ACC co-founder, longtime stalwart, and in-house pioneer passed away January 17, 2021
It is with great sadness that we inform announce the passing of an ACC legend, Carl Liggio, Sr. On the morning of January 17, after almost nine days in the COVID ICU, Carl succumbed to COVID-related pneumonia. According to his son, Carl Jr., the prolific general counsel had several highs and lows while hospitalized, at times requiring oxygen assistance and at others was energized and seemingly on the mend. Unfortunately, on Saturday he took a turn for the worse, and in true Carl fashion, refused to be intubated. It is comforting to know that his children, Carl Jr. and Anne Liggio Hess, were able to be with him via Zoom during his final moments.
Carl’s wife, Mary (who was never far from his side and was warmly thought of as an ACC “honorary member,” having attended many ACC Annual Meetings with her husband), has unfortunately also tested positive for the virus. The family asks that you refrain from reaching out with condolences at this time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and we will share information on an upcoming memorial as soon as possible.
Carl was a founding member of ACC, along with seven other general counsel. They met on March 11, 1982, in Dallas, TX, to discuss the need for an organization dedicated to the unique practice of corporate law — and more specifically in-house counsel. As then-general counsel of Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young), Carl was instrumental in growing ACC’s initial membership base, signing up his entire team and working tirelessly on behalf of the association. This work and dedication to ACC never faltered, nor did his efforts on behalf of the in-house community at large.
"Carl was iconic,” said Veta T. Richardson, ACC President and CEO. “His legacy will live on as long as there are in-house counsel. Our profession owes so much to leaders like Carl who had the foresight and dedication to assuring the general counsel position was a respected and empowered executive in the C-suite.”
ACC Board Chair Jo Anne Schwendinger echoed Veta’s thoughts. “Carl Liggio was a pioneer of the in-house profession,” said Schwendinger. “He was a founder of not just our association, but of the in-house profession as we know it today. Carl established and expanded the role of in-house counsel throughout his career, and all of us within the in-house community owe him a deep debt of gratitude.”
If you were lucky enough to enjoy one of his many stories about the beginnings of ACC, you know firsthand how passionate he was about advancing the stature of in-house counsel. He was a superhero to many of us and he will be incredibly missed by all who knew him.