In the wake of the economic recession and an increasingly challenging compliance landscape, GCs are now critical members of the senior executive team.
Congratulations to Advisory Committee Member Don Liu, General Counsel and Secretary of Xerox, for making the front cover of InsideCounsel Magazine with CFO Kathryn Mikells. InsideCounsel explores the complementary relationship that they have been able to develop in the budding years of their professional marriage. To read the feature article on the symbiotic GC-CFO relationship, “Balance of Power” by Erin Harrison, click on the link in the title. Please join AABANY in congratulating Don on yet another well-deserved recognition.
In January 2014, CUP (Council of Urban Professionals) launched a mini-series called “CUP Conversations,” where industry trailblazers answer questions about their lessons on leadership. CUP’s fourth video highlights Don Liu, General Counsel, Secretary & Vice President at Xerox. Don shares his take on the importance of making mistakes, role models, and reputation. AABANY is fortunate to have Don’s sage advice as a member of our Advisory Committee.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 7,2014Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director (718) 228-7206
XEROX CORPORATION GENERAL COUNSEL AND ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER DON LIU TO RECEIVE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS “LEGEND OF LAW” BURTON AWARD
NEW YORK – May 7, 2014 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that Don Liu, General Counsel & Secretary of Xerox Corporation and a member of AABANY’s Advisory Committee, has been named one of the “Legends in Law” by the Burton Awards Program in association with the Library of Congress.
Nominated by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Don Liu was chosen among the general counsels nominated by managing partners of the nation’s 1,000 largest law firms. The winners are selected based on their 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 Burton Awards were established in 1999 by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit academic effort devoted to recognizing excellence in the legal profession.
“AABANY congratulates Don Liu for this latest prestigious honor recognizing his exceptional legal career,” said AABANY President Clara Ohr. “As one of the numerous beneficiaries of Don’s tireless efforts to champion diversity and inclusion through his guidance, individual mentoring, and raising mainstream awareness, AABANY is pleased but not at all surprised the Burton Foundation has selected him as a ‘Legend in Law.’”
For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
The National Law Journal recognizes lawyers who have what it takes to run exemplary in-house legal departments.
Congratulations to AABANY Advisory Committee members Don Liu of Xerox and Sandra Leung of Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company for being recognized as being among America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel!
Both Don Liu and Sandra Leung have been recognized as AABANY’s Annual Dinner Honorees in 2009 and 2010, respectively. AABANY also extends congratulations to other AABANY Annual Dinner Honorees in the 50 Outstanding General Counsel list: Ivan Fong (1998), Thomas Sager (2010), Susan Blount (2012), and Randal Milch (2014).
The New York City Bar’s 44th Street Blog reported on July 16 that it has formed a new Task Force on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession to address what City Bar president Carey Dunn has described as “the plight of young lawyers." Created in response to recent ABA statistics showing that only 55% of recent law grads found full-time legal employment, the task force has convened leaders from across the legal spectrum, from academia to private practice, as well as the corporate, government and public interest sectors.
Among the Chief In-House Counsel tapped to participate in this important task force is Don Liu, General Counsel of Xerox. Don was recently recognized as one of the New York City Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Champions for 2012. He is also an active and valued member of AABANY and its Advisory Committee.
For more information about the task force, follow the link in the title. AABANY congratulates Don on undertaking this new role and commends the City Bar for convening this task force to study critical issues facing the new generation of lawyers.
On Tuesday, April 24, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), through its Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, presented Smooth Moves 2012: Career Strategies for Attorneys of Color. The CLE portion of the event was entitled: “Views from the Corner Office: Diverse GCs Discuss How to Get There and How to Win Their Business.”
The moderator was Hon. Stephen C. Robinson, Partner at Skadden Arps and former judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
When Judge Robinson turned to the question of how to get the business of the prominent GCs who were on the panel, he asked how important diversity was in getting hired.
Don Liu, Senior Vice President, Secretary and GC at Xerox Corporation replied that with Xerox’s strong leadership on issues of diversity, Xerox placed a high premium on diversity in deciding which outside counsel to retain.
At that point, Sandra Leung, GC and Corporate Secretary at Bristol-Myers Squibb, turned to Don and said, “Let me challenge you a bit on that. Do you mean to tell me that if you had a bet-the-company case and the only lawyer who can win the case for you and who is the proven expert on that type of case and has a winning track record, but he and his firm have a poor showing on diversity, you would not hire that attorney?”
Don answered, “I’ve never been faced with that situation,” which drew appreciative laughter from the audience, “but do you mean to tell me that in this wide world, he would be the only lawyer who can handle that case? I doubt it. We would certainly consider his qualifications and track record, but we would still place a high premium on diversity.”
Sandra continued to press and was joined by Jeffrey Harleston, Executive Vice President and GC at Universal Music Group, who shared Sandra’s viewpoint and did not think that diversity would take precedence over other factors, especially if the case was not just “bet-the-company” but was “bet-the-industry.” In such a case, diversity or not, the company would go with the best lawyer for the job.
Don, seeming somewhat piqued but contained, replied: “There seems to be a suggestion that picking the diverse candidate somehow implies getting inferior services. I don’t buy that.” The audience applauded loudly for that statement.
The back-and-forth continued and Don seemed to relent slightly in his position but did not retreat from his stance that the hypothetical was unrealistic. Col. Maritza Ryan, Head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, the fourth panelist, noted for the record (yes, transcription was being taken) that she was “the peaceful one.” The audience laughed appreciatively in response.
The debate was certainly lively and enhanced what was already an engaging discussion. At the end, Don and Sandra, who are long-time friends, gave hearty hugs to each other, making clear that there were no hard feelings.
I didn’t have the benefit of the transcript in recounting the exchanges described above but of all the Smooth Moves programs I have had the pleasure to enjoy these last few years, this is the one for which I would request a copy of the transcript. If you know how we can get a hold of one, please let me know.
What do you think? If your company was faced with a bet-the-company or bet-the-industry case, does diversity go out the window in deciding which outside counsel to hire?