ABA President William H. Neukom to speak at hooding ceremony

January 8, 2008Duke Law News

Jan. 8, 2008 ― American Bar Association President William H. Neukom will address members of the Class of 2008 at their hooding ceremony on May 10.

A partner in the Seattle office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis, Neukom was Microsoft’s chief lawyer for almost 25 years, overseeing its legal, government, and philanthropic activities. As executive vice president of Law and Corporate Affairs, he led Microsoft’s initiatives to establish, distribute, and protect its intellectual property rights around the world and led the company’s defense of antitrust claims brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and the European Union. These were settled by consent decrees in 1994 and 2001. He also oversaw the development of Microsoft’s community affairs program, including such initiatives as the Microsoft Giving Campaign, the Microsoft Matching Gifts Program, and the Microsoft Volunteer Program, among others.

Long active in professional bar associations, Neukom has held a variety of leadership positions within the ABA since 1977. He chaired its Fund for Justice and Education from 1997-99; its Task Force on Goal VIII, which examined the association’s rule of law programming, from 2002-03; and its Governance Commission from 2003-05. As ABA president, Neukom’s primary initiative is the World Justice Project, described on its web site as “a multidisciplinary and multinational initiative to foster human well-being by advancing the rule of law.”

Also active in a wide range of community, educational, and philanthropic work, Neukom served as a trustee of the National Judicial College from 2003-06. The Neukom Family Foundation, which he founded with his children in 1995, supports non-profit organizations, principally in the fields of health and human services, education, justice, and the environment.

A general partner in San Francisco Baseball Associates, the ownership group of the San Francisco Giants, Neukom is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford University Law School.