When Charlie Newman, a BPJ attorney since 1965 and a titan of the Memphis legal community, was awarded the Judge Jerome Turner Lawyer’s Lawyer award from the Memphis Bar Association last week, no one at the firm was particularly surprised, though we were happy and proud, of course. Charlie has been a pillar of the firm for decades, and the prestigious award is well-deserved.

But the recent story in the Daily Memphian gives those who aren’t lucky enough to work with Charlie a great window into why he is so important to both the firm and the City of Memphis. You’ll want to take a minute to read the whole thing — Charlie Newman’s Quiet Influence Profoundly Changed Memphis.

As his partners can attest, Charlie has helped lay the groundwork for the diverse and high-achieving firm we are today, with his example of intellectual curiosity, legal excellence and dogged determination to get the best outcomes for his clients. Charlie’s reputation has helped us attract young talent and contributed to our unique culture of excellence and civic engagement.

His clients certainly agree: “What a remarkable person,” said Teresa Sloyan, our partner at the Hyde Family Foundations, with whom Charlie worked on Shelby Farms Park “(Charlie is) someone with a strong legal acumen, but gosh, what a servant leader. He has a real commitment to leaving his city better than he found it.”

From Nathan Bicks, BPJ managing partner: “How lucky we have been to learn from Charlie. He’s been a remarkable example and teacher for us all, not only in the substantive practice of law but in the example he sets in his contributions to the community.”

Finally, from Charlie himself, after the MBA ceremony, to his BPJ colleagues: “I want those of you who were not there tonight to know, as I said in my comments on receiving the award, how much I am in debt to BPJ and all of you. We are all very fortunate to be here.  None more than me.  And I believe the firm’s greatest years are ahead of us.”