Women in White Collar Defense Awards to Mary Jo White Olympus Corporation Joan McPhee and Emily Ward

Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA) announced the winners of the inaugural WWCDA Awards.

The awards recognize women and men who have made positive impacts in the White Collar area, including defense, government enforcement, investigations and compliance.

WWCDA established the awards to honor those whose efforts have enhanced white collar practice, made it more diverse and equitable, or who have otherwise used their platforms to support women in this field.

This is the inaugural year for the WWCDA Awards.

The awards will be presented at the Inaugural WWCDA Awards Dinner Gala on December 3, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

The WWCDA Champion Award will be presented to Mary Jo White of Debevoise & Plimpton.

This award recognizes an individual who has made a difference in the White Collar area while advancing women. Mary Jo White has reached this pinnacle.

White has had a historic career in various government roles and in private practice. She was the first female United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the first female Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“As a partner and leader at Debevoise & Plimpton, White is one of the top defense attorneys in the world,” WWCDA said. “In her roles as a law partner, prosecutor and financial regulator, she has been a constant trailblazer and role model for women in white collar, a field that has been a historically male dominated area.”

The WWCDA Group Award will be presented to the Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

This award is for a group that has demonstrated achievement in the White Collar area while advancing women. 

“The Olympus Corporation of the Americas, where its compliance and legal departments are led by women, has set the standard for how a company should handle a monitorship while promoting and advancing woman along the way,” WWCDA said. 

The Laurie A. Miller Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women in White Collar Defense winner is Joan McPhee of Ropes & Gray.

“Joan McPhee’s achievements in her career as a white collar defense attorney best exemplifies Laurie A. Miller’s groundbreaking leadership in White Collar defense and in advancing women in the practice,” WWCDA said. “Joan’s career is exemplary and her leadership has been critical in the founding of the WWCDA Boston Chapter and helping WWCDA to grow throughout the world.” 

The Catherine M. O’Neil Mentoring Award will be presented to Emily Ward of Chilivis Cochran Larkins & Bever.

Emily Ward receives this award in honor of the late Catherine M. O’Neil, of Atlanta, Georgia.

“The award commemorates Cathy’s enthusiasm, optimism, and dedication to mentoring lawyers,” the group said. “The award will include a continuing education stipend that has been fully funded by the law firm of King & Spalding, where Cathy was a partner in the Special Matters and Government Investigations Group.”

The awards will be presented to the recipients at the Inaugural WWCDA Awards Dinner Gala that will be held December 3, 2019 at the Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck at the National Harbor, minutes from downtown Washington, D.C.

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The VIP Reception begins at 6:00 p.m., General Reception will be at 7:00 p.m., and the Dinner and Awards Ceremony will start at 8:00 p.m.

The WWCDA was founded twenty years ago to address the large gender gap in white collar law and provide networking, education, and business development opportunities for women.

Since 1999, WWCDA has grown to more than 1,700 members in 39 chapters throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

“Since the founding of WWCDA, we’ve seen the arena of investigations, enforcement, and compliance grow exponentially and have been honored to be part of promoting diversity within these practices,” said co-founder Karen Popp. “The goal of the WWCDA Awards is to honor champions – men and women – who have been part of this growth while enhancing equality and making the practice stronger and better.”

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