BASF Press Release

First In-House Counsel Awards Recognize Legal Leaders in Technology, Journalism, and the Share Economy

March 1, 2022, San Francisco — The Bar Association of San Francisco is excited to announce the winners of the first In-House Counsel Awards.

Matt Fawcett
Matt Fawcett, NetApp
Lifetime Achievement Award
Victoria Baranetzky
Victoria D. Baranetsky, The Center for Investigative Reporting
Rising Star Award
Katie Colendich
Katie Colendich, Asana
Community Champion Award
Eva Almirantearena
Eva Almirantearena, Intel Corporation
Diversity Award
Outstanding Small Law Department Award
Outstanding Large Law Department Award

In the category of Lifetime Achievement, the award goes to Matt Fawcett, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, NetApp. The winning nomination highlights Fawcett’s vision and operational prowess: “General Counsel Matt Fawcett has provided excellent leadership supporting the business through the establishment of a joint venture, strategically expanded his department’s purview, spearheaded cost savings and innovative use of technology, and acted as a thought leader.”

The Rising Star award goes to Victoria D. Baranetsky, General Counsel for The Center for Investigative Reporting. The Center for Investigative Reporting summarizes Baranetsky’s impact: “Since joining, Ms. Baranetsky has become both a shield and a weapon for our newsroom girding us against the legal risks inherent in our work, and using the law to loosen copious information that reporters could never unearth on our own. From our humble perch in Emeryville, California, Ms. Baranetsky has nearly singlehandedly led the way on litigation that is protecting and uplifting reporting across the United States.”

Katie Colendich, Associate General Counsel at Asana receives the Community Champion award. The winning nomination states:“Katie Colendich is one of San Francisco’s ‘unsung heroes’ who always thinks about how she can help others and improve the community in which she lives. For over 10 years, Katie has lent her ample talents to improving San Francisco and the broader Bay Area community through nonprofit board service and volunteering, volunteering to support emerging artists, and as a leader in the corporate legal world sharing her deep knowledge and experience with her peers.”

The first Diversity award goes to Eva Almirantearena, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Antitrust and Commercial Litigation at Intel Corporation. Almirantearena goes above and beyond to further diversity and inclusion initiatives at Intel: “Eva has been active in Intel’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts for years, most recently leading Intel’s outside counsel D&I team and as a member of Intel Legal’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. This year, Eva was selected as the Diversity Leader for Intel Legal and Governments, Markets and Trade groups. Intel’s D&I efforts are far-reaching and multifaceted so this is a busy job that she does on top of her role as Vice President and Associate General Counsel in the Antitrust and Commercial Litigation Group.”

Instacart receives the Outstanding Small Law Department award. The nomination highlights the department’s innovative spirit: “When the Instacart legal department was established in 2015, there was no blueprint for assembling a team that could address the myriad and complex problems that come with building and executing an online grocery delivery platform. But it was clear that it would take highly motivated and nimble professionals who could work well together. In just five years, Instacart has developed a model legal department that is tackling problems never addressed before. Its collaboration and innovation are ensuring that it arrives at the right solutions.”

The Outstanding Large Law Department award goes to Lyft. The winning nomination states: “Lyft’s legal department – ‘Lyft Legal’ – has grown from one person to over 140 attorneys and legal professionals in the last eight years while setting the pace for excellence in a large in-house legal department. At its core, the Lyft business is about engaging and solving intractable legal issues. Therefore, innovative thinking is a prerequisite to working at Lyft Legal because of all the novel legal issues faced for the very first time in an industry that Lyft is defining.”

The In-House Counsel Awards are made possible by the generous support of these sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor: Gibson Dunn; Gold Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig; Silver Sponsors: Morrison & Foerster, Munger Tolles & Olson, Paul Hastings, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Salesforce, Sheppard Mullin; Bronze Sponsors: Baker Botts, Crowell & Moring, Keker Van Nest & Peters, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, NetApp, Perkins Coie, and Trucker Huss.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. Through its board of directors, its committees, and its volunteer legal services programs and other community efforts, BASF has worked actively to promote and achieve equal justice for all and oppose discrimination in all its forms, including, but not limited to, discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and sexual orientation. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.