Bondurant and Klein receive highest award from UGA law alumni association


June 29, 2009

Writer: Samantha Riddle, 706/542-5172, lawprstu@uga.edu
Contact: Cindy Rice, 706/542-5172, cindyh@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law's alumni association recently presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Scroll Award, to Emmet J. Bondurant of Atlanta, Ga., and Kenneth "Ken" Klein of Washington, D.C.

This award is given annually to individuals whose dedication and service to the legal profession and the law school deserve special recognition. These awards were presented during the school's alumni breakfast held in conjunction with the State Bar of Georgia Annual Meeting on June 20.

Bondurant's award was presented to him by Norman L. Underwood, a fellow Georgia Law alumnus and senior counsel at Troutman Sanders in Atlanta. "Across the decades, [Emmet has] made a difference in those issues so central to our legal system and for that, and much more, we honor Emmet."

Underwood referred to Bondurant as a "firebrand," someone to be "emulated." He said, "Emmet Bondurant has become and is, in all respects, one of those firebrands of the law for our generation. … It's an honor and privilege to give this recognition to one of our own who is still in the trenches and still working to be a firebrand of the law … and is so deserving of this recognition."

Upon receiving the award, Bondurant expressed his gratitude to the law school, "I am honored to receive this award and feel great affection [for] and identity with the [University of] Georgia law school."

Bondurant has been a trial lawyer for more than 45 years and is a partner at Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore. Although he specializes in antitrust law, he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of areas including patent, securities, trade secret, professional malpractice and complex corporate disputes in both federal and state trial and appellate courts.

He received a Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Georgia chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocacy in 1992 and, in 2000, was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top 10 lawyers in the United States.

He earned his law degree magna cum laude and his bachelor's degree cum laude from UGA. Prior to attending Harvard University for his Master of Laws, he served as a judicial clerk for Judge Clement F. Haynsworth Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. He has also served as chair of the law school's Board of Visitors and as a member of the Law School Association Council.

Klein's award was presented to him by Charles A. Hunnicutt, a fellow Georgia Law graduate and a partner at Troutman Sanders in Washington, D.C. Referring to Klein's active involvement in the law school while a student and his continued participation on various levels since his graduation, Hunnicutt said, "We owe Ken a great debt of gratitude for his sweat equity support and financial support that he provides to important law school programs."

In terms of his professional career, Hunicutt said Klein has been consistently ranked as one of the top international tax lawyers in the world. "I have been an admirer of Ken since we were in law school. … I'm so delighted that our law school community has recognized with this award your contributions to the legal community, your contributions to the law school and your contributions to the world we live in."

Reflecting on his experience at the School of Law, Klein said, "What made Georgia very special, and I've seen it today … is this sort of a welcoming and friendliness attitude. … It's what makes Georgia not just a great law school, but a very special law school."

Klein is currently a partner at Mayer Brown and is a firm-wide practice leader for its Tax Transactions and Planning Department. His areas of focus include international taxation, tax planning, tax transactions, tax controversies and public policy. He has also represented domestic and international clients in numerous industries.

He has been named as one of the "World's Leading Tax Advisers" by Euromoney's International Tax Review in 2007 and was chosen as a leading tax lawyer by Chambers USA in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Additionally, Klein has served on the law school's Board of Visitors.

Klein earned his bachelor's degree magna cum laude from the University of Delaware and his Juris Doctor cum laude from UGA, where he served as articles editor of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. He later earned his Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University.