Jane C. Sherburne

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Jane C. Sherburne
Education B.A. (1974), M.S.W. (1976), J.D. (1983)
Alma mater University of Minnesota, Georgetown University Law Center
Occupation Lawyer
Employer The Bank of New York Mellon (2010-present, as General Counsel)

Jane C. Sherburne is a prominent American lawyer, currently serving as Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel to The Bank of New York Mellon and as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States. Sherburne is known primarily for her experience in crisis management, her work in civil rights, and her counseling to corporate boards and major financial institutions. Sherburne was Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton and managed the White House response to ethics investigations by the Independent Counsel, most notably during the Whitewater controversy.


Sherburne earned her BA from the University of Minnesota in 1974, where she went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1976. Sherburne received her JD from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1983 and was Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal.


Sherburne began her career in the office of Congressman Donald M. Fraser (D-MN), where she focused on issues related to public welfare and income security programs. She then served as Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, during the Carter Administration. After graduating from law school in 1983, Sherburne joined the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.

From 1994 through 1997, Sherburne was Special Counsel to the President in charge of managing the White House response to various ethics investigations brought by Congress and the Independent Counsel, including the Whitewater controversy and the suicide of Vince Foster. Sherburne played a prominent role representing First Lady Hillary Clinton during Ken Starr’s investigation of the White House, during which he targeted Mrs. Clinton.[1]

During her time as a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Sherburne focused on crisis management, including media relations, Congressional investigations, and civil litigation. She also created the first emergency child-care program in a law firm.[2] While at Wilmer, Sherburne served as co-lead counsel in the lower-court consideration of the landmark case, Grutter v. Bollinger, representing the University of Michigan in the successful defense of its affirmative action admissions policy.

Sherburne was employed by Citigroup from 2001 through mid-2008, during which time she was Senior Deputy General Counsel, managing the company’s response to major litigation and reputation risks; later, she served as General Counsel for Citigroup’s Global Consumer business. Sherburne became Wachovia's chief legal officer in June 2008,[3] guiding the company through its near collapse and eventual merger into Wells Fargo. She now serves in the same position at the Bank of New York Mellon.[4][5]

Professional activities and awards[edit]

Sherburne served on the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar from 2008-2012 and was the 2013 recipient of the Top Corporate Counsel Award from the New York Stock Exchange.

Sherburne has been recognized for her contributions to pro bono and non-profit organizations. She serves as co-chair to the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is a member of the National Women's Law Center’s executive committee, a board member for the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and a member of the New York Legal Aid Society. Sherburne has been honored numerous times for her pro bono work.[6][7][8][9][10]


  1. ^ Interviews - Jane Sherburne, The Clinton Years, FRONTLINE, PBS PBS.org
  2. ^ New York Times: WASHINGTON TALK: BRIEFING; Babes in Law Land, January 12, 1988 NYTimes.com
  3. ^ Eric Dash, Wachovia Hires Legal Veteran as General Counsel, Dealbook, NYTimes.com (June 13, 2008) NYTimes.com)
  4. ^ Jeff Horwitz, Wachovia’s End, U.S. Banker (October 13, 2009).
  5. ^ Sue Reisinger, BNY Mellon Names Jane Sherburne as New General Counsel, Corporate Counsel (April 16, 2010) Law.com
  6. ^ Rick Kopstein, Two Receive NYLPI Award, New York Law Journal, February 19, 2013, newyorklawjournal.com
  7. ^ Press Release, Pro Bono Institute: PBI Honors Jane Sherburne and BNY Mellon for Commitment to Pro Bono, March 7, 2012 probonoinst.org
  8. ^ Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Bank of New York Mellon Honored at the City Bar Justice Center Annual Gala, May 30, 2012 www.probono.net
  9. ^ Brennan Center for Justice, Legacy Awards Dinner 2011, November 15, 2011 brennancenter.org
  10. ^ Civil Rights Still Cool at 50, June 20, 2013 bisnow.com