ACC announces this year’s legal department value champs

It’s an annual ritual: the ACC value challenge. The Association of Corporate Counsel announces its list of “Value Champions” of the year. What are they (in case you’ve been on another planet the past few years)? “The 2018 Champions use leading management practices–writing applications, leveraging AI, and applying sophisticated soucing and staffing models—to help the businesses they serve succeed.”

So without further fanfare, they are:

  • 7-Eleven and Seyfarth Shaw: The company streamlines its department and realigned workflow. Using six sigma and flat fees, its outside counsel spending dropped
  • AARP: Compliance goes self-service via a two-hour training program. Legal service requests declined by 37 percent, and clients waited 1403 fewer days for content approvals.
  • Andeavor and Counsel Management Group: The company created centers of excellence, including one for legal operations. Legal ops cent=realized matter creation, bill review and analytics and legal spend dropped by 28 percent.
  • Danaher and Seyfarth Shaw: Another win for the law firm, which markets its six sigma prowess.  Portals, toolkits, templates and process maps won the day for this legal department.
  • DXC Techology and UnitedLex: The new age law firm took over most of the legal function, with more than 150 DXC lawyers becoming UnitedLex lawyers. The firm’s selling point is cutting-edge tech.
  • Eaton: The company consolidated outside litigation counsel by 80 percent over that past four years; legal costs declined by 11 percent year over year.
  • Monsanto and Husch Blackwell: They launched a national coordinating counsel model for toxic tort litigation, using data to calculate risk profiles. Active cases, as a result, declined by 51 percent.
  • Ocwen Financial, Hunton Andrews, Orrick Herrington and Quislex: The legal department and partners reengineered it due diligence delivery model, with each lawyers given a role that best suits his or her abilities. The department taps in artificial intellingence to streamline reviews.
  • Pure Storage: Saved $1 million in costs by implementing integrated intellectual property tools. They brought engineers into an efficient patenting process and saved $60,000.
  • Software AG: Saved nearly $3.6 million after its lawyers developed an application to track sourcing and management of outside counsel. The department increased the use of alternative fees by almost 50 percent.
  • Tahal Group B.V.: The legal department brought most legal work in-house while keeping the in-house headcount nearly the same. Costs were brought down by 67 percent.
  • Walmart: Brought connected dashboards on stream to increase transparency. Its approach is all about close monitoring. Sure enough, the attention to detail paid off. The department worked with company IT to develop the dashboards, saving around $1 million in the process.

[Photo: Eaton GC Heath Monesmith]