W&L Law Announces 2020 Alumni Awards
Washington and Lee School of Law has announced the winners of the annual alumni awards. The presentation occurred during a virtual Law Alumni Association meeting, held June 4. A video of the meeting is available online at go.wlu.edu/laa-meeting.
The awards normally are presented during Law Alumni Weekend, which was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Law School’s next alumni weekend will occur April 9-11, 2021 and will celebrate the reunion classes from this year and next year.
The 2020 Outstanding Law Alumnus/a award was presented to John Sicilian ‘85L. Sicilian currently is Chairman and CIO of Brickell Key Asset Management, a manager of public and private third party litigation financing funds with over $600 million of assets under management that provides financing to Am Law 200 Law Firms as well as mid-size and Fortune 500 corporations to pursue anti-trust, intellectual property and general commercial claims. He also serves as Senior Advisor to Jetstream Aviation Capital, a manager of private aircraft leasing funds with over $300 million of assets under management.
Sicilian also is a co-founder of 1848 Capital Partners and 1221 Capital Partners, Miami based private equity firms, where he has managed investments in Heartland Food Corp. (the second-largest Burger King franchisee in the world), Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (New York and London), Brazil Tower Company (second largest independent builder of data transmission towers in Brazil), Jet Support Services, Inc. (the largest independent provider of warranty coverage to the corporate aircraft industry), and 777 Partners LLC (a large diversified financial services firm).
Previously, Sicilian has served on the board of directors of numerous travel and transportation-related companies, both public and private, including Pan American World Airways, ARINC, AgentWare, OneTravel, and Eastern Airlines, and was the Chairman, President, and General Counsel of the reorganized Eastern Airlines. He began his career as an attorney with Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand (now merged with DLA), and Ford & Harrison.
For W&L, Sicilian has served on several reunion committees, as a career mentor, and as a class agent. He received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Holy Cross College. He lives in Miami with his wife Lisa and is a founding member of the Miami chapter of Human Right Watch.
This Volunteer of the Year award is a way for W&L to recognize those individuals who go above and beyond assisting the Law School. This year’s award went to Andy Lee ‘90L. Lee is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group with Jones Walker in New Orleans. He maintains an active national appellate and trial practice focused on business and commercial disputes; corporate, securities, and banking litigation; and fiduciary and officer liability litigation. As a member of the corporate compliance and white collar defense group, Lee also co-chairs the firm’s privacy and data security team and holds the CIPP/US designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Over the years, Lee has served on several reunion committees. He has served as a Law Class Agent and as President of the New Orleans Alumni Chapter. He currently serves on the Law Council. He has hosted alumni events at his firm and hired numerous law students.
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award is a way for W&L to recognize those young alumni who go out of their way to assist W&L Law in recruiting students, mentoring students in their career searches, or organizing events that appeal to young alumni. This year’s award went to Katie Waibler 15L. Waibler is currently finishing her second year clerking with the D.C. Tax Court. Prior to this, she practiced law in Roanoke with Spilman, Thomas & Battle. She received her undergraduate degree from Lewis and Clark and her LL.M. from the University of Florida.
A member of our Young Alumni Council, Waibler has wholeheartedly accepted the call to assist in our recruitment of prospective students through phone calls, emails, and face-to-face visits. Waibler is tireless in her willingness to email, phone and meet with students who have interests in tax practice, tax LLMs and the US Tax Court. She has helped a current student in getting an internship at the Tax Court for this summer and a recent grad with post grad clerkship on the Tax Court. She is always looking for and letting us know about summer and post grad job opportunities in her office or chambers and then acting as a point person to champion W&L Law students who are interested in and apply for these positions. Waibler also served on the reunion committee for her class’ 5th reunion.