FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michelle Speller-Thurman

Michelle Speller-Thurman

Abbott Laboratories
Division Counsel, Licensing & Acquisitions
Abbott Park, IL, USA


Michelle Speller-Thurman is Division Counsel with Abbott Laboratories and focuses her practice on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, private equity investments and licensing transactions. In addition, Ms. Speller-Thurman was a part of the legal team responsible for supporting and managing Abbott’s $55 billion spin-off of its research-based pharmaceutical business. Prior to joining Abbott, Ms. Speller-Thurman was Corporate Counsel with Hewitt Associates LLC — focusing on corporate contracting and general corporate matters.

As a former partner at Winston & Strawn LLP and Jenner & Block LLP, Ms. Speller-Thurman advised public and private corporate borrowers, financial institutions, and private equity investors in a variety of corporate lending transactions, including acquisition, leveraged, secured, and unsecured financings. In the M&A area, Ms. Speller-Thurman has represented public and private companies in domestic and international transactions, as well as private equity clients in business acquisitions and mergers. She also has extensive experience with workout and restructuring matters. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Speller-Thurman was a manager with the financial consulting practice group of Arthur Andersen LLP in Chicago.

Volunteer Activities
Ms. Speller-Thurman is active with the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. and LINK Unlimited as a sponsor and mentor of high school students. She is currently an advisory board member of The Edutainment Project and a planning committee member of an annual Chicago-area charity walk/run supporting the national PMD Foundation. Ms. Speller-Thurman formerly served as the co-chair of the Career Assistance Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, co-chair for the Minority Law Student Job Fair for the Cook County Bar Association, a member of the Illini Leadership Council of the University of Illinois, a member of the Membership Advisory Committee of the Empowering Women Network, Inc., co-chair of programming for the National Association of Women Lawyers General Counsel Institute, and board member of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms.

Ms. Speller-Thurman has been a panelist for the Practising Law Institute’s annual seminar on Drafting and Negotiating Corporate Agreements since 2009. She has also served as a seminar panelist for the Chicago Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Honors and Awards
Ms. Speller-Thurman received the Abbott President’s Award in 2012 for contributions to the legal division and was featured as a 2009 and 2008 Illinois Rising Star for corporate law (Illinois Super Lawyer magazine). She was also listed in the inaugural edition of “Who’s Who in Black Chicago” in 2006.

Education 
Ms. Speller-Thurman earned her B.S. in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
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