Burton Awards Announces 2011 “Legends in Law” Winners


April 14, 2011

New York, New York: The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, held in association with the Library of Congress, announced the names of six of the finest general counsels in America who have been named 2011 “Legends in Law.” The twelfth anniversary Burton Awards program will be held at the Library of Congress on June 13, 2011.

The award-winners are general counsel in corporations with revenues of one billion dollars or more. The following criteria were used in making the selection: reputation in the legal profession; demonstrated competence in a specialized area of law; extensive background and experience; complexity and scope of matters handled; success in global or national issues; and exemplary leadership in law. The winning general counsels were chosen from nominations received from managing partners in the nation’s largest 1,000 law firms.

The following general counsel are the 2011 “Legends in Law” winners:

Frank J. Baltz, Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer
Clark Construction Group LLC
Nominated by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pascal W. Di Fronzo, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
Autodesk, Inc.
Nominated by Morrison & Foerster LLP

Janet Langford Kelly, Senior Vice President
Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
ConocoPhillips Company
Nominated by Fulbright & Jaworski LLP

Thomas A. Russo, Executive Vice President
Legal, Compliance, Regulatory Affairs and Government Affairs & General Counsel
American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
Nominated by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP

Larry D. Thompson
John Sibley Chair in Corporate and Business Law, University of Georgia School of Law
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary, PepsiCo Inc. (Retired)
Nominated by Dickstein Shapiro LLP

Michael Weiner, General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer
Ares Management LLC
Nominated by Proskauer Rose LLP

The Burton Awards program is a nonprofit academic effort which honors great accomplishments in the legal profession. In congratulating the “Legends in Law” award-winners Mr. Burton said: “The 2011 ‘Legends in Law’ are truly outstanding and deserve this prominent honor. They met and surpassed the highest professional and academic standards, and set an example for all members of the legal profession to follow.”

Honorary members of the Board of Directors include the following judicial scholars: Judge Richard Posner, US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; Judge Alex Kozinski, US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; United States Senator, John Cornyn, Justice Carol A. Corrigan, California Supreme Court; and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, New York Court of Appeals (retired).

The guest speaker at the awards program will be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Stephen G. Breyer will also be receiving an award. Bill Press will be the Master of Ceremonies.