William H. Neukom, chair of Preston Gates & Ellis LLP in Seattle, is president of the American Bar Association. He served as executive vice president of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, where he spent 17 years managing the company’s legal, government affairs and philanthropic activities.
As Microsoft’s lead counsel, Neukom led the company’s efforts to establish, distribute, and protect intellectual property rights around the world. He was instrumental in securing the landmark legal victory in the Apple Computer v. Microsoft Corporation case, which spanned 1988-1995. Neukom also led Microsoft’s defense of antitrust claims brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union, which culminated in consent decrees in 1994 and 2001.