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Home / 2010 Corporate Counsel / Collar isn’t always white for Bucyrus’ Martinez

Collar isn’t always white for Bucyrus’ Martinez

Lisa Martinez

Lisa Martinez

Not every in-house lawyer owns a pair of steel-toed work boots and a hardhat like Lisa Martinez.

Martinez, a corporate attorney for Bucyrus International Inc., headquartered in South Milwaukee, said the gear is more than just symbolic. She has actually worn it on the job, and ridden on a dragline, as part of her mission to learn as much as she possibly can about the high-productivity mining equipment Bucyrus designs, manufactures and sells across the globe.

“I’m right here at the plant. My office is right next door to the machine shop. I’m here every day, where most of the products are developed,” Martinez said. “I’m a member of the machine sales group. It’s a unique position, with a sales-contracts negotiation emphasis. I work closely with our internal and external sales forces. It requires a lot of international travel; it’s taken me to Australia, Brazil, and I’ve been to India, I think, seven times in the past couple of years.”

Bucyrus is a 130-year-old company. Its equipment helped build the Panama Canal. Fast-forward to 2010, and Bucyrus is ranked ninth on Fortune’s list of “100 Fastest Growing Companies.”

Martinez joined its legal department in 2007. Bucyrus has grown since then and so have her responsibilities — she now reports to the general counsel.

“The numbers are staggering. When I first came here, the largest deal I’d ever worked on was $20 million.

Today, it’s upward of $200-plus million,” she said, adding that in that time, the company has also doubled the amount of machines within the product line.

Martinez thrives on being a strategic member of the sales team as well as its legal adviser. She’s especially proud of her work, and that of the team as well, with a large customer for a multi-equipment deal in India.

“I was involved in the first meetings when we discussed the deal, to the many trips to India to negotiate the contract, and the experience has been invaluable. The opportunity really broadened my experience here at Bucyrus.”

Martinez spent her first year after law school graduation in private practice before she went in-house. She realized as a new lawyer that she was better suited toward “the dynamic of having one corporate client.”

She also enjoyed, and still enjoys, the process of seeing a project through from start to finish — something she wasn’t always experiencing in private practice.

Employer: Bucyrus International Inc., corporate attorney-contract administration

Education: J.D., Marquette University Law School, 1990

Professional affiliations: Association of Corporate Counsel, Wisconsin Chapter

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