Corporate law departments are more frequently turning to both bespoke and ready-made digital tools, sophisticated partnerships with law firms and legal service providers, and quantifiable, long-term strategies to improve efficiency, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).
Tearing down operational models
ACC recognized 10 law departments, along with five external partners, as 2019 ACC Value Champions. The champions range from banking to mining companies, and are based in Australia, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States. Their strategic approaches streamlined processes, increased client satisfaction, enhanced the value of legal service spending, and reduced turnaround times. “To be considered best-in-class, a law department must be willing to tear down their operational model and start again from scratch,” said Catherine J Moynihan, associate vice president of legal management services at ACC. “These Champions did just that. In response to strategic demands, they employed a variety of process improvement techniques and creative partnership models to automate and streamline legal services. Their agility is breathtaking.”
A panel of past ACC Value Champions selected the following 2019 ACC Value Champions: AbbVie (Chicago); Anglo American (Johannesburg) and Exigent (London); Deutsche Bank (Frankfurt) and QuisLex (New York); Hatch (Brisbane) and Lexvoco/LOD (Brisbane/Melbourne); MassMutual (Springfield, Mass.); McAfee (Santa Clara, Calif.); Rabo AgriFinance (RAF) (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Thompson Coburn (St. Louis); Sonae (Maia, Portugal); Telstra (Melbourne), and Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) (Plano, Texas) and The Counsel Management Group (CMG) (New York). The ACC Value Challenge, launched in 2008, has provided resources and training for in-house counsel and law firm lawyers to help affect change within the legal industry. By re-aligning relationships and promoting value-based fee arrangements and other management tactics, such as project management, process improvement, efficient use of technology and knowledge management tools, the market for the delivery of legal services benefits from the same insights and wisdom upon which every other service industry relies to provide world-class value to their clients.