Le Huong Truong's on her recent promotion to chief legal officer at Vena Solutions

Truong helped the Canadian tech company launch an AI tool for financial planners

Le Huong Truong's on her recent promotion to chief legal officer at Vena Solutions

For Le Huong Truong, her recent promotion to chief legal officer at Vena Solutions marks a significant milestone in her diverse and dynamic legal career. Her journey through various legal roles highlights her adaptability, strategic thinking, and leadership skills, which have been pivotal in her ascent within the company. 

Financial planning and analysis 

Vena Solutions, headquartered in Toronto, produces a “complete planning platform” for financial planners that integrates with Microsoft 365. This platform aims to streamline financial and operational planning, simplify reporting and analysis processes, and provide advanced analytics and modelling capabilities.  

Recently, Vena announced the launch of Vena Copilot for financial planning and analysis, an AI-driven assistant designed to enhance the productivity and efficiency of teams doing this work.  

Navigating a varied career path 

Truong’s career began at the University of Toronto, where she completed law school and an MBA. She started her professional journey at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, where she practised corporate commercial securities and M&A law, gaining valuable experience in high-stakes transactions. 

However, her career took a significant turn when she joined the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in her first in-house role, which she calls a “surprising pivot” from Davies. 

“I moved into gaming law [and] procurement law, not having had any experience with either while I was at Davies, so that was a bit of a leap. But I really enjoyed my time there because it allowed me to cut my teeth practising in-house.” 

Embracing the tech industry 

Truong’s next significant move was joining CDW, a tech reseller company. This role presented a new set of challenges and opportunities. “Tech was something I'd always been interested in and never really practised,” she says. The position involved supporting the Canadian subsidiary of a US-based company. 

Working with leading tech players and channel partners was “another opportunity to really flex and grow, not only as a lawyer but as a business partner and ultimately a member of the Canadian leadership team,” she says.  

Building Vena Solutions’ legal function 

The opportunity at Vena Solutions, a Canadian-founded and headquartered company, particularly appealed to Truong. Starting at the pandemic's beginning, she was tasked with establishing and growing the legal team. “The opportunity to grow and learn and build a legal function from the ground up [was] not something I'd ever really done before,” she says. 

One of the standout projects during her tenure at Vena was leading the Series C funding round. “It ultimately was very transformative for the company. That infusion of capital has allowed us to scale in a really material and meaningful way,” Truong says. This experience highlighted the integral role of in-house counsel in driving key business initiatives and gave her a deeper understanding of the business. 

Chief legal officer: expanding her influence 

Truong’s promotion to chief legal officer has further expanded her influence within the company. “Now I … have a seat at the executive table. And I think it allows me to function much more broadly.” 

Her new title emphasizes her dual responsibilities as a legal advisor and a strategic business partner. 

“The expectation is not just to advise on legal issues, regulatory matters, compliance matters, which of course are table stakes, but also be invited and expected to show up [as] a key business partner. You're there at the beginning [to] have discussions about certain strategic initiatives,” Truong says.  

Launching an AI tool: navigating legal challenges 

Vena Solutions’ recently launched AI tool presents unique legal challenges. Truong says it was exciting to support the business in getting cutting-edge technology to market. She was tasked with aligning terms and conditions with the tool’s use, reflecting AI technology's current state of flux. 

“Ultimately, it's about coming to a reasonable commercial compromise that works for our customers but also, of course, protects the business in a way that we need it to,” she says.  

The Vena Solutions legal team: efficiency and scalability 

Truong’s approach to leading the legal team at Vena Solutions focuses on efficiency and scalability. With a small team, she has implemented processes and tools to handle repetitive tasks efficiently, allowing more time for strategic initiatives. 

She says the key is to solve an issue in a simple, scalable way. This often involves creating templates and playbooks to streamline workflows and ensure consistency. 

Collaborating with external counsel 

Truong’s strategy for working with external counsel involves selecting the right firm for the right task. “When we're doing the Series C, I went to a big firm that I knew would have bench strength, the expertise, the gravitas to be able to hold their own vis-a-vis the counsel of the counterparties,” she says. 

However, for day-to-day overflow, she relies on alternative legal service providers to manage costs effectively. “Coming back to me a week later, after the moment is over, is not helpful,” she says. 

This approach ensures that Vena Solutions receives high-quality legal support while managing costs and maintaining flexibility. 

Encouraging curiosity and accessibility 

To foster a culture of curiosity and accessibility, Truong has also implemented legal office hours at Vena Solutions. The legal team encourages anyone in the organization to come and ask questions. 

Truong wants to ensure that her team’s knowledge is accessible to everyone, she says. This approach encourages broader engagement and ensures the legal team is integrated into the organization's fabric. 

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