Thomas Russo of Patton Boggs, formerly the top in-house lawyer for Lehman Brothers, is the new general counsel for American International Group Inc. The company announced his appointment Tuesday, a day after The National Law Journal reported that Russo had accepted the job.

“It is a challenge,” Russo said in an interview Tuesday about joining the company, which staved off disaster in the credit crisis with government aid. “I think it is a real opportunity to both pay the taxpayer for its support and to have a viable strong insurance company after that. And so the exciting part is to participate in making that happen. Now it’s not a sure thing, nothing is a sure thing, but … I’m excited about the process in trying to make that come about.”

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