The general counsel and corporate legal departments at some of the largest and most successful businesses in the world – AT&T, Capital One, Energy Transfer Partners, EnLink Midstream, Interstate Batteries, J.C. Penney, Kimberly-Clark, Match Group and Toyota – are finalists for 2018 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards.
Several smaller corporate legal departments and their chief legal officers – Adeptus Health, North Texas Tollway Authority, NGP Energy Capital Management, Pier 1 Imports, Platinum Dermatology Partners, State National Companies and Summit Financial Group – are also being recognized for their successes and achievements.
The Texas Lawbook and the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel received a record 126 nominations from 80 different law firms, legal departments and companies for 13 different awards that are part of the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards.
The 2018 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards ceremony is an evening event set for Thursday, Jan. 24, at the President George W. Bush Institute. In addition, The Texas Lawbook and the Dallas Business Journal plan to publish in-depth profiles of each of the finalists.
For information regarding sponsoring the awards event, please contact Brooks Igo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ACC-DFW and The Lawbook announced the finalists for seven categories last week. Today, the finalists for five more categories are announced.
The finalists for the Rookie of the Year, which is a new category that recognizes a younger corporate in-house counsel with three years or less experience, are:
• Platinum Dermatology Assistant General Counsel Mauri Miller;
• State National Corporate Counsel Kate Nanney; and
• NGP Energy Assistant General Counsel Christina Sanders.
The Business Litigation of the Year finalists, which includes both the corporate in-house legal department and the outside lawyers who worked for them, are:
• AT&T General Counsel David McAtee, assistant GCs Bill Drexel, Jim Meza and Heather New, as well as outside counsel Gibson Dunn, Reese Marketos and the Tillotson Law Firm for successes in two separate but simultaneous huge lawsuits – a $4 billion false advertising case brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust case trying to prevent AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner; and
• Pier 1 Imports General Counsel Mike Carter and outside counsel Bracewell for their victory in a large securities fraud class action case brought by institutional investors.
The finalists for General Counsel of the Year for a Small Legal Department are:
• Summit Financial Group General Counsel Daniel Gerber;
• Adeptus Health General Counsel Timothy Mueller; and
• North Texas Tollway Authority General Counsel Dena DeNooyer Stroh.
The General Counsel of the Year for a Mid-sized Legal Department finalists are:
• EnLink Midstream Partners Chief Legal Officer Alaina Brooks;
• Hunt Oil General Counsel Michael Monroe; and
• Interstate Batteries General Counsel Kelvin Sellers.
Finally, the finalists for General Counsel of the Year for a Large Legal Department are:
• Match Group General Counsel Jared Sine; and
• J.C. Penney General Counsel Brandy Treadway.
Last week, The Texas Lawbook and ACC-DFW announced the finalists for the following categories:
The finalists for the 2018 Public Service & Pro Bono Award are:
• Celanese Senior Assistant General Counsel Anne Brooksher-Yen;
• Texas Capital Bank General Counsel Kelly Rentzel; and
• Toyota Motor Managing Counsel Scott Young.
The finalists for the 2018 Senior Counsel for a Small Legal Department are:
• Farmer Bros. Assistant General Counsel Jennifer Brown;
• Ziosk Corporate Counsel Shruti Krishnan; and
• Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits Vice President for Labor and Employment Lauren Mutti.
The finalists for the 2018 Senior Counsel for a Mid-sized Legal Department are:
• Capital One Assistant General Counsel Elizabeth Chostner;
• EnLink Midstream Deputy General Counsel Kendall Talbott; and
• RealPage Deputy General Counsel Cori Ulrich.
The Senior Counsel of the Year for a Large Legal Department award is a bit different this year. There is only one finalist, but the award actually goes to three corporate in-house attorneys who are all at the same company and jointly led their company in some of the biggest litigation wins of 2018. The winner for the honor this year is:
• AT&T Assistant General Counsel Bill Drexel, Senior Legal Counsel Heather New and Assistant General Counsel Jim Meza.
The finalists for the M&A Deal of the Year, which recognizes the corporate in-house counsel and the outside law firms who handled the transactions, are:
• Capital One Project Spirit Legal Team and outside legal counsel Wachtell, Lipton;
• Energy Transfer Equity restructuring and acquisition of ETP, led by ETE General Counsel Tom Mason, ETP GC Jim Wright and outside legal advisors Vinson & Elkins and Latham & Watkins; and
• RSP Permian General Counsel James Mutrie and Vinson & Elkins for the E&P company’s sale to Concho Resources.
The finalists for the Diversity of the Year Award are:
• AT&T ’s Senior Counsel Alan Dorantes;
• Toyota General Counsel Sandra Phillips Rogers; and
• Kimberly-Clark Assistant General Counsel Chasity Henry.
There is only one finalist for the newly-created Creative Partnership Award, which recognizes innovative partnerships between corporate legal departments and its outside law firms:
• Toyota Legal One with Norton Rose Fulbright and Winston & Strawn.
The nominations were reviewed and evaluated by an all-star panel of judges that included Hunt Utility General Counsel Stacey Dore, Capital Market Ventures CEO Darwin Bruce, Steam Energy General Counsel Daniel Terrell, Brinker General Counsel Dan Fuller, Liberty Mutual Assistant General Counsel Kimberly Houston, PepsiCo Deputy General Counsel Leanne Oliver, Fannie Mae Assistant General Counsel Stephen Harris, Fleet Pride General Counsel Baron Oursler, Dallas Cowboys Assistant General Counsel Kaleisha Stuart, retired Verizon Deputy General Counsel Richard Stewart, former American Airlines General Counsel and now Pimco Board Member Gary Kennedy, Ankura Senior Managing Director Josh Johnston and Newhouse+Noblin founder Kelly Noblin.
T-Mobile Chief Counsel Chris Luna and EnvironX Solutions General Counsel David Kilpatrick, who is also past president of the DFW Chapter of ACC, were co-chairs of the judging committees.
Last year, more than 300 corporate in-house counsel and their outside lawyers attended the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards.