Name: Paige Holden Montgomery
Practice Group: Commercial Litigation and Disputes
Paige Montgomery is a partner in Sidley’s Dallas office where is also serves as co-chair of the local Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women.
Tell us about your practice. Are there cross-marketing opportunities with other Sidley practices?
I’m a commercial litigator with a civil litigation background. In the last six years or so, my practice has focused on investigations, both criminal and civil. I think my background gives me a unique perspective on investigations, especially in terms of the fiduciary duty and derivative litigation work that I’ve done. When representing a special committee during an investigation, it’s a strength to have a sense of all the possible civil litigation repercussions.
As far as cross-marketing, there are tons of opportunities with our practice. For instance, when companies are making acquisitions, they need to consider the type of due diligence that is required to make sure there aren’t compliance problems on the other side. In leveraged transactions, there may be representations or warranties that relate to anti-corruption issues. A lot of the work I have done is for companies that grew very rapidly through acquisitions and failed to integrate promptly the purchased entity into their framework. As a result, the company ends up with a compliance problem they didn’t know existed because they lacked visibility. There is also proactive work that can be done, like risk assessments that allow companies to trouble-shoot possible problems and put policies and practices in place to minimize the risk the company faces and avoid the need for an investigation in the future.
Outside of work, you’ve developed a passion for quilting. What inspired this hobby?
After finishing a big trial, I suddenly realized that I had no hobbies! My interest in quilting was born out of my desire to create something with my hands. I had inherited some beautiful, 150-year old quilts from my great-grandmother and wanted to make my own. I’ve always liked the feeling associated with handcrafted goods, especially when they’re made with care and intention.
How did you learn to sew?
I’m entirely self-taught. When I first started, I had no idea how to use a sewing machine. I took a few basic classes, but learned everything else online or from books. The first quilt I made was for my son. I have three kids, though. So, of course, I had to make two more. By the time I finished my third quilt, I was hooked.
I’ve been quilting for almost six years, and I’ve probably made more than 100 quilts. I gift them to the babies born to the lawyers in our Dallas office, as well as friends and family. My family also builds houses in Costa Rica with Homes for Hope, and I donate quilts to the families we meet through the program.
Do you thinks it’s important for lawyers to have a hobby or artistic pursuit?
I do think it’s important for lawyers to find time for a creative outlet. Our work is so cerebral that it’s nice to create something tangible with your own hands. It fulfills a need that can’t be met by thinking about legal issues. I think that’s what I like most about quilting — it’s art but also functional. When I complete a project, I have something beautiful that can also be used and loved.
You mentioned that you and your family volunteer with Homes for Hope in Costa Rica. Why is this cause meaningful to you?
We’re just about to go on our fifth build with Homes for Hope in Costa Rica. From the very first build, we brought our two older kids. My youngest, now eight, joined us on the third trip. It sounds crazy to bring young kids to build houses, but it’s really rewarding and even the youngest kids can find ways to help. In just two days, you can change someone’s life.
For me, it’s important that I do this with my kids. They live a life that the vast majority of people on the planet never will. Living in America, you can forget there are people who live in a completely different way. It was an eye-opening experience for my children to see the living conditions for many people in Costa Rica.
We go back to the same neighborhood each year, so we’re helping communities change, one house at a time. Just like quilts, homes are tangible but offer more than just shelter. A home also means more security, so someone is less likely to be a victim of human trafficking; and having a safe place to live can increase a child’s confidence and lead to better educational opportunities.
It’s nice to know that we can make a difference together as a family.