College Announces Inaugural Fellowship Class

Leading corporate governance lawyers from the US and Canada have founded the American College of Governance Counsel, a professional, educational and honorary association of lawyers widely-recognized for their achievements in the field of governance. The mission of the College is to promote a high level of professional standards among governance practitioners and a better understanding and broader adoption of best governance practices within business organizations.

“Globalization has made it extremely important for organizations to maintain a competitive advantage, which cannot be achieved without strategic decision making grounded in strong governance practices. Recognizing this need, North America’s top governance attorneys collaborated to establish the College,” said John F. Olson, the inaugural Chair of the College and a partner at global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Frank M. Placenti, the inaugural President of the College and a partner at global law firm Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP stated: “The College intends to be of service to the legal profession as well as our clients by helping to encourage and foster a strong commitment to professionalism among governance practitioners.”

Through its programs, the College will address the major governance issues facing business enterprises including developing challenges to traditional models of governance, risk management, shareholder engagement, and an increasingly complex regulatory and enforcement environment.

The College (a Delaware nonprofit corporation) has elected as Fellows an initial class of accomplished professionals from the US and Canada who have made significant, sustained contributions to the governance community through their practice activities, speaking, writing and thought leadership.

The honorary founding Chairs of the College are: Martin Lipton (Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz); Ira M. Millstein (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP); and the Honorable E. Norman Veasey (Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A. and Former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.)

The Board of Trustees is comprised of eleven members: John F. Olson, Chair (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP); Frank M. Placenti, President (Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP); Gregory V. Varallo, Vice President and Secretary (Richards, Layton & Finger P.A.); Carol Hansell, Vice President and Treasurer (Hansell LLP); James H. Cheek (Bass, Berry & Sims PLC); H. Rodgin Cohen (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP); Holly J. Gregory (Sidley Austin LLP); Robert Mundheim (Shearman & Sterling LLP); Larry W. Sonsini (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati); the Honorable Myron T. Steele, (Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP and Former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court); and Herbert Wander (Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP). The Honorary Chairs and the members of its Board of Trustees comprise the 14 founding Fellows of the College.

Membership in the College is extended by invitation only to lawyers who have practiced law for a minimum of 15 years, while devoting at least 10 of those practice years focused on the field of governance. Fellows spend a substantial amount of their time in boardrooms advising directors in a variety of circumstances such as management succession, internal investigations, disclosure obligations, shareholder litigation, shareholder activism and engagement, and a broad range of regulatory and governmental matters.

The Board of Trustees has elected an inaugural class of 36 Fellows to join the 14 founding Fellows and has also admitted 9 Honorary Fellows, many of whom are retired lawyers who rendered distinguished service in the governance field during their careers.