Ford Motor Company attorneys were named "Best Legal Department" for 2006 by Corporate Counsel magazine. The legal group was recognized for its all-around strength, including the innovative intellectual property group, which markets and protects Ford patents; the transactions group, highlighting its significant role in the recent sale of The Hertz Corporation (the second-largest leveraged buyout in history); and the appellate group, which helps shape law. Corporate Counsel also recognized the teamwork of the in-house lawyers with business partners throughout the company and Ford’s commitment to pro bono work.
"We’re obviously very honored by this distinction," said Ford Senior Vice President and General Counsel, David Leitch. ""I’m particularly pleased that the outstanding attorneys who practice law at Ford Motor Company have been recognized for their skill and dedication."
Corporate Counsel considered legal departments from more than 20 Fortune 500 companies. The legal departments of BellSouth, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and Microsoft were finalists for the first annual award. According to Robin Sparkman, editor in chief of the magazine, the attorneys recognized excelled "not just as lawyers, but also as managers and strategists for their companies."
"The award recognized our teamwork and our contribution to the business. The whole team deserves credit for this award," Leitch said.