More than two-dozen nominations were submitted for the 2021 Houston Corporate Counsel of the Year Awards for Senior Counsel of the Year.
But a panel of six independent judges reviewed the nominations and selected four prominent Houston in-house senior counsel – all of them for their work in the oil patch – who have done such extraordinary work during these trying and turbulent times that they stand out from the rest. And two of them are from two of the world’s largest corporations – Chevron and Exxon Mobil.
Today, the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Houston Chapter and The Texas Lawbook announce the finalists – and two winners – for the 2021 Houston Corporate Counsel Award for Senior Counsel of the Year in three different categories.
Chevron Corporation Managing Counsel Siva Barnwell Adams and Exxon Mobil Senior Counsel Tom Sikora are the two finalists for the Houston Senior Counsel of the Year for a Large Legal Department (21 lawyers or more).
Enterprise Products Assistant General Counsel Charlie San Miguel is the sole finalist – and thus the recipient – of the Houston Senior Counsel of the Year for Midsized Legal Department (six to 20 lawyers).
Former Southern Company Assistant General Counsel Kathryn McCoy is the sole finalist – and obviously the winner – of the Houston Senior Counsel of the Year Award for a Small Legal Department (five lawyers or fewer). McCoy is now an assistant GC at Williams Company.
The Texas Lawbook will publish in-depth profiles of each of the finalists over the next two months.
The Houston Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and The Texas Lawbook usually announce and honor the Houston Corporate Counsel Award finalists and winners at a live event in the spring months, but this year’s awards event was rescheduled to Jan. 13 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The awards event will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston.
ACC Houston and The Lawbook received more than 80 nominations for the 14 categories. We employed a team of in-house counsel and outside lawyers to review the nominations and select those that were worthy of being honored.
“It has been the distinct pleasure of ACC Houston to partner with Texas Lawbook on this very important recognition of the Houston area’s finest in-house counsel,” said Exxon Mobil senior counsel Joseph Yao, who is president-elect of the ACC Houston Chapter. “I was surprised by the number of nominees, impressed by the quality of the Finalists and amazed by their accomplishments in a year that was so challenging for all of us.”
Last week, ACC Houston and The Lawbook announced the finalists for the 2021 Houston Corporate Counsel Award for Transaction of the Year. They are:
LyondellBasell Associate General Counsel Andy Gratz, who led the company’s $2 billion joint venture with Sasol; and
EP Energy General Counsel Jace Locke, who led the oil and gas exploration business through a multibillion-dollar corporate restructuring.
The Texas Lawbook’s partnership with the Houston Chapter of ACC, which is now four years old, is an important part of The Lawbook’s mission to cover business lawyers and business legal trends in Texas, according to Lawbook publisher Brooks Igo.
“Our partnership with ACC Houston is a critical element in The Lawbook’s goal of providing insight into the practice of corporate law in Texas,” Igo said. “ACC Houston has more than 1,000 corporate in-house counsel as members, and it is the influential voice for business lawyers who work in-house in South Texas.
“The Lawbook team relies heavily on advice and support from the members and leaders of ACC Houston and its sister organization, the DFW Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, for helping us to identify the lawyers and issues we should be covering,” Igo said.
Later this week and next week, The Lawbook and ACC Houston will announce the finalists for General Counsel of the Year, Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion, Pro Bono and Public Service of the Year, Business Litigation of the Year, Creative Partnership and the Houston Lifetime Achievement Award.
The net income generated by the Houston Corporate Counsel Awards goes to two incredibly important causes: ACC Houston’s public school outreach program called Street Law and The Texas Lawbook’s funding of a full-time lawyer/journalist to write about pro bono, public service, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in Texas.
Publisher’s Note: For more information about the Houston Corporate Counsel Awards, including sponsorship or ticket purchases, please contact Brooks Igo at firstname.lastname@example.org.