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    October 30, 2008  
World Series

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As the Phillies were claiming the baseball crown, we joined 350 of our closest in-house friends at the Tyson’s Ritz last night for the Washington Metro Area’s Corporate Counsel Association’s championship event: the Corporate Counsel Awards.


In the winner’s circle we found Chris Ryan, Deputy GC of K12 Inc. (outstanding in-house counsel), Sol Glasner, GC at Mitre Corp. (career achievement), and Steve Gannon, Deputy GC of Capital One (outstanding large law department). Chris played a key role in K12’s $124 million IPO in late ’07, which might explain the cheers erupting from K12’s table when his name was called (for a second we thought we actually were at a baseball game). Capital One, meanwhile, scored litigation victories in fending off Fair Credit Reporting Act class actions in three different states. Conveniently, WMACCA trophies work perfectly as a Halloween candy dishes.


XO Communications GC Simone Wu (front center) helped the company raise $780M this summer in a transaction that cleared XO’s senior debt—one of the achievements that got her named outstanding chief legal officer. Supporters on hand, from left: senior attorney Carlos Castro, XO CEO Carl Grivner, Asst. GC Chuck Wilcox, senior attorney Heidi Gaffney, and Jack Corrado of MoFo. Jack’s an honorary member of the legal team, having led XO to victory in litigation against Level 3 this year. Sign that Simone is a good boss: she approved Heidi’s request for a vacation at the just-concluded Paris fashion week. (No wonder Heidi looks so happy—and stylish.)


Emergent BioSolutions GC Denise Esposito (centerish) was up for outstanding CLO, and she can blame us for not taking home the prize. Clearly, by featuring her in our preview, we subjected her to the legal version of the Sports Illustrated jinx. This was pointed out to us by supporter/husband/Steptoe partner Roger Yoerges (right of Denise). Others in her crew were Emergent COO Dan Abdun-Nabi, attorney Jay Reilly, Denise’s former Wilmer colleague Jack Cobb (now at McGuireWoods in Charlotte), and Emergent Chief IP counsel Gillian Fenton.


Joe Titlebaum (second from left) stepped down from GC duties at XM Radio just before its merger with Sirius, but he’s still picking up awards (last night, for outstanding small law department). As the only one here not going to a day job in the morning, we’re not sure why Joe has all those papers—but he also had a beer to balance it out. With him: Mollie Roy, managing assoc. GC at Freddie Mac; Kevin Lapidus, GC at SunEdison and WMACCA president; and Michael Finn, asst. GC at General Dynamics. Michael just returned from a three-year stint as GC of the company’s UK subsidiary, and we’re happy to report that he still got his daily Bisnow fix all the way across the ocean.


Attorneys, businesswomen, and bibliophiles: Mary Legg, founder of legal placement operation Firm Advice, Inc., Kathy Barlow of Marsh McClennan (WMACCA prez  ’04), and Connie Bertram of Winston & Strawn. These three are in a book group, but not the Oprah type—they meet up at restaurants with a group of 20 women to talk about business books. The last one: Dee Dee Myers’s “Why Women Should Rule the World.” Did we miss the memo? We thought they already did.


Event chair Charles DeLeon, GC of GTSI, and McGuireWoods’s Sean Murphy were having a bit of déjà vu—the two had just seen each other at the Ritz two days ago, for eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s appearance at the NoVa Tech Council’s fall banquet. Sean’s headed off to a trial in Cyprus, where he’ll be counseling the Greek legal team representing a company contracted to build dining facilities for troops in Iraq. The dispute with a Kuwaiti company over contract funds will be conducted in Greek and simultaneously translated in English. It would probably make as much sense to us in either language.


The event, now in its fourth year, is the brainchild of LMI GC and next year’s WMACCA president, Manik Roth, left. The idea hit him during the after-party of an NVTC CFO awards ceremony—when he thought, why not do this for the in-house community? He served as a judge for this year’s crop of candidates, and we caught him here with Brian Miller, GC of far-flung energy concern AES (they have utilities from Indianapolis to Sao Paolo, he reminds us—we sort of knew), as well as Saul Ewing partner (and Career Builder co-founder) Mark Guhin. The latest innovation at Saul Ewing is right on its business card—a new logo.

John Ford is Bisnow’s Legal Editor, and he would like to thank his family, his agent, his lawyer, and all those who supported him through . . . Oh, sorry. Send story ideas to john@bisnow.com anyway.

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