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In her role as global director of litigation and regulation at Anheuser-Busch InBev, Elise Puma manages a team that handles legal risk and regulatory compliance for the global business on a variety of different issues including ESG, tax, human resources, marketing, and product innovation. Puma is also a mentor for the Women in Beer + Beyond community as well as the Young Friends Council of the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
Puma is already a member of the Missouri Pro Bono Wall of Fame as well as a St. Louis Journal “40 Under 40” inductee. Learn more about Puma’s desire to find a way to “yes,” and the incredible pro bono work that has always been a part of this young lawyer’s life.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about being an attorney or the legal function itself?
As an in-house lawyer, I think one of the misconceptions is that we’re here to tell other functions they can’t do something. But I always try to get to “yes,” to find a way to accomplish the goal that’s also legally sound.
What is the most meaningful case or pro bono experience you’ve worked on?
I worked on a pro bono landlord–tenant case for a tenant facing eviction after withholding rent because the home was in dire, unlivable condition. Courts had been trying to determine whether precedent required tenants to escrow the withheld rent, and my client lost at the trial court on that issue. I was able to argue an appeal that, coupled with another case, helped clarify the law and remove proof of escrow as an absolute barrier for low-income tenants facing poor living conditions.
What song or album motivates you the most?
I love movie scores, especially those by John Williams or Hans Zimmer.
Find Elise Puma on LinkedIn