A founding member of the firm, Barrett advises Boards and management teams facing complex, high-profile events. Over her 20 years at Joele Frank, she has been involved in developing and executing communications strategies for numerous mergers, acquisitions and proxy contests as well as crises related to ethical violations, cyber security, accounting irregularities and restatements, investigations and litigation, among other crisis matters. In addition, she works closely with clients to develop corporate engagement programs and enhance their investor and public relations to meet both offensive and defensive needs. Her clients include large, global public corporations as well as smaller, private enterprises both within the U.S. and abroad.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Notable transactions include, among others, Agrium and PotashCorp in their merger of equals; Humana in its merger with Aetna and subsequent termination following DOJ litigation; Great Plains in its combination with Westar; Jacobs in its acquisition of CH2M and the sale of Jacob’s ECR business to WorleyParsons; Cronos Group in connection with its investment from Altria; adidas’s acquisition of Reebok; Demandware in its sale to Salesforce; multiple transactions involving Fisher Scientific, including its merger with Thermo Electron; as well as various go-private transactions involving, for example, AmTrust, Cleco, Cox Communications, El Paso Electric, PAREXEL and TechData.
Barrett also has significant experience advising on unsolicited and shareholder contested transactions such as representing Rockwell Automation in is defense against Emerson; a consortium of buyers, including Humana, TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, in their contested acquisition of Kindred; Connecticut Water in its merger with SJW Group and defense against Eversource; Carmike in its contested acquisition by AMC; Atmel in its defense against Microchip Technology and ON Semiconductor; EDF in its successful acquisition of Constellation Energy’s nuclear assets; and NRG Energy in its defense against Mirant.
She has advised Boards and companies facing some of the most notable activist investors, including Blue Harbour, Carl Icahn, Elliott, Glenview, JANA Partners, Marcato, Starboard, Third Point and Trian Partners. Clients with public campaigns have included Angie’s List, athenahealth, The Brinks Company, Chico’s FAS, Callon Petroleum, Commvault, Convergys, Evergy, Darden, Gateway, Hertz, Houston Exploration, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Magellan Health, MYR Group, Oglebay Norton, Outerwall, Papa John’s, PAREXEL, Sotheby’s, Western Gas, VAALCO, VISX and XenoPort, among others.
Barrett’s crisis experience spans both contingency planning and crisis response for issues arising from ethical violations, whistleblowers, cyber security, regulatory actions, product liability and recalls, unplanned management changes, litigation, earnings surprises and restatements, and workplace violence, among others.
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.