Sandra L. Phillips

Class of '91

Sandra Phillips is group vice president, general counsel and chief legal officer of Toyota Motor North America. In this role, she leads the legal services function for Toyota's operations in North America, Toyota Legal One (“TL1”). Phillips is responsible for managing representation of Toyota’s affiliates in North America, including legal services across the areas of litigation, intellectual property, labor and employment, regulatory law and business operations support. She is also a member of the company’s global leadership team and serves as corporate secretary for several Toyota North American affiliates.

Previously, Phillips was vice president and deputy general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., where she oversaw the company’s most significant class action, securities and product litigation matters, and government and regulatory investigations. She also helped build an integrated North American legal services group and was responsible for developing an outside counsel partnering program to track legal services spending and legal technology resources, among other processes, to increase operational efficiency.

Prior to joining Toyota in June 2012, Phillips was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in their Houston office, where her practice focused on complex litigation management and strategy, including crisis management. Phillips also served as a senior vice president, associate general counsel and chief litigation counsel at Pfizer Inc., responsible for setting and executing legal strategies for the company's global product litigation matters as well as its environmental litigation, and was a managing partner of the Houston office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

Phillips is a founding member of the Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas School of Law, which is devoted to the success of the entire spectrum of women in law by identifying and addressing persistent issues facing individual women and the profession as a whole. In recognition of her thought leadership in diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, Phillips is the recipient of the 2016 Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and the 2008 Defense Research Institute’s Diversity Pioneer Award. Phillips serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA USA and the University of Texas Law School Foundation.

Phillips earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.