Burton Awards Announces New Committee to Nominate Legends in Law


Sept 15, 2017

New York, New York: The Burton Awards Program, held in association with the Library of Congress, presented by Lead Sponsor Law360, and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association, announced a new “Select Committee” to nominate general counsel who will be named Legends in Law. The nominees must have an outstanding reputation in the legal profession and a proven track record of addressing complex matters. Twelve Legends in Law are selected each year. The newly appointed Select Committee will consist of the following prominent leaders in law:

  • Bruce Sewell, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Apple;
  • David Leitch, Global General Counsel of Bank of America;
  • Leslie Thornton, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas;
  • Brian Cabrera, former SVP and General Counsel, of NVIDIA;
  • Teresa Wynn Roseborough, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of The Home Depot; and
  • Jean Lee, CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association


The Select Committee will submit the recommendations to the parent committee, “The Legend in Law Committee.” It is comprised of co-chairs: Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis, Inc., and Tom Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP. Other members of the committee include Yabo Lin, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP and Vice-Chair of the Burton Awards program, and Founder and Chair, William C. Burton. The Legends in Law Program is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

William Burton, in announcing the members of the Select Committee, stated: “We are honored and, indeed fortunate – to have such prominent and distinguished leaders in law serve on the Select Committee. We invited only six prior Legends in Law to serve from all across America, and all six accepted. These luminaries in their fields know the complete gamut of general counsel, and will help us continue to find the most knowledgeable, deserving and honorable general counsel in the United States.”

This past year the following Legends in Law were selected: David G. Leitch, Global General Counsel, Bank of America Corporation; Bruce Sewell, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Apple, Inc.; Lawrence P. Tu, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, CBS Corporation; A. James Shafter, General Counsel, COFCO International Ltd.; Greg Boss, Executive Vice President Legal & CSL Group General Counsel, CSL Limited; Craig B. Glidden, Executive Vice President and General Counsel; General Motors Company, LLC; Kate Adams, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Honeywell; Louise Pentland, Executive Vice President, Chief Business Affairs and Legal Officer, Paypal Inc.; Christoph Maeder, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Syngenta AG; Teresa Wynn Roseborough, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, The Home Depot; N. Cornell Boggs, III, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Toys “R” Us, Inc.; Sandra Phillips Rogers, Group Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; and Leslie T. Thornton, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, WGL Holdings and Washington Gas.

The Nineteenth Annual Burton Awards event will be held at the Library of Congress on Monday, May 21, 2018. The ceremony will be followed by a cocktail hour, gala dinner, and performance.
The honorary and distinguished Board of Directors of the Burton Awards program includes: Former Chief Judge Richard Posner, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; U.S. Senator John Cornyn; U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; U.S. Senator Mike Crapo; U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet; Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan of California; Yabo Lin, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Jane Sullivan Roberts, Partner, Major, Lindsey & Africa; Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Elissa Lichtenstein, Director, Public Services Division, American Bar Association; Thomas L. Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP; Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis Inc.; James M. Rishwain, Jr., Chairman of Emeritus, Pillsbury Winthrop LLP; Betty Whelchel, Head of Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, BNP Paribas SA; Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); Brian Cabrera, Former SVP and General Counsel, NVIDIA Corporation; and Linda Klein, President, American Bar Association.

The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards was established to honor the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession.

This prominent institution is one of the most celebrated and distinguished libraries in the world. It was established on April 24, 1800, and since that time has grown to become one of the largest repositories in history. The Library of Congress functions as both a national library and as the research arm of the U.S. Congress. It contains more than 32 million catalogued books and more than 62 million manuscripts.

The Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement is William C. Burton, Esq., a partner at the law firm of Sagat/Burton LLP. He is a former New York State Assistant Attorney General, a former New York State Assistant Special Prosecutor, and is the author of the first legal thesaurus ever written for the legal profession, entitled BURTON’S LEGAL THESAURUS. The book is now in its 5th edition and quickly approaching its 35th anniversary. When the book was released, the Association of American Publishers recognized it as “one of the Most Innovative and Creative Projects of the year.” In 2011, Mr. Burton was presented the highest honor given by the second largest association of law professors in America, The Legal Writing Institute, for “significantly advancing the cause of legal writing in the profession of law.” More recently, he was awarded the “Blackstone Award” by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, for “embodying and promoting the best ideals of the institution.”