ACC looking for value champions

Is your in-house team doing something innovative to bring greater value to the company or have you created an innovative partnership with your outside law firm?

If so, the Association of Corporate Counsel wants to know. On Nov. 14, the ACC will officially launch its Value Champions program. Nominations will be open until March 15. Details will be released on the ACC web site on Nov. 14.

The ACC Value Champions will be an annual recognition program designed to showcase successful law department efforts and firm and client collaborations under the banner of the ACC Value Challenge. The ACC Value Champions will highlight individuals in departments and law firms that are making a difference for their organizations through creativity and value-based legal management skills.

“We want to celebrate people who are doing great things and this is the whole concept of the Value Champions,” said Veta Richardson, president and CEO of the ACC, during the organization’s recent annual meeting in Denver.

“We’re looking to identify people who have achieved great things in terms of their relationships, efficiencies, communications, predictability of results, lowered costs and identifying those that are really ahead of the pack. We’ll hold those up as role models and drill down into the practical steps they took to get to that wonderful status.”

Richardson said those selected as value champions will be examples of how to put best practices into action. “People look at someone at the top in terms of achieving great results and they want to know, ‘How can I do the same?’ We want to be able to say here are the things you can do to move your company and your relationships in the same positive direction.”

There will be two categories of winners: a law department that has achieved great results for its division and a partnership between in-house and outside counsel that can describe how the two have worked together to achieve results.
“We’re looking for collaborative stars and individual law department stars,” said Richardson, who sees the Value Champions program as a natural extension of the Value Challenge.

In 2008, the ACC launched the Value Challenge, an effort designed to examine in-house and outside counsel relationships more expansively than just on the hourly billing model. It considers alternative-fee or value-based billing and looks for ways to identify greater efficiencies and improving the way information is exchanged.

Richardson noted the ACC will also be looking at providing programming that addresses project management.

“We can tell from our members and outside counsel involved thus far that these are skill sets they’re seeking to enhance,” she said.

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