Apple’s chief attorney Bruce Sewell retiring, to be replaced with Honeywell’s Katherine Adams

Bruce Sewell is retiring at the end of the year after eight years in the role of Apple’s chief attorney, the company announced Friday.

Katherine Adams, formerly Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Honeywell, will be taking over from Sewell as Apple’s new general counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal and Global Security.

She said of the appointment:

Apple has had a tremendous impact on the world and it’s an honor to join their team. I’m excited to help Apple continue to grow and evolve around the world, protecting their ideas and IP and defending our shared values.

Adams will be reporting to CEO Tim Cook and serving on Apple’s executive team.

Cook was quoted as saying:

We are thrilled to welcome Kate to our team. She’s a seasoned leader with outstanding judgment and that has worked on a wide variety of legal cases globally. Throughout her career she’s also been an advocate on many of the values we at Apple hold dear.

Before joining Honeywell in 2003, Adams was a partner at Sidley Austin LLP in New York.

Earlier in her career, she served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; as trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources division; and as law clerk for Stephen Breyer, then chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from Brown University and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Cook had some nice words for Sewell ,too:

Bruce has our best wishes for his retirement, after eight years of dedicated service to Apple and a tremendously successful career. He has tirelessly defended our IP, our customers’ right to privacy and our values. Bruce has set a new standard for general counsels, and I am proud to have worked with him and proud to call him a friend.

And here’s what Sewell said:

To have worked with this amazing executive team and all the incredibly smart people at Apple, especially my colleagues in legal and global security, has been the honor of a lifetime. The years I have spent in this job have been the most gratifying of my career. I’m delighted Kate is joining and I know she will be a huge asset.

Apple hired Sewell in September 2009 after its prior general counsel Daniel Cooperman retired.

Sewell came to Apple from Intel, where he had worked since 1995 as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel overseeing the chip maker’s massive in-house legal teams.

Before Intel, Sewell was a partner in the litigation firm of Brown & Bain P.C.

He graduated from George Washington Law School in D.C. in 1986 and was admitted to the California Bar in 1986 and to the Washington D.C. Bar in 1987. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Here he is talking about the benefits of taking a law degree and what makes a good lawyer.

Sewell received his J.D. from George Washington University in 1986, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Lancaster, in the United Kingdom, in 1979 (he graduated with a degree in Psychology).