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Everyone loves an underdog. At least that’s true here at Corporate Counsel. When we first conducted the Best Legal Department competition two years ago, legal consultant Rees Morrison advised us to look for a department “punching above its weight.” We pretty much ignored his advice last year in giving top honors to General Electric Co. But this year, after we met to evaluate and discuss their choices, a strange thing happened. After disagreeing on almost everything else, we came to a rare accord on the winner. It was the last department on the table, in fact. And the lawyers there did a classic job of making lemonade when they were dealt lemons.

And the Winner Is . . .


2008 Best Legal Department: And the Winner Is …

Richard Baer and his legal team did more than rescue a badly managed company from the brink of bankruptcy. As Qwest Communications International’s troubles played out in the headlines, Baer and his colleagues transformed the legal department against the backdrop of investigators scouring Qwest’s records, looking for the kind of accounting fraud that destroyed Enron and triggered an outcry for corporate reform. That’s why Corporate Counsel has named Qwest’s lawyers the Best Legal Department of 2008.

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