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Winston & Strawn’s ‘Big Jim’ Thompson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
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jim thompsonWinston & Strawn LLP said in a press release Monday that Senior Chairman and former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, Jr. will receive The American Lawyer magazine’s 2010 “Lifetime Achievement” award on October 27 during the legal publisher’s annual “A-List Awards” dinner in New York.

The annual award is reserved for lawyers who have demonstrated “exemplary public service and outstanding professional success” during their extended careers.

“We are so proud of Jim putting his civic duty at the core of his life’s work,” said Winston & Strawn Chairman Dan K. Webb.


“Jim’s well-known example still inspires his colleagues,” agreed Thomas Fitzgerald, the firm’s Managing Partner. “We want to continue the legacy of his uncompromising ideals, in which the public welfare and clients always come first.”

Thompson, who has played an integral role in the firm’s global growth, served as Illinois’s governor for 14 years and longer than any other chief executive in the state’s history. Prior to this public leadership role, Thompson worked at the state prosecutor’s office in Cook County, Illinois, and the state attorney general’s office, where he argued more than 200 cases before the Illinois Supreme Court. He was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in 1971, where he gained a national reputation for being tough on crime, while prosecuting several high profile public corruption cases against members of both parties.

First joining Winston & Strawn as a partner in 1975, Thompson was prompted to run for high office a year later because he “saw it as an opportunity to turn the state around.” During most of Thompson’s record-breaking four terms, the traditionally-partisan Illinois enjoyed a rare period of cooperation between political parties, economic growth, and a balanced budget.

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Thompson’s public service record continued unabated after leaving the Governor’s Mansion in 1991 and rejoining Winston. Most notably, he served as Chairman of the Bush Intelligence Oversight Board during the 1990’s and later, as a member of the president’s National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which held hearings in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and made recommendations to Congress and the President that are still being implemented.

Thompson served as Winston & Strawn’s Chairman and CEO until 2006, when Webb ascended the firm’s top leadership post. Over the years, he has successfully managed to complete hundreds of cases and appeals in the state and federal courts. Thompson’s law practice continues to be extensive and focused on government relations, complex litigation, and corporate governance, as well as corporate investigations.

He is also Chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission.

Winston & Strawn LLP is an international commercial law firm with 14 offices in America, Asia and Europe.


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