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In Memoriam: James H. “Jimmy" Wilson, Jr.

April 20, 2009

ATLANTA and WASHINGTON (April 20, 2009) – With great sadness, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announces the death of James H. “Jimmy" Wilson, Jr., a longtime partner of the firm. Mr. Wilson passed away Saturday, April 18, 2009.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “Jimmy was a brilliant and outstanding lawyer and a leader in the firm for many, many years."

A graduate of Emory University in 1940, Mr. Wilson attended Harvard Law School. Upon completion of his first year of law school, he spent the summer of 1941 at Sutherland as a summer law clerk. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a lieutenant aboard destroyers in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets during World War II. After graduating summa cum laude and first in his class from Harvard Law School, Mr. Wilson joined Sutherland in 1947.

As an associate, he temporarily worked in Sutherland's Washington, D.C., office, which at that time was predominantly a tax practice. In 1952, Mr. Wilson became a partner in the firm. "Jimmy was a brilliant man, an excellent teacher, and one of the true leaders of the second generation of tax lawyers in our firm," said Tax Practice Group Leader Jerome B. Libin.  "His contribution to the strength of our tax practice today is a major part of our legacy."

In 1975, Mr. Wilson was included by President Ford’s aides and Dick Cheney on a list of possible appointees to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Others on this list included Judges Robert Bork, Arlin M. Adams, and John Paul Stevens (who was eventually nominated and confirmed); Senator Robert P. Griffin; and several leading legal scholars and practicing lawyers. The recognition was an honor and testament to his legal career and reputation.

Mr. Wilson served on the Council of The American Law Institute since 1974. He was one of the consultants for its study of the Principles of Corporate Acquisitions and Distributions and its project on Integration of the Individual and Corporate Federal Income Taxes. He was Chair of the Committee on Corporate Shareholder Relationships, Section of Taxation of The American Bar Association in 1964–65. He was a member of the Advisory Group for the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in 1964 and was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Tax Counsel. He was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, 2003–2006.

He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Emory University (1983–1990), as Chair of the Emory Board of Visitors (1967–68) and as President of the Emory Alumni Association (1966–67). Mr. Wilson served as a member of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee (1959–1965) and as a member of the Harvard Law School Association Alumni Council (1981–85). He was President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta (1960–61) and Chair of the Metropolitan Atlanta Crime Commission (1970–71).

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, financial services, energy and environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.

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