Normally, I don’t pay attention to in-house legal department of the year awards, but this year the award went to Qwest. Their General Counsel, Rich Baer has become a friend of mine over the past two years and I really admire him.
When my partner Brad originally introduced Rich and I over email and suggested that we have lunch, my thought was “what on earth do I have in common with a general counsel of a mammoth company like Qwest?” What I found was a thoughtful, smart, motivated, out of the box thinking executive that far surpassed my naïve assumptions of what a big company general counsel would be like. Rich and I spent the lunch geeking out on technology (he is probably the only GC in America who uses a Mac Air), music and television shows (Brotherhood on Showtime – a must see) and his views on how to build a better mousetrap within a corporate legal department. In a very short period of time, I realized that I was lucky to be introduced to such a progressive thinker.
Congrats Rich. You give lawyers a good name and I’m happy to hear that your legal department is being recognized under your leadership.