On May 18, 2011, more than 450 leaders from the legal, financial and nonprofit sectors gathered at Gotham Hall in Manhattan for Lawyers Alliance's 2011 Business Law & Leadership Gala, celebrating the partnership between lawyers and nonprofits and their power to transform New York City communities.
At the event, the Lawyers Alliance honored three distinguished attorneys: Louise Parent, executive vice president and general counsel, American Express Company; Clifford Rosenthal, president and CEO, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; and Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president and general counsel, Thomson Reuters.
I was fortunate to have attended this event, and on behalf of Thomson Reuters I am honored to congratulate and commend these recipients for their continued commitment to volunteerism and community service. They set a standard for all of us to aspire to.
We are especially proud of Deirdre, who has consistently committed time to community involvement throughout her career, while every day demonstrating her business law acumen and leadership. She has served in key roles in scores of major corporate initiatives- including the acquisition of Reuters, which led to the creation of Thomson Reuters, the world's largest professional information company - and also has managed complex litigation and a host of other legal matters for our business. I've known Deirdre since she joined the company, and I'd like to share with you a little about her and why I believe she is so deserving of this recognition.
Despite the demands of her daily work life, Deirdre is committed to supporting the Girl Scouts Council of Greater New York, including its scholars and scholarships programs, and is an active proponent of their efforts to provide young girls with the opportunity to develop to their full potential. She is a former board member of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, which focuses on education, affordable housing and workforce development in Harlem, and Computers for Youth, which provides computers and computer literacy training to families of middle school students in low-income areas of New York.
In 2009 Deirdre was struck by the challenges facing new law school graduates in these difficult economic times. In response, she established the Legal Associate Program at Thomson Reuters to offer in-house experience, networking opportunities and targeted skills training to deferred associates facing an uncertain job market.
Deirdre's involvement in the community goes beyond the company's philanthropic and pro bono programs. With the support of Deirdre and her legal team, the legal businesses at Thomson Reuters pursue a mission of "helping the legal system perform better, every day, worldwide." This mission is enhanced through corporate giving, paid time off for volunteering, and support of professional and bar association events to promote diversity in the law. Thomson Reuters proudly provides free Westlaw - worth $20 million annually - to customers for their pro bono work, furthering human rights and equal justice in the process.
Deirdre also was consulted in the development and launch of TrustLaw Connect http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/connect, a free, online platform that matches non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world with the private sector lawyers interested in providing high-impact pro bono work. Law firms, lawyers, in-house legal counsel for corporations, nonprofit organizations and NGOs are all eligible to become members of TrustLaw Connect.
At the gala, Lawyers Alliance also celebrated the efforts of Louise Parent, general counsel for American Express, in encouraging the pro bono activities of its lawyers, legal managers and support staff. American Express and Lawyers Alliance have partnered to provide pro bono opportunities for employees since 2005, making a real difference in New York City neighborhoods. Likewise, Clifford Rosenthal, president and CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, was honored for his ground-breaking efforts to establish the private-public partnerships and mechanisms needed to invest in low income neighborhoods through the Community Development Capital Initiative.
On behalf of Thomson Reuters, I'm delighted that the Lawyers Alliance has recognized Deirdre for her commitment to pro bono outreach, and I congratulate Louise Parent and Clifford Rosenthal for their selection and outstanding efforts.
Peter Warwick is Chief Operating Officer of the Thomson Reuters Professional division. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Warwick was president and CEO of Thomson Reuters Legal. He also served as president and CEO of Thomson Tax & Accounting, and before that he was CEO of Thomson Legal & Regulatory Asia Pacific, where he was responsible for businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.