departments pinpointed where they could best add value to the business, including reducing litigation, creating global legal staff rotation programs, and building proprietary, self-service technology
platforms that allow access to legal answers and metrics in real time. These self-service programs
were buttressed by robust training programs that increased legal IQ across business units.
Catherine J. Moynihan, Senior Director of Legal Management Services and the standard-bearer
for the ACC Value Challenge, commented, “It’s really exciting to see the Champs putting so many
value elements together, and the gratification that comes from optimizing legal services, preventing
disputes, and performing at the top of their skill level.”
The Association of Corporate Counsel created the Value Champions program to identify, celebrate
and shine a spotlight on global law department value initiatives and collaborations with law firms
and legal service providers that leverage value-based legal management—showcasing examples
that others can follow. This year’s honorees include twelve law departments that delivered substantial value to their clients while improving legal processes creatively. They applied common-sense
management principles and adapted business-side tools and techniques in ways that make sense
for both law departments and law firms.
Fifty-seven nominations were submitted this year, by companies in a wide range of industries and
countries around the world. Those nominations were rigorously evaluated by a panel of judges
who were keenly focused on sustained, well-measured results. Past ACC Value Champions Carla
Goldstein, Associate General Counsel and Director of Strategic Initiatives at BMO Financial Group;
Lani Quarmby, Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Bank of America; and Joe
Milcoff, Vice President, Litigation & Risk at FedEx Ground were joined by ACC board member
Nicolle Schippers, Associate General Counsel at ARAG North America Inc. “The judges bring
knowledge of the potential and pitfalls of this work. They have a keen understanding that what
makes a Champion is the wherewithal to make a plan to drive dramatic change, and then see it
through to make sure the changes stick,” Moynihan notes.
The composition of the Champions reflects the evolution of the in-house legal department from
risk-averse protector of the corporate reputation to facilitator, enabler, innovator. Through process
improvement and technologies, these departments are smoothing the way for their business
partners to be more agile, entrepreneurial, and efficient. For example, BT Group plc Employment
Law replaced a reactive labor-dispute and litigation mindset with a focus on proactive prevention.
Redesigning legal processes for self-service and training users to help themselves freed up legal
staff for more strategic projects; post-transition, the law department directly handled 267 transactions in 2014.
At Staples Australia and New Zealand, the legal department created Project Reinvention to
support the business’ drive to diversify. By leading a cultural shift away from risk aversion and
toward the enablement of entrepreneurialism and innovation, the lawyers educated the sales team
on legal matters and simplified contracting. As a result, the legal department cut its workload
on low-risk transactional services by 40 percent, positioning the in-house team to take on more
high-value projects, leading to a reduction in outside legal spend of more than 50 percent.
Many years of experience with value initiatives and insourcing high-value, strategic work positioned
the legal department at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to handle the largest corporate
separation in history when HPE separated from Hewlett Packard in 2015. Through leveraging
technology tools already in place, the Office of the General Counsel completed the separation
on time and millions of dollars under budget. This work included creating new entities, cloning
country operations and contracts, moving cash and assets, and allocating 50,000 patents and