Finest General Counsel Selected By The Burton Awards Program


March 13, 2018

New York, New York: The Legends in Law Program, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, will hold its Eleventh Anniversary Program on May 21, 2018 at the Library of Congress.

Tom Sager, partner at Ballard Spahr, and Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary and Compliance Officer of Novelis Inc., who co-chair the Legends in Law Committee stated that “the winners were selected based on the following criteria: an outstanding reputation in the legal profession and a demonstrated track record of addressing complex matters of national or global significance in a specialized area. The honorees have also evidenced leadership, creativity and a uniqueness in approach to resolving challenges confronting their corporate clients. Finally, they are highly respected by the bench and bar for their integrity and professionalism.” Lisa Rickard, a member of the Honorary Board of Directors of the program and U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President, said, “Certainly, this is one of the highest honors a general counsel can achieve in a career. Congratulations to these truly exemplary executives who set the highest professional standards for all others to follow.”

A special luncheon will be held for the Legends in Law honorees. The guest speaker will be  Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana. The luncheon will be followed by the awards program in late afternoon, an interview with Dr. Richard Haass, President of Council on Foreign Relations, a debate with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and an award for journalism given to Jeff Toobin, Chief Legal Analyst for CNN and staff writer for the New York Times. In the evening, a gala is planned. After the dinner, the event features a performance by Broadway best, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block from the hit musical Wicked. All the events will be held at the Library of Congress.

The Burton Awards Program is held in association with the Library of Congress, presented by Lead Sponsor, Law360, and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association.

The following General Counsel will be named Legends in Law for their exceptional careers in law:

Abercrombie & Fitch
Robert E. Bostrom
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

David Zapolsky
Senior Vice PresidentGeneral Counsel & Secretary

Joseph F. Wayland
Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Mark Chandler
Senior Vice President, Legal Services, and General Counsel

The Dow Chemical Company
Charles J. Kalil
Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Georgia-Pacific LLC
Tye Darland
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

HP Inc.
Kim Rivera
Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

LyondellBasell Industries N.V.
Jeffrey A. Kaplan
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

Northrop Grumman Corporation
Sheila Cheston
Corporate Vice President and General Counsel

Tim Murphy
General Counsel and Chief Franchise Officer

Amy E. Weaver
President, Legal & General Counsel

Varian Medical Systems
John W. Kuo
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary



The Burton Awards, established in 1999, are funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards were established to honor the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession.  The honorary and distinguished Board of Directors of the Burton Awards program includes: Chief Judge Richard Posner, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (retired) ; 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, Secretary,General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis Inc.; Linda Klein, Immediate Past President of the ABA; James M. Rishwain, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Pillsbury Winthrop LLP; Betty Whelchel, Head of Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, BNP Paribas SA; Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); and Leslie T. Thornton, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas.



The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, national, state, and local levels.



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With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.



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.” In 2017 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform Individual Achievement Award was presented to Mr. Burton for making the U.S. Justice System “fairer for all.”