2014 Law & Society Award Luncheon

2014 Law & Society Award Luncheon 
The Waldorf Astoria
Thursday, February 13, 2014

NYLPI’s Twenty First Annual Law & Society Award Luncheon was held on February 13th, 2014. Almost 800 attendees, including hundreds of attorneys from New York City’s most prestigious law firms and corporate law departments, braved terrible winter weather and gathered to celebrate our honorees’ steadfast commitment to public service.

We were pleased to honor Peter J. Beshar, Executive Vice-President & General Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Andrew J. Levander, Chairman, Dechert LLP.

NYLPI Board Member Jack Schmitt of Patterson Belknap and NYLPI Board Chair Elect Larry Gresser of Cohen & Gresser. 

(L-R) NYLPI Executive Director McGregor Smyth, 2014 honorees Peter Beshar of Marsh & McLennan and Andy Levander of Dechert LLP, and NYLPI Board Chair Hector Gonzalez of Dechert LLP.

NYLPI Emeritus Board Member John Siffert of Lankler Siffert & Wohl and NYLPI Director of Pro Bono Programs Marnie Berk.

Click below to watch the 2013 NYLPI Law & Society Award Luncheon Video,
sponsored by Compass Lexecon.

The Honorees

Peter J. Beshar, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Marsh & McLennan Companies, is renowned for his accomplishments in the private and public sector and his commitment to justice. Prior to joining Marsh & McLennan Companies in November 2004, Mr. Beshar was a litigation partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP where he served as Co-Chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation Group. Mr. Beshar joined Gibson Dunn in 1995 after serving as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the New York State Attorney General’s Task Force on Illegal Guns. He had previously served as the Special Assistant to the Honorable Cyrus Vance in the peace negotiations in the former Yugoslavia. After graduating from Yale University and from Harvard Law School, Mr. Beshar clerked for the Honorable Vincent Broderick of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Beshar has received broad recognition for his professional accomplishments, including the Business Leadership Award from the Citizens Union of New York and the Burton Award for leadership in the law. Under his leadership, the Marsh & McLennan Legal Department was recently selected as the Litigation Department of the Year in 2012 by the International Legal Organization, a Value Champion in 2013 by the Association of Corporate Counsel and an Intellectual Property Gold Medal in 2013 at the International General Counsels’ Awards. In 2008, Mr. Beshar was selected as a David Rockefeller Fellow by the Partnership for the City of New York. Mr. Beshar serves on the Business Leaders Council of the Fix the Debt Campaign and the Global Agenda Council on Digital Health of the World Economic Forum. He is a trustee of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he serves as Chair of the Veterans’ Committee, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Andrew J. Levander, Chairman of Dechert LLP, is respected throughout the legal community for his consummate skills as a litigator and his distinguished public service. Mr. Levander graduated from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar and the Notes and Comments Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Wilfred Feinberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Following his clerkship, he served as assistant to the Solicitor General, during which time he made his first argument before the U.S. Supreme Court at the age of 25. He later served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit. In 1985, Mr. Levander joined the New York-based firm Shereff, Friedman, Hoffman & Goodman where he represented many high profile clients as well as numerous indigent criminal defendants as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel. Mr. Levander joined Dechert LLP in 2005 where he has continued to represent such high profile clients as Jon Corzine, Robert Diamond, and Lehman’s board of directors, as well as regularly representing indigent criminal defendants on pro bono appeals. Mr. Levander received the Award for Excellence in White Collar Crime & Government Investigations by Chambers USA in 2013 and 2010. Mr. Levander served for many years as an adjunct professor of trial practice at New York University, and has lectured at Columbia University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, the ABA White Collar Crime Institute, SIFMA, the Practising Law Institute, and various bar associations and government agencies. He is a former chair of the Bar Association of the City of New York’s Committee on Securities Litigation Professional Issues Subcommittee and served for a decade as a trustee of Summer on the Hill.

Mr. Beshar and Mr. Levander join an impressive list of previous honorees:
2013  Steven A. Reiss
2013  Jane C. Sherburne
2012  Stephen M. Cutler
2012  Karen Patton Seymour
2011  Evan R. Chesler
2011  Brackett B. Denniston III
2010  Michael S. Helfer
2010  Theodore V. Wells Jr.
2009  Gary P. Naftalis
2008  Bernard W. Nussbaum
2007  Bettina B. Plevan
2006  Zachary W. Carter
2005  Kenneth R. Feinberg
2004  Richard J. Davis
2003  Mary Jo White
2002  Richard I. Beattie
2001  Sheila L. Birnbaum
2000  Evan A. Davis
1999  Dean John D. Feerick
1998  Robert B. Fiske, Jr.
1997  The Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.
1996  The Honorable Mario M. Cuomo
1995  The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1994  Drew S. Days, III

NYLPI Thanks Our Generous Sponsors Including:

Justice Circle Sponsor:

Founder’s Circle Sponsors:

Underwriter Sponsors:

Champion Sponsors:

Video Sponsor:


Click here for a recap of the 2013 Law & Society Award Luncheon, including pictures, a list of sponsors, and our Law & Society video, which premiered at the Luncheon. 



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