Microsoft legal chief steps out of the limelight

You'll never guess how many lawyers Microsoft has...

You'll never guess how many lawyers Microsoft has...

The lawyer who headed up Microsoft's successful battle against he US Department of Justice (DoJ) has quit to spend more time pursuing personal interests. Known for his trademark bow-tie, 60 year old Bill Neukom has served as Microsoft's lead counsel for 22 years building up a legal team of 600 to deal with the software giant's wide ranging legal problems. In a statement, Steve Ballmer said: "It's time to let Bill hang up his bow-tie and pursue all his other passions, from his family foundation to his many civic duties to his love of baseball and fly-fishing." Neukom's resignation comes less than a month after he negotiated the settlement between Microsoft and the US DoJ, and the tentative agreement to resolve a class action pricing case. He also headed up the company's seven year intellectual property rights battle with Apple and negotiated the settlement with Sun Microsystems, Caldera, Priceline and Bristol Technologies. Brad Smith, currently the deputy counsel for worldwide sales, will succeed Neukom.