International Law Office (ILO) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) hosted the fifth annual Global Counsel Awards in New York this June. The gala event celebrated the achievements of in-house counsel who were recognized by their peers as excelling in their chosen fields. This year's event was attended by 470 senior lawyers from across the world, including in-house counsel from more than 100 companies.
To identify the winners, the ILO team conducted an in-depth analysis of in-house lawyers and legal departments worldwide, receiving more than 3,300 individual nominations. Respondents were asked to focus on criteria such as effective communication, legal understanding, commercial awareness, depth and strength of team, and management skills. Awards were presented to both individuals and legal teams working in the following areas: competition, corporate tax, employment, general commercial, intellectual property, litigation, M&A and regulatory services (financial and non-financial). Marc Firestone of Kraft Foods Inc. was named General Counsel of the Year after receiving numerous nominations from law firm partners and prominent in-house counsel peers.
"Marc has an innate ability to bring together his in-house colleagues with multiple external advisers to form a cohesive team, all of whom willingly follow his lead in pursuit of common goals. The dedication of his legal team is second to none, and its commitment to its leader is a fantastic testament," enthused one respondent.
In addition to his recent achievements at Kraft, Mr. Firestone won recognition for his contribution to the formation of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.
Among the sponsors of this year's event were Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Clifford Chance LLP; Haynes and Boone LLP; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.