WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACC National Capital Region, the leading regional bar association for in-house counsel in the District of Columbia, Virginia and suburban Maryland, last night announced the winners of the 2016 Corporate Counsel Awards. The awards honor the work of the area’s leading in-house practitioners and departments over the past year in the categories of Outstanding Chief Legal Officer, Outstanding In-House Counsel, Outstanding Paraprofessional, Outstanding Law Department and Community Service.
Chosen from a field of 20 finalists, the winners of the 2016 Corporate Counsel Awards are:
- Outstanding Chief Legal Officer: Eric Reicin, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, MorganFranklin, Inc., and MorganFranklin Consulting, LLC, and Jim Winner, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, GardaWorld Federal Services.
- Outstanding In-House Counsel: Sharis Pozen, Vice President, Global Competition and Antitrust, General Electric.
- Outstanding Paraprofessional: Sharon Orr Williams, Director – Public Sector Contracts Administration, CA Technologies.
- Outstanding Law Department: Hewlett Packard Enterprise - U.S. Public Sector and Marriott International, Inc.
- Community Service Award: The legal departments of Hilton Worldwide and Washington Gas.
Evan S. Stolove, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Genworth Mortgage Insurance – U.S., received the organization’s 2016 Service Award.
In addition, ACC National Capital Region honored two legal departments – Fannie Mae and Sprint Corporation – that identified and implemented creative and new approaches to in-house practice with In-House Innovator Awards.
“The nominees and winners of the awards provide important examples of the significant role of the in-house bar, and we are proud to have this impressive group represent the best of in-house practice,” said Simone Wu, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and External Affairs, Choice Hotels International, Inc., and Mary Jane Saunders, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Beer Institute, Inc. Wu and Saunders are ACC National Capital Region board members and co-chaired the Corporate Counsel Awards. “It is wonderful to see the excitement these awards generate among the finalists and winners, and among their friends and colleagues.”
The award winners were announced at a reception held at The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, VA, that was attended by approximately 400 people.
Eric Reicin, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, MorganFranklin, Inc., and MorganFranklin Consulting, LLC, was named Outstanding Chief Legal Officer for his key role in the conversion of the company from a founder majority-owned/management minority-owned company to an ESOP. He also provided important guidance to the company as it developed a new practice area in corporate investigations and dispute resolution.
The co-winner, Jim Winner, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, GardaWorld Federal Services, was recognized for his tireless work orchestrating the sell-side presentation and due diligence that resulted in the sale of Aegis Defense Services LLC to GardaWorld, the world’s largest privately owned security and cash-services provider. He also led several critical integration efforts, most significantly the merger of Aegis with a GardaWorld U.S.-cleared company that can perform all U.S. government contracting work.
Sharis Pozen, Vice President, Global Competition and Antitrust, General Electric, was selected as Outstanding In-House Counsel for leading the team that secured regulatory approvals in more than 20 jurisdictions for GE’s $11 billion acquisition in November 2015 of the power generation and services assets of Alstom, a French multinational company.
Sharon Orr Williams, Director – Public Sector Contracts Administration, CA Technologies, received the Outstanding Paraprofessional award for her management of a significant challenge involving a contract with one of the company’s top public-sector customers.
The legal departments at Hewlett Packard Enterprise - U.S. Public Sector and Marriott International, Inc., were co-winners of the Outstanding Law Department award. Marriott’s 180-member department was honored for its deft handling of several significant challenges in the company’s $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which made it the largest single hotel company in the world. That transaction closed last month. Hewlett Packard Enterprise - U.S. Public Sector’s six-lawyer department was selected for the important role it played in helping to execute the corporate split of Hewlett-Packard Company, ensuring that all of the federal and state government contracts held by the company were unaffected by the separation.
The Community Service Award was given to the legal departments of Hilton Worldwide and Washington Gas. Hilton Worldwide was honored for its participation in a wide variety of community service and pro bono activities, both locally and worldwide. Most notably, in the past year it created an Equal Justice Works fellowship to support a project to provide legal representation to Latin American immigrant women who have survived gender-based violence and face deportation. The legal department of Washington Gas was recognized for its dedication, as a team and individually, to social impact and community involvement. Their activities include winterizing homes for impoverished residents of the Washington, D.C., area, feeding the homeless, and supporting and helping to organize the Lawyers Have Heart race to benefit the American Heart Association.
The In-House Innovator Award recognizes creative and new approaches to in-house practice – whether in terms of collaborating with business-side colleagues, enhancing department operations, fostering professional development, or such – that made the legal departments more effective contributors to their organizations. This year’s recipients are:
- Fannie Mae, for its implementation of a simpler and more certain process for handling employment-related claims that also produced cost-savings and professional-development opportunities for the members of the legal department who handle those claims.
- Sprint Corporation, for its creation of a comprehensive approach to handling all new legal matters that are assigned to outside counsel: designating a core team of 10 firms to handle the work, all of which are paid on a flat-fee basis. The approach has resulted in efficiencies and cost-savings for the department.
In addition to the night’s competitive awards, ACC National Capital Region honored Evan Stolove, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Genworth Mortgage Insurance – U.S., with its 2016 Service Award. While working as Deputy General Counsel at Fannie Mae, Stolove was a volunteer leader in the organization for eight years, and was on its Board since 2011, serving as Secretary and Vice President during that time. Most notably, over the past 18 months Stolove led the organization’s efforts to create a leadership program that will help in-house counsel further their careers by honing the skills most valued by – and valuable to – their organizations. Stolove relocated to Raleigh, N.C., in August to become general counsel at Genworth Mortgage Insurance – U.S.
The finalists were selected from nominations submitted by the legal community-at-large in response to an open call for nominations. The panel of judges for the Corporate Counsel Awards was comprised of the following leaders in the business and legal communities in this region:
- Mike Daniels, Chairman of the Board, LMI
- Steven A. Museles, General Counsel and Head of Client Relations, Alliance Partners
- Veta T. Richardson, President and CEO, Association of Corporate Counsel
- Michael W. Robinson, President, Virginia State Bar, and Partner, Venable LLP
- Mary Jane Saunders, Member of the Board of Directors of ACC National Capital Region, Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, and Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Beer Institute, Inc.
- Annamaria Steward, President, D.C. Bar, and Associate Dean of Students, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
- Harry C. Storm, President, Maryland State Bar Association, and Associate Judge, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland
- Luise Welby, President of ACC National Capital Region, and Senior Associate General Counsel, Freddie Mac
- Simone Wu, Member of the Board of Directors of ACC National Capital Region, Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, and Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and External Affairs, Choice Hotels International, Inc.
Created in 2005, the Corporate Counsel Awards have become a well-recognized and sought-after honor for members of the in-house legal community in the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia and suburban Maryland. For a list of all previous Award winners, please visit http://www.acc.com/chapters/ncr/awards.cfm.
About ACC National Capital Region
With approximately 2,500 members, ACC National Capital Region serves the professional needs of in-house counsel in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and suburban Maryland. It is the regional chapter of the global Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). ACC National Capital Region members participate in more than 90 professional development programs each year and keep connected through a variety of networking events and communications vehicles. The organization has been active in regulatory issues that affect the in-house bar, and in providing education to encourage advancements in the standards of corporate legal practice. The organization was first established in 1980 as the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), and adopted the name ACC National Capital Region last year to better communicate the area it serves and support the ACC global brand. More information about ACC National Capital Region is available on its Web site: http://www.acc.com/chapters/ncr.