McGuireWoods’ Gregory Evans, Sidney Kanazawa Honored Among Most Influential Minority Attorneys

January 23, 2018

McGuireWoods partners Gregory Evans and Sidney Kanazawa are recognized on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2018 “Most Influential Minority Attorneys” list honoring area lawyers for their outstanding legal work and contributions to the legal profession. The honorees are profiled in a Jan. 22 special supplement.

Evans, based in the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office, has represented elite brands in complex commercial litigation for more than 25 years. He represented copper mining giant Asarco LLC in federal appellate courts across the country, recovering millions of dollars from parties that contributed to environmental contamination at sites Asarco paid to clean up under terms of its settlement in the largest environmental bankruptcy in U.S. history. In 2017, he won high-stakes appeals for Asarco, twice in the 9th and once in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. His work earned recognition in Financial Times’ prestigious North America Innovative Lawyers report and in Law360 as an “Environmental MVP” for 2017. The American Lawyer has recognized Evans on its “45 Under 45” list and honored him as a “Star Lateral.” He also received the State Bar of California’s Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services.

Evans serves on the Board of Directors for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Property Management Corporation, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the YMCA of San Francisco, the Advisory Council of the University of Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies, and the Board of Trustees for Catholic Charities of Los Angeles.

Kanazawa, a trial lawyer based in McGuireWoods’ Century City office, persuaded the California Supreme Court to posthumously admit Japanese immigrant and activist Sei Fujii to the state bar in May 2017. Kanazawa represented the Little Tokyo Historical Society and the Japanese American Bar Association pro bono and enlisted 70 supporters in petitioning California’s high court. The motion marked the 65th anniversary of Fujii’s win overturning California’s 1913 Alien Land Law, which denied Japanese immigrants the right to own or lease real property in California. Admitting Fujii also recognized his activism on behalf of the Japanese community, even without a law license.

Kanazawa served as general counsel for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) for 10 years and was a longtime board member for the Japanese American Bar Association. As former chair of McGuireWoods’ Asian Lawyers Network, he was instrumental in establishing the McGuireWoods/NAPABA Law Foundation Internship Program, which supports diverse students interested in pursuing legal careers.