ALM’s Corporate Counsel Releases Annual List of “Best Legal Departments” in Corporate America
Wikimedia Foundation, Office Depot, Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Intel named 2015 winners and profiled in-depth
New York, NY – May 18, 2015 – ALM’s Corporate Counsel, the leading national publication for general counsel and in-house attorneys, today released its annual “Best Legal Departments” in corporate America for 2015, recognizing the in-house legal departments at Wikimedia Foundation, Office Depot, Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Intel as the four winners. Each department is featured in an in-depth profile in the June issue of Corporate Counsel and online at www.corpcounsel.com.
“At first glance at this year’s winners you could easily ask what these diverse legal departments could possibly have in common,” said Anthony Paonita, editor-in-chief of Corporate Counsel. “Though very different, each one rises above what a group of lawyers is expected to do, and they do it with innovation, a sense of community, even a bit of swagger, elevating them to the top of the 2015 list.”
About the winners:
• Wikimedia Foundation – Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit that is funded by donors and oversees 15 freely accessible online properties, including the flagship Wikipedia. The sites are accessed in more than 200 languages by half a billion people per month. This is especially impressive given that WMF’s legal department has all of six lawyers. It’s on a tight-knit team that is, in many ways, the model of gender, ethnic and experiential diversity that many in-house departments aspire to.
• Office Depot – Office Depot’s legal department earned its spot largely for the masterful way its lawyers managed the integration of two huge companies (OfficeMax and Office Depot), creating a $17 billion corporation. But it also stood out for other reasons: It’s a legal department that is fully integrated and engaged in the business of the company; it consistently demonstrates an unusually strong and commendable record on diversity; and its lawyers are actively involved in pro bono projects and helping people in need.
• Marriott Vacations Worldwide – At Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. hospitality isn’t just the company’s business, it’s the corporate culture, and that includes its 22 lawyers. Being friendly, helpful, caring and collaborative comes to the fore whether it’s working with each other, with outside counsel, with the business departments or with the many regulators who oversee the company. The legal team must not only handle the typical corporate tasks, but also oversee a combination of assignments not usually found in a single company. Besides lawsuits, for instance, at any one time Marriott Worldwide deals with real estate development, direct sales, mortgage lending, management services, and hotel and resort rentals around the world.
• Intel – Made up of 281 attorneys around the world, Intel’s law and policy department stands out for its use of cutting-edge technology every day to work more efficiently and enable Intel to create and sell its products. What makes the team unique is that they recognize the importance of balancing speed and innovation with the slower and decidedly less high-tech process of building relationships.
For more visit www.corpcounsel.com
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