6 ACC VALUE CHAMPIONS | A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO ACC DOCKET
improvement and routinizing risk assessments.
With the volume of contract work increasing dramatically—the Vendor team was working at 142
percent of capacity—EBAY’S legal commercial team knew it had to re-engineer its contracting
processes. They conducted risk-calibrated triage to put work into buckets, harnessed a new
contract management system and established Centers of Excellence to reduce turnaround time
by 100 percent for lower-risk contracts. New technology helped facilitate a cultural change to
self-service among internal clients.
Partnerships forged outside as well as inside provided a strong foundation for innovation,
augmenting exponentially the capabilities of in-house counsel. Whether working as technology
facilitators, subject matter experts or national coordinating counsel, external law firms, LPOs
and consultants extend the breadth and reach of the in-house practice of law. Several of this
year’s Value Champions, such as MSA Safety Incorporated, Caterpillar and Microsoft, credit their
external partners enthusiastically for making their value initiatives possible.
More evidence of cultural change in the in-house practice of law?
Technological bootstrapping. Rather than wait around for corporate IT
departments to build them stuff, general counsel and their staffs are
adapting off-the-shelf tools to create their own technology platforms to
enhance the value equation.
Members of the Office of the General Counsel at ACE Group created their own sophisticated intranet
that includes a digital library, user profiles, discussion forums, news feeds, training materials and more.
Known as ACEBook, this innovation delivers better value through knowledge management.
At JPMORGAN CHASE, the legal department created The Octagon, a groundbreaking intranet-based tool that functions as a “virtual water cooler,” bringing a geographically dispersed team
together for collaboration and knowledge sharing. It also reduces legal costs by eliminating
duplicative work and informing efficiency-driven outside counsel hiring decisions.
HYUNDAI MOTOR MANUFACTURING ALABAMA’S submission wraps all of these themes—
strategic division of work, cultural change and technology adoption and leverage—into a single
package. The legal department decided to develop its own legal management software program
rather than purchasing an off-the-shelf solution. Adopting a startup mindset, this lean and mean
team designed an online system that does it all: contract, litigation, outside counsel and workload
management. It even delivers important just-in-time legal training. Automation makes tracking
and reporting performance to company executives easy.
Since the launch of the ACC Value Challenge in 2008, we have witnessed increasingly
sophisticated practices evolve as in-house counsel focus on the value levers of spending,
predictability and outcomes. The 2014 Value Champions, and those that have gone before, have
wrought cultural changes that benefit both lawyers and clients. Their leadership and willingness
to share best practices, models—even course corrections—helps to create and sustain this cultural
evolution across companies, industries and continents.