WASHINGTON--(Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), announced today the 2012 “ACC Value Champions,” five law departments and seven law department/law firm collaborations that delivered substantial value to their clients through value-focused legal management skills. As corporations continue to grapple with containing costs, General Counsel are improving the cost efficiency of the legal function, both through how they manage internally and how they partner with their law firms. With this new program, a component of the ACC Value Challenge, ACC set out to identify – and highlight – “ACC Value Champions” for effectively driving value by cutting spending, improving predictability and achieving better legal outcomes.)--The
“By demonstrating creative lawyering and good old fashioned business sense, these ACC Value Champions not only controlled legal spend, but they also improved legal outcomes for their clients.”
“These law departments and law firms have developed and implemented initiatives to deliver bottom-line results for their clients,” explained Veta T. Richardson, President & CEO of ACC. “By demonstrating creative lawyering and good old fashioned business sense, these ACC Value Champions not only controlled legal spend, but they also improved legal outcomes for their clients.”
ACC celebrates the following 2012 ACC Value Champions for achieving outstanding value:
- GlaxoSmithKline - The clear objective to shift all of GSK’s legal work to value-based fees has resulted in major progress (from 3% to 60+%), and the efficient use of technology to dynamically select outside counsel has led to substantial cost savings.
- The Home Depot – By combining fixed fee retainer programs with additional efficiency measures across a wide-array of portfolios and matter types, Home Depot has cut spending in half over four years.
- Lucchini S.p.A. – This European company has benefited greatly from its GC’s leadership on vendor management and use of technology-enabled decision-making and process management to cut cycle time by 65% and spending by 40% – best practices that other functions in the company have adopted.
- Medtronic – By implementing a two-year department transformation, Medtronic yielded a 40% reduction in spending, while obtaining significant legal wins, supported by a terrific dashboard to maintain focus on progress against key metrics.
- Pfizer Inc. – The Pfizer Legal Alliance (PLA), a collaboration among Pfizer and its 19 alliance firms, stood out for its commitment to continuous improvement – as evidenced by recent innovations supporting teamwork and bench development, such as its rotational training program for newly-minted JD/MBA graduates.
- RBC Capital Markets and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP – Inspired by a focus on tailoring fee structures to the specific matter or portfolio while cutting employment law spending, RBC and Morgan Lewis teamed up to yield savings of 35%.
- Rockwell Collins and Seyfarth Shaw LLP – This medium-sized law department joined forces with Seyfarth to reengineer how the department selects, engages, manages and evaluates outside counsel while employing "Lean Six Sigma" to drive efficiency in-house along the way.
- The Sherwin-Williams Company and Gallagher Sharp – Sherwin Williams demonstrated how the use of a single firm, Gallagher Sharp, to coordinate designated types of matters nationwide can result in significant savings (15%) and improved outcomes, particularly when both inside and outside counsel undergo technical product training in order to more effectively represent the client.
- Target and Nilan Johnson Lewis P.A. – By breaking the employment legal work into four components, Target/Nilan Johnson effectively applied a slightly different retainer model to each and, along with prevention measures, yielding a 20% savings.
- Tyco International Ltd. and Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. – With a radical convergence model that continues to expand and deliver results, Tyco/SHB have cut product liability cases in half, new case filings by 65%, and case cycle time by 40% since 2004.
- United Retirement Plan Consultants and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP – This small law department CLO collaborated creatively with Porter Wright to create a tool to overcome two of most common barriers to fixed fees – lack of data and risk of variability in project scope.
- Whirlpool Corporation and Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP – By coordinating efforts, Whirlpool/WTO effectively aligned firm/client objectives and achieved big savings (40%) on its class action defense program through a variety of tactics, including early resolution bonuses.
Additional details and specific value-based practices related to the 2012 ACC Value Champions can be viewed online at: www.acc.com/valuechampions.
ACC accepted nominations from law departments and law firms from November 1 through March 15, 2012. The 61 nominations, submitted by law departments and/or sections within organizations, along with law firm practice groups, of all sizes and from around the world, were reviewed by a panel drawn from the ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee, comprised of Jeffrey Carr, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary FMC Technologies, Inc., Elisa Garcia, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Office Depot, Inc.; and Michael Roster, former General Counsel, Golden West Financial and Stanford University.
“We had a large number of excellent entries, so making the final selections was not easy,” explained Carr. “The ones we selected stood out not only because of significant results, but for their examples of interesting innovations or practices that could be easily replicated by others. As a long time advocate for change in our profession, I'm excited to see so many corporate counsel, and especially GCs and CLOs, along with their firms, effectively proving their value as business partners."
About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. With more than 29,000 members in more than 75 countries, employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on Twitter http://twitter.com/ACCinhouse.
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