2008 Corporate Leadership Award Dinner

Microsoft Corporation
Legal & Corporate Affairs Department
Brad Smith
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

On October 2, 2008, Brad Smith accepted CPR Institute’s 2008 Corporate Leadership Award for Microsoft’s leadership and commitment to the principles of conflict management and resolution and to institutionalizing the values of  ADR into their corporate culture. The black tie event was held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York and drew nearly 400 in-house corporate attorneys, outside legal counsel from top law firms and business executives from around the country.

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In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Smith encouraged the support of organizations, such as the CPR Institute, whose work provides innovative and effective legal tools and ADR methods to empower corporations to build and preserve partnerships not only with vendors and customers, but also with communities in which their work is done.   

According to Mr. Smith, “ADR plays a very important role, not just in resolving disputes, but in really helping us to build and strengthen relationships with other companies and other individuals.  That’s what we benefit from, [and] we think the world as a whole benefits from in terms of the type of contribution CPR [Institute] really makes.”

The event’s keynote address was presented by John Ruggie, a professor at the Kennedy School of Government and Law, Harvard University and the UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights.  In a compelling presentation titled, “The Bottom Line for Human Rights,”  Prof. Ruggie urged that it is the responsibility of both inside and outside counsel to consider that corporate social responsibility goes beyond donations and should be considered when creating agreements as well as resolving disputes.

To Read Speech, click here.