Letter From The Executive Director Of The WMACCA Corporate Counsel Association

2008-12-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

WMACCA Announces Fourth Annual Corporate Counsel Awards

WMACCA is pleased to announce the winners of the Fourth Annual Corporate Counsel Awards. The awards honor the work of the region's leading in-house counsel practitioners over the past year in the categories of Outstanding Chief Legal Officer, Outstanding In-House Counsel, Outstanding Law Department, and Community Service. The awards reception attracted a crowd of more than 325 people from the legal and business communities.

The winners of the 2008 WMACCA Corporate Counsel Awards are:

•Outstanding Chief Legal Officer - Simone Wu, XO Holdings Inc.

•Outstanding In-House Counsel - Christopher R. Ryan, K12 Inc.

•Outstanding Large Law Department - Capital One

•Outstanding Small Law Department - XM Satellite Radio Inc.

•Community Service Award - Brett Coffee, Computer Systems Center Inc.

In addition, a special WMACCA Corporate Counsel Career Achievement Award was presented to Sol Glasner, vice president, general counsel and secretary of The MITRE Corporation, who is also a former WMACCA director and treasurer.Glasner was recognized for the instrumental role he has played in the growth and development of the company during his 16 years as its chief legal officer.

Simone Wu, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of XO Holdings Inc., was named Outstanding Chief Legal Officer for her strong leadership of a talented legal team in handling a challenging refinance transaction for the company, and for their success in litigation that was important to the core business of the company.

Christopher R. Ryan, deputy general counsel of K12 Inc., was named Outstanding In-House Counsel for playing a lead role in the company's initial public offering and the transition to public-company processes, as well as his work in support of two major acquisitions done by K12.

The Outstanding Large Law Department award went to the legal department of Capital One, which was recognized for taking a creative approach to two major litigation matters that significantly reduced the company's risk and exposure in these matters.

The Outstanding Small Law Department award went to the legal department of XM Satellite Radio Inc. for the lead role its lawyers played in the closing of XM's merger with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., the completion of several governmental inquiries, a refinance of the company, and the successful conclusion of a Copyright Royalty Tribunal proceeding concerning copyright royalties that would be payable by XM.

Brett Coffee, vice president and general counsel of Computer Systems Center Inc., was honored with the Community Service Award for his work in support of and as general counsel of the SemperComm Foundation. The Foundation provides U.S. service members stationed at remote overseas bases with the means to communicate with their loved ones back home and with access to entertainment equipment to make life at their postings more pleasant. Coffee was also recognized for his involvement in the local community. He has served on the board of Leadership Fairfax and on the board of the Springfield District Council, an umbrella group of more than 200 homeowner and civic associations.

"The successful in-house practice of law requires a unique blend of legal and non-legal skills, attention to company standards and industry trends, and an ability to provide tailored and proactive advice and counsel to our colleagues in our organizations. WMACCA is pleased to recognize our colleagues for their abilities and achievements," said Kevin S. Lapidus, WMACCA president, and vice president and general counsel of SunEdison. "It is wonderful to see the excitement these awards generate among the finalists and winners, and among their friends and colleagues."

"The achievements of the finalists and award winners demonstrates all the energy, creativity, integrity and intelligence found in the in-house bar," said Charles E. DeLeon, vice president and general counsel of GTSI Corporation, who is a WMACCA Board member and was chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards.

The panel of judges for the Corporate Counsel Awards was comprised of: Mike Daniels, former chairman and CEO of Mobile365; Mr. DeLeon; Robert E. Gans, senior employment counsel of CSC; Mary E. Kennard, vice president and general counsel of American University; Fred Krebs, president of the Association of Corporate Counsel; Caroline Little, former CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive; Mr. Lapidus; Thomas Mutryn, chief financial officer of CACI International Inc.; Manik K. Rath, vice president, general counsel and secretary of LMI; Louise Wager, vice president of Commerce Bank; and Dendy Young, managing partner of McLean Capital LLC.

This year, the event also featured a charitable component, as part of WMACCA's ongoing commitment to community service. WMACCA collected $524 in donations for Bread for the City. WMACCA will make a $500 matching donation, as well. Bread for the City provides the most vulnerable citizens of Washington, DC, with food, clothing, medical care and legal and social services.

The Corporate Counsel Awards were created in 2005 in celebration of WMACCA's 25th anniversary. In just four years, the WMACCA Corporate Counsel Awards have become a well-recognized and sought-after honor for in-house community in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and suburban Maryland.

Ilene G. Reid,