Committee Spotlight

Welcome to the Women's White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA) blog post series profiling its diverse, talented membership. A global group of 3,500+ accomplished women attorneys and other professionals, members are from 49 chapters who specialize in the representation of clients facing criminal or civil enforcement, regulatory, and administrative actions, and in need of internal investigations and compliance counselling.

WWCDA spotlights Hannah Bornstein and Payal Salsburg, Co-Chairs of the WWCDA Awards Program Committee. They share their exciting experiences as WWCDA Leaders and the importance of the Awards Program.

Hannah Bornstein

Hannah Bornstein

WWCDA Awards Program Committee Chair

Boston Chapter Member

Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP (Boston)

Payal Salsburg

Payal Salsburg

WWCDA Awards Program Committee Vice Chair

Boston Chapter Member

Partner, Laredo & Smith, LLP (Boston)

What was it about the WWCDA Awards Program Committee that drew you to become one of its leaders?

Hannah: I attended the first WWCDA Awards Gala in 2019. The event was an energized and inspiring celebration of the excellence that women have accomplished in the white collar space, and I was delighted and grateful to become more engaged in the WWCDA awards gala programming.

Payal: I was initially drawn to the newly-launched WWCDA Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Law Student Award Committee because I have always been passionate about mentoring law students and bringing them into the practice of law with all the support and encouragement needed. After a year or two of being on the Ginsburg Award Committee, I wanted to take on a bigger role in WWCDA's Awards Program to celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions in the White Collar field and was glad to accept Karen Popp's invitation to become a leader of the Awards Program Committee.

How has being a WWCDA leader of the WWCDA Awards Program Committee helped or advanced your career?

Hannah: This role has allowed me to not only grow my professional network and profile but also has brought me valuable friendships, which are critical to lean into during the good times as well as the more challenging of days.

Payal: Planning and attending the WWCDA Awards Program has helped me expand my network and friendships to outside the Boston area, which is great for my White Collar practice. I have come to know and trust folks from a variety of backgrounds, practices, and regions, many of whom have become supporters and champions of my career goals. I frequently rely on my WWCDA friends for referral recommendations when a client needs help in an area that my firm does not practice or to pick up the phone to ask questions about an area of law that I may not have the same level of expertise as another WWCDA member.

As a leader of the WWCDA Awards Program Committee and collaborating with the members, what accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

Hannah: The engagement of the WWCDA membership and the broader white collar community in attending and supporting the Gala. Our in-person Galas have sold out, and the excitement and enthusiasm that attendees bring to the event is contagious. It is also very inspiring to pay tribute to the women who blazed trails in the white collar space while also celebrating the next generation. The future is very bright!

Payal: The WWCDA Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Law Student Award, though relatively new, has become one of the highlights of Awards Program each year. I am thrilled each year to learn about the ever-increasing number of nominees for the award, from law schools all across North America. We have gone from a handful of nominations in our first year of the award to dozens of nominations this year! This would not be possible without our Chapter Leaders and at-large members connecting with their alma maters and the regional law schools to spread the word about WWCDA's award for law students.

Tell us a little about yourself and your practice. 

Hannah: I am a partner in Nixon Peabody’s Boston office and deputy practice group leader of our Government Investigations and White Collar group. My practice focuses on FDA and life sciences compliance, regulatory, and enforcement matters. I guide companies through high stakes crisis management matters, including USAO investigations, FDA inspections and subsequent enforcement matters, and False Claims Act matters. I also work with our corporate, healthcare, and transaction teams on regulatory compliance and due diligence matters involving FDA issues.

Payal: I am a partner at a boutique law firm in Boston, focused on White Collar defense work and business litigation. In my day-to-day work at the office, I find myself helping clients in both federal and state investigations in healthcare fraud, corporate crime, financial services fraud, government investigations and internal investigations. I have also built up a practice in State Ethics Commission investigations, routinely representing politicians and other public officials in ethics inquiries. Outside the office, I love volunteering in my community, spending every Sunday in the kitchen of my local day shelter where we prepare and serve up to 400 meals at lunch time. Many of the friends I see in the shelter are also folks that I chat with on my walk to work and back. I am also very involved in my local Bar organizations, taking leadership positions in a few and regularly speaking on panels and conferences.

Who is the most influential person in your law career?

Hannah: It is so hard to pick just one person! I have to give a special shout out to Bill Codinha in Nixon’s Boston office. Bill has been a fabulous mentor, friend, and sponsor. He has truly owned the mentor-mentee relationship, making sure we have regular meetings and check ins. He forwards me business development articles and tips and has never hesitated to respond to a question or lend a listening ear, even when on vacation or in off hours. He also has a tremendous career and fascinating professional experiences that he freely shares with any attorney who wants his advice.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

Payal: I was born and raised in India, to a father who served in the Indian Army for 30+ years and a mother who taught high school math. I moved to the United States alone at 17 for college, attending an all-women's Catholic college in New Jersey and then graduate school in Colorado. My career in the law was a lucky accident after spending nearly a decade in the field of Computer Science. Having now practiced for 15 years, I find that my background and my life experiences help me be more understanding of people around me who don't always have a straight path in their lives or careers. Some of us just take a more scenic route to get there.

Expand Your Reach

WWCDA Committees provide leadership opportunities for members to lead and facilitate events, initiatives, and other activities hosted by WWCDA around the world.



See Past Committee Spotlights

Past Committee Spotlights

Program Committee

See Past Committee Spotlights

Past Committee Spotlights

Partnerships & Special Projects