and abroad.
- Mergers & Acquisitions: Notable transactions include adidas’ acquisition of Reebok; Agrium and Potash in their merger of equals; Carmike’s sale to AMC; Conoco’s merger with Phillips Petroleum; Demandware in its sale to Salesforce; Energy East’s combination with IBERDROLA; The Finish Line’s merger, and merger termination, with Genesco; First Cash in its merger with Cash America; various transactions involving Fisher Scientific, including its merger with Thermo Electron; Humana in its merger with Aetna, Tech Data’s acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions, among others. Unsolicited transaction on which she has advised include, among others, Atmel in its defense against Microchip Technology and ON Semiconductor; EDF in its successful acquisition of Constellation Energy’s nuclear assets; NRG Energy in its defense against Mirant; PotashCorp in its proposal to K+S; Smith & Nephew in its bid for Centerpulse against Zimmer; TRW in its response to Northrop Grumman; and Unilever in its successful acquisition of Bestfoods.
- Shareholder Activism: She has advised on numerous public and private activist situations, helping companies in their discussions with, and in certain cases proxy fights against, some of the most notable activist investors, including Blue Harbour, Carl Icahn, JANA Partners, Marcato, Starboard, Third Point, and Trian Partners, as well as campaigns initiated by Barington Capital, The Clinton Group, Engine Capital, Harbinger Capital, Lone Star Value and MMI, among others. Her clients have included Angie’s List, The Brinks Company, Chico’s FAS, Callon Petroleum, Convergys, Darden, Gateway, Hertz, Houston Exploration, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune, MYR Group, Oglebay Norton, Outerwall, Sotheby’s, Western Gas, VAALCO, and VISX, among others.
- Crisis: She has helped companies manage business and communications issues arising from crisis situations, such as data breaches, investigations, regulatory actions, litigation, product liability and recalls, bankruptcy/financial restructurings, management succession, earnings surprises and restatements, short attacks, workforce reductions, corporate reorganizations and workplace violence. Her clients have included Adobe, Atmel, Cytyc, Energy Transfer Partners, Frédéric Fekkai, Hertz, International Flavors & Fragrances, InterOil, Jacobs Engineering, NuVasive, Snap-on, Sonus Networks, Spectranetics, St. Jude Medical and TCP International, among others.
- Investor Relations & Financial Public Relations: She has long-term relationships with numerous companies with whom she has worked to enhance their investor and financial communications. Her clients have relied on her counsel for quarterly reporting, investor days, and outreach programs to strengthen relationships with key Wall Street opinion makers.
In recognition of her achievements, Barrett was named to PR Week’s inaugural “40 Under 40” list. She was previously an Account Executive at Abernathy MacGregor Frank. Earlier she worked for Kirby McInerney & Squire and served in the office of Congressman Bob Goodlatte. Barrett received a BA from the University of Virginia, where she also attended the University’s McIntire Institute for Business.