R. Barnett '71, R. Palmore '77, S. Berman '80, R. Cordray '86, N. Francisco '96, W. Henderson '01 Among NLJ's 100 Most Influential Lawyers
From the National Law Journal:
Partner, Williams & Connolly
Here's the man to see if you're a politico with a hankering for a big-money book sale. At 66, Robert Barnett has a client list that reads like the Who's Who of D.C. He's sold books for the past three presidents and two of their wives, plus former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the prince of Wales, along with dozens of less exalted leaders; he's helped former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush arrange their next career chapters; he represents network luminaries as diverse as Brian Williams and Steve Doocy. Every Democratic presidential hopeful since 1976 has turned to him for help with debate prep.
Managing Partner, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
Landmark consumer cases are business as usual for Steve Berman of Seattle's Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro. As co-lead counsel for economic damages claims against Toyota Motor Corp. those claims associated with sudden acceleration, he helped obtain a $1.3 billion settlement after more than two years of litigation against the carmaker. He is a top plaintiffs lawyer who takes on big cases, especially testing technology. To wit, Berman, 58, is leading consumer cases involving the pricing of electronic books and reservations via online travel sites, and in privacy litigation against cellphone software Carrier IQ.
Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
As his agency's first director, Richard Cordray is shaping the bureau's agenda, organization and culture—a legacy that will stand for years to come. It's a uniquely powerful job—as U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) put it, unfavorably: "Every American will be affected by the director's decisions." Cordray, 53, has been serving under a recess appointment, but that hasn't deterred him from exercising authority: overhauling the mortgage market, securing $425 million in refunds for consumers deceived by credit card companies, advocating for service members and overseeing student loans.
Partner, Jones Day
Seven years after departing as a counselor to George W. Bush's White House, Noel Francisco has scored major victories against federal authority and government regulation. Francisco, 43, is best known for his successful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenge to the constitutionality of President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. He persuaded that same court to strike graphic warning labels for cigarettes. Francisco, who regularly appears on major media news programs, has a diverse client list that has included former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and major corporations such Chevron Corp. and Verizon Wireless.
Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law–Bloomington
Bill Henderson, 50, rarely travels without a PowerPoint presentation and hard drive full of data close at hand. He was among the first legal academics to focus squarely on the business of law, and has since become a top source for law firms, legal departments, law schools and the news media hoping to make sense of the changing legal market. Rather than offer opinion or anecdotal evidence, Henderson bases his findings on reams of research and data—giving him unique insight into the legal profession.
General Counsel, General Mills Inc.
The push for racial diversity within the legal profession has been a long, daunting slog, but the incremental progress hasn't sapped General Mills general counsel and executive vice president Roderick Palmore's enthusiasm. Palmore, 60, first circulated his Call to Action among general counsel in 2004, but redoubled those efforts in 2009, founding the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, an organization of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners, to advance the careers of promising, diverse young legal minds. Perhaps Palmore's greatest contribution has been his compelling argument that real change won't happen without buy-in from those at the top.