Robert S. Strauss Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

(Dallas, Texas) – Legendary lawyer and statesman Robert S. Strauss — the founding partner of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union and Russia — received a Lifetime Achievement Award last evening from The American Lawyer magazine, the firm announced today. Mr. Strauss was one of 12 distinguished lawyers — and the only one from Texas — to be honored. The presentation was held at the magazine’s 25th anniversary gala in New York.

Alan D. Feld, senior executive partner at the firm, stated, “We are delighted that The American Lawyer has chosen to honor our founder — an extraordinary lawyer, exemplary statesman, first-rate mentor and loyal friend — for his tremendous contributions to both the private bar and the public good. For more than half a century, Bob has been sought out by business leaders and world leaders alike for his candor, insight and intelligence. We are extremely proud to call him one of our own.”

Recognizing distinguished and accomplished lawyers who not only built successful private practices but made significant contributions to public life, the Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to a group of extraordinary lawyers who “give meaning to the profession’s values, lawyers whose careers are a challenge to those who follow.” In addition to Mr. Strauss, the evening’s honorees included William T. Coleman Jr. (O’Melveny & Myers), Lloyd N. Cutler and John H. Pickering (Wilmer Cutler Pickering), Joseph H. Flom (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom), Alexander D. Forger (Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McClay), Newton N. Minnow and Howard J. Trienens (Sidley Austin Brown & Wood), Robert D. Raven (Morrison & Foerster), John M. Rosenberg (Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc.), Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. (Cravath, Swaine & Moore) and Patricia Wald (retired chief judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit).

Raised in the small West Texas town of Stamford, Mr. Strauss began his legal career in Dallas in 1945 when he co-founded the firm that became Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Today, the firm numbers 950 lawyers in 15 cities around the globe.

Mr. Strauss went to Washington in 1973 to serve as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a position he held until 1976.  He served as chairman of President Carter’s election campaigns in 1976 and 1980. In 1977 Mr. Strauss entered the Cabinet of President Carter, serving as special trade representative. Over the next two-and-one-half years, he successfully concluded the Tokyo Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and directed its passage through Congress, which culminated in the Trade Act of 1979.

Following completion of the trade agreements, President Carter named Mr. Strauss his personal representative to the Middle East Peace Negotiations. In January 1981 Mr. Strauss was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian award — which recognizes individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” In August 1991 he was sworn in as the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. Following the dissolution of that nation, Ambassador Strauss became the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation. He resigned from the Foreign Service on November 19, 1992, and again returned to private practice at Akin Gump.

A popular lecturer, Mr. Strauss has spoken extensively in the United States and abroad and has authored many papers for professional journals, newspapers and magazines. He has served on the boards of directors of numerous U.S. corporations and public institutions. Mr. Strauss has occupied the Lloyd Bentsen Chair at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where he lectured to students of law, business and public affairs. He serves as chairman of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, is a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs and is a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 900 lawyers with offices in Albany, Austin, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, Riverside, Riyadh (affiliate), San Antonio, San Francisco and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; banking and financial institutions; capital markets; communications; corporate and securities; employee benefits; energy, land use and environment; entertainment; estate planning, wealth transfer and probate; financial restructuring; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international; investment management; labor and employment; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; privatization; project development and finance; public law and policy; real estate and finance; taxation; and technology.

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