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Canada leads the way at ACC annual meeting

|Written By Kelly Harris

Canada took centre stage at the Association of Corporate Counsel annual meeting with Royal Bank of Canada executive vice president and general counsel David Allgood receiving the Excellence in Corporate Practice Award and Ogilvy Renault LLP winning the President’s Award.


Allgood, who took part in the 2009 Canadian Lawyer InHouse/ACC roundtable, was cited as a person who sets the tone and introduces the best practices in law department management and leadership, says 2009 ACC board chairman Dan Fitz in presenting the award.

“David’s progressive posture on value issues, as promoted by the ACC Value Challenge, is setting both the tone and pace for other departments interested in reconnecting the cost of legal services to their actual value in the marketplace,” he says.

Ogilvy Renault received the President’s Award for the third year in a row. It is awarded to the group that best supports ACC programs and initiatives during the past year.

“We are an active supporter of the ACC and its membership,” says Ogilvy Renault chief marketing officer Lise Monette in accepting the award. “Sharing our knowledge and partnering with corporate counsel through various initiatives such as the ACC Value Challenge and the CLO Think-Tank roundtables is something that’s very important to us.

“We want to be seen as a thought leader in Canada and throughout the legal community.”

The 2009 ACC annual meeting was held in Boston, Mass., from Oct. 18 through Oct. 21. Prior to the start of the meeting the ACC announced it had surpassed the 25,000-member mark.

Aside from the awards ceremony, Canada was well-represented through delegates, legal services providers, and law firms. This year’s event saw more than 2,600 participants, including 1,600 in-house counsel.

“The turnout is greater than last year and the interest in the Value Challenge and the Value Index is substantial,” says ACC president Fred Krebs. “We have programs that have a value component or value aspect to it throughout the meeting, so looking at it in the context of the Value Challenge we are very pleased, looking at it from the aspect of the ACC we are very pleased.”

The ACC Value Challenge was an initiative introduced to in-house counsel at the 2008 annual meeting held in Seattle, Wash. The Value Challenge is an effort to reconnect value of legal services to the cost of legal services being provided by outside counsel and to promote dialogue between legal departments and law firms.

This year’s meeting saw the introduction of the ACC Value Index. It is a client-satisfaction tool in which legal departments rank law firms on their performance. The information collected is then viewable by other ACC members.

As of Oct. 15 the index had reviews of nearly 300 law firms submitted by almost 1,000 evaluators.

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