By Marcia Reid Wordard
Daughter of Guyana’s former ambassador to the United States, the late Dr Cedric Grant, Denise M. Grant, is right at home — and work — in world affairs.
“Diplomacy is in my genes,” says the New York-based lawyer, who was born in Guyana, South America and raised in England before emigrating to the United States in 1982.
Law is in her genes as well. Grant is the second oldest of four girls, three of whom are lawyers. She suggests that this genetic predisposition spurred her foray into international business law.
Upon graduating from George Washington University, Grant obtained a law degree from Georgetown University Law School and was immediately recruited by New York-based Shearman & Sterling L.L.P., specialists in corporate litigation, property, tax and antitrust matters.
“The opportunity to capitalise on my foreign relations and legal expertise in an arena that positively impacts the global community has proven to be the fit of a lifetime.” says Grant of her 19-year career with Shearman & Sterling.
Grant’s daily responsibilities include advising many of the world’s leading businesses and credit institutions on corporate matters and financial transactions such as acquisitions, privatisations and restructurings.
Her clients include power equipment titan Deere & Co.: Mexico’s largest mining operation, Minera Mexico; and Chile’s principal telecommunications concern, Telefonica CTC Chile.
Among her accomplishments, Grant has negotiated
a $1 billion credit line for Deere and secured $725 million for industrial manufacturer Amsted Industries Inc.
Yet Grant insists that she’s most proud of becoming the firm’s first and only Black partner.
“Making partner is as much as an achievement for me as it is for other aspiring minority lawyers,” she states.
“As a leader I strive to use my position and status to effect change and progress within my circle of influence, as 1 believe all leaders should.”
A staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion, Grant spearheads numerous initiatives to recruit and support the career development of minority lawyers.
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