Wiley Rein attorney Keith S. Watson will be honored for his commitment to pro bono work in Africa at the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) 10th Anniversary Celebration on December 1, 2011, in New York City.
Mr. Watson will receive recognition in the category of economic development for his integral role supporting and coordinating a Commercial Law Program that provides training and mentoring to attorneys in Africa who have historically had limited experience with commercial law. As a volunteer for ISLP since 2005, Mr. Watson has helped hundreds of lawyers receive business law training in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana. In addition to his work in Africa, Mr. Watson has led a series of mock negotiation training sessions coordinated by the U.S. Commerce Department for representatives from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and Pakistani Ministry of Trade & Industry.
Those attending the ISLP gala will include Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who won the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year; keynote speaker George Soros, founder and chairman of Open Society Foundations; and special guest Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org. Aric Press, editor-in-chief of American Lawyer Media, will serve as master of ceremonies. Wiley Rein will also be represented at the ceremony by Thomas Brunner, former chair of the firm's Insurance Practice, and Paul Khoury, chairman of the firm's Pro Bono Committee.
Mr. Watson, a member of Wiley Rein's prominent Insurance Practice, has more than 40 years of experience representing private and public entities in federal and state courts and has particular expertise in insurance and environmental matters. He retired as a partner in 2006 but continues to practice as counsel to the firm.
On September 20, the Council of the District of Columbia adopted a resolution commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the District of Columbia Insurance Federation (DCIF), recognizing Lawrence H. Mirel, chair of Wiley Rein's Insurance Regulation & Legislation Group, for his pivotal role in its founding.
The resolution notes that as the first insurance trade association in the District of Columbia, the DCIF enhances "the professional standing of the insurance industry in the District of Columbia and has been a resource to all stakeholders."
Mr. Mirel is the former commissioner of insurance, securities and banking for the District of Columbia and has been involved with insurance matters for more than 30 years. He works on a wide range of major and emerging issues, including health insurance policy, natural catastrophe insurance, terrorism risk, privacy compliance and McCarran-Ferguson antitrust reform.
The DC Council will present Mr. Mirel with the resolution at an upcoming session.