LOS ANGELES — Susan Barry, 69, an attorney with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, has died.
Barry, who founded Orrick’s Seattle office in 1999, joined the law firm as of counsel in New York in 1990.
She won the firm’s 2013 Mentoring Award and was a member of the Pacific Northwest Public Finance Bar.
"She was one of those people — and we have a few in our department — that the junior lawyers go to for training and the senior lawyers go to for expertise," said Justin Cooper, a partner in Orrick's San Francisco office. "She was fearless about rolling up her sleeves and learning something new."
“She was a great and tireless mentor,” said a release from Orrick's Seattle public finance department. “We remember her as an excellent lawyer and a caring and thoughtful person with a huge, compassionate heart.”
Barry graduated from The George Washington University School of Law in 1979.
Prior to joining Orrick, Barry was vice president and counsel for Bond Investors Guaranty Insurance Company from 1987 to 1990. Prior to that, she was an associate at Brown & Wood LLP (now Sidley Austin LLP) from 1979 to 1987.
Barry died on Aug. 2 and her funeral service was held Monday at National Funeral Home in Falls Church, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations in Barry's name be made to King County Sexual Assault Resource Center in Seattle or the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City.
Barry worked on a wide variety of financings for airport and port facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, federal and state prison facilities, electric power generating and distribution facilities, cogeneration facilities, water and wastewater systems, stadiums, toll roads, tunnels, convention centers, schools and health care facilities.
Cooper met Barry when he joined the firm in 2001.
"I immediately was introduced to her as a person who had started and led the public finance practice in Seattle," Cooper said.
Barry's death leaves the Seattle office, which at one point has as many as five attorneys in public finance, with just two.
The office may have fewer people, but because of Barry it had a large presence in the law firm's public finance practice.
Barry continued to work with the New York office on energy financings, after she moved to Seattle; and as someone interested in always learning new things, she became the firm's go-to person on pension disclosure when the underwriting on that changed several years ago, Cooper said.
Barry was also very involved with SIFMA and other industry organizations involving broker-dealers.
Referencing Barry's work in learning about pension liability disclosure, Cooper said that instead of having 30 people half-way figure something out, Orrick tends to ask a few people to become experts on the topic.
"Susan took the lead and became the person everyone went to on pension liability disclosure," Cooper said. "What people on the outside may have not seen is what a tremendous resource she was to the firm."
It wasn't just technical expertise that Barry imparted to those she worked with, but also ethics and how to serve the clients in the best manner, Cooper said.
"She taught a lot of people technically to be a lawyer and how to put the client's interests first." he said.
"Susan was just very connected to the rest of the (public finance) group," Cooper said. "She had a lot of personal friendships and relationships."