costs and greater efficiency, they respond with a variety of creative approaches: from discovery, to
intellectual property, to their own departmental makeup and operations, and to the very nature of
their relationships with outside firms.
Aon plc deployed a Law Department Strategic Improvement Project with initiatives on four fronts
that covered Lean/Six Sigma improvements, a revitalized procurement RFP process, insourcing
contracts work but moving it to less expensive countries, and a global legal department rotation
program. The annual cost of contracts work declined by 50 percent and turnaround time was
reduced by 66 percent. Employee engagement improved while costs decreased: a true win–win.
In creating the GE Discovery Center of Excellence, a shared services center, the legal department
established a panel of providers and transferred more than 95,000 hours of document review away
from outside law firms. Bringing together law, technology, people, and project management, the
COE has positioned its team to provide advice to internal clients and outside counsel on discovery
strategy and approaches that are efficient and effective. Through clever change management and
self-promotion, the COE has quadrupled its number of clients.
Husky Injection Molding Systems’ legal department got its arms around escalating IP costs by
identifying and quantifying its most important technology and products. Adopting a holistic legal
strategy, the department created processes that guide the involvement of outside counsel and
facilitate the insourcing of more IP work. Patent procurement costs have declined by 15 percent.
As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ACC Value Champions program, there is much evidence
that the in-house legal field is adopting value techniques in greater numbers and with greater
creativity and impact. General counsel now know what we long suspected—that traditional law
firm business models are not aligned with what corporate clients want and need: value-driven,
high-quality legal services that deliver solutions for a reasonable price and develop truly consultative, collaborative partnerships in which success is jointly owned and celebrated. ACC research
documents the trend toward insourcing; 2016 figures show that, on average, 53 percent of CLO
budgets are devoted to internal spending, and 37 percent of CLOs increased in-house staffing
levels at their companies in the past 12 months. This demonstrates that the in-house practice of law
can not only generate lower costs, improved predictability, and better legal outcomes, but it can
also provide a satisfying venue in which people can perform meaningful work that has true impact
for their internal clients.
ALIGNMENT PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT VALUE-BASED FEES
LEGAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT VALUE-BASED STAFFING
VALUE LEVER KEY
Find bonus tools and materials at www.acc.com/valuechallenge