Alexander D.  Calhoun
Counsel, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP

Hosted by California-Asia Business Council (Cal-Asia)
Friday, November 21, 2008 -- Ritz Carlton Hotel, San Francisco

Alexander D.  Calhoun, known as Sandy, is being honored for his role in globalizing legal services to increase the ease of doing business across the Pacific.   He is recognized as a pioneer in laying the legal groundwork for the expansion of California firms in Asia, and of Asian firms expanding in the United States. For example, he counseled the Bank of Tokyo -- that started with a single agency office in California and has become today’s Union Bank of California -- and his wise mentoring included such matters as the importance of showing “good citizenship” in local communities.

Under his leadership, Graham & James, the predecessor to Squires, Sanders and Dempsey, opened the first US legal practice in Japan, and was among the first to practice in China, Vietnam and elsewhere. Recently, he has also been involved in structuring constitutional and election-related arrangements in Afghanistan.

Born in China, Sandy Calhoun's  professional career has included nearly every aspect of his Squire, Sanders' practice around the Pacific Rim, with particular emphasis on Japan and China. He was a partner of the firm from 1959-1992. He has also written a number of publications pertaining to business operations in Japan and Korea.

Before World War II, Sandy lived in China and the Philippines. After graduating from Phillips Academy Andover, he joined the US Army, where he became a Japanese language specialist. After receiving his undergraduate degree (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from Harvard College, he was recalled to service in Washington, DC during the Korean War. He completed his law degree at George Washington University School of Law.

Recently he has been involved in structuring the Constitutional Convention and election arrangements in Afghanistan. He provides general corporate counsel to a nonprofit organization supporting the process for Afghanistan's Constitutional Loya Jirga (grand council), which recently adopted that country's first constitution.

In 2006 he was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in recognition of his contributions to the promotion and mutual understanding between the United States and Japan. He received a similar declaration from the Republic of South Korea, and a lifetime achievement award from the Japan Society of Northern California for his pivotal contribution to the postwar  revival of the Society and his work in Japan as part of a 50-year career.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, The New York State Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and the American Society of International Law.  He is also licensed to practice law in Japan.

He has been a lecturer on international business transactions at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, an adjunct professor of banking law at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and a visiting lecturer at the Beijing Institute of Foreign Trade.

Mr. Calhoun is on the Board of Trustees of the Asia Foundation, a commissioner and former chairman of the Asian Art Commission, chairman of the board of Give2Asia; a director of Wonders Info Corp.; chairman emeritus of the Japan Society of Northern California; Chairman Emeritus of the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Committee; and a member of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee.  He also serves on the advisory board of the UC Davis Extension and the Board of Directors of the 1990 Institute.  He was also one of the founders of Cal-Asia's predecessor organization, Pacific-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce.