Former Pillsbury chair Cranston honoured with Hortense Courageous Leader Award

Retired senior partner and immediate past chair of Pillsbury Mary Cranston will receive the inaugural Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award by the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law at its fifth Anniversary Celebration and Award Luncheon.

In her eight years as chair, Cranston expanded the firm from a regional California base into an international platform through two of the largest law firm mergers in history, and added seven offices.

She also achieved top-10 rankings among US law firms for women and minority partners through the introduction of diversity and work-life programmes.

Cranston has practised complex litigation, including antitrust, telecommunications and securities litigation, since 1975. She has received numerous accolades, including being named one of ‘The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America’ by the National Law Journal and one of two ‘Best Law Firm Leaders in the United States’ by Of Counsel. She has been profiled as ‘One of the Best Female Antitrust Lawyers in the World’ by Global Competition Review.

In 2005, Cranston was the recipient of the Margaret Brent Award, the American Bar Association’s highest award for women lawyers given for legal excellence and for paving the way for other women lawyers. She chaired the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession from 2011–13. Most recently, she received the DirectWomen Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award in 2013.

Cranston sits on the boards of GrafTech International, VISA, Juniper Networks, International Rectifier, Stanford University, the San Francisco Ballet and Catalyst. She is chair of the board of the Commonwealth Club of California.

The awards luncheon will be held on 11 April 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas.