08/25/2015 - Law Department Management Committee
> Message from the Chair  
> Spotlight on an ACC Member  
> At the Annual Meeting, Follow the Crowd to LDM Programs  
> Sponsor Highlights  
> GC/CLO Resources  
> Annual Meeting Session Information  
> Council of Committees Update  
> Upcoming Legal Quick Hit - September  
> ACC Docket  
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Updates From ACC Committees

Message from the Chair
Stephanie Lambert, Managing Counsel, Staples, Inc.

Leadership has many definitions because it means different things to each of us.  A good leader, for example, can be someone who can set a vision and inspire others to follow it.  Though helpful, this is leadership viewed from 30,000 feet--it doesn’t specifically describe what a leader does day in and day out to, come up with the vision and rally the troops behind it.  Our committee has focused considerable time on the latter this year—emphasizing the personal skills of a leader that are necessary to help lead others successfully.  In fact, our committee declared 2015 the year to emphasize leadership topics throughout our programming. 

Leading off with educational programs on emotional intelligence and following through with legal quick hits on presentation and negotiation skills as well as a webcast on what it takes to be a GC, we created a powerhouse of resources this year with a leadership focus. More recently, however, the committee held a webcast on the use of metrics in a law department.  Metrics, in my mind at least, are a leader’s best friend—they assist the leader in setting strategy and articulating a vision.  While many leaders lead with their gut or instinct, metrics compliment natural instincts and provide insights that a leader might not have considered.  Metrics enable leaders to prove their value and measure their accomplishments.  In a nutshell, metrics keep leaders focused on the right priorities for their companies.

It is for this reason that we asked a panelist from the metrics webcast, Mark Smolik, to continue the discussion on metrics in the Member Spotlight of this newsletter.  I hope you will find this further discussion helpful along with the variety of resources we created in 2015 on leadership. It has been my great pleasure to help guide our Executive Committee to focus on leadership as a priority—in fact it was the overwhelming attendance at our Annual Meeting program on emotional intelligence in New Orleans (a metric!) that lead me to consider doing so.  I am very proud that the Executive Committee also recognized this need for our members and we were able to accomplish this goal together.  Thank you for the honor of allowing me to lead this dedicated, creative, fun and collaborative committee this year.  I am definitely a better leader because of it.

I hope you too will consider becoming more involved in our committee by participating as a panelist, program organizer, author or committee co-chair.  We would love to have you join our fabulous team.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me or our incoming Chair, Steven Mashal.  I look forward to contributing to the team again next year and I know the committee will be in good hands under Steve’s leadership. 

Stephanie Lambert

Law Department Management Committee Chair
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Spotlight on an ACC Member

The LDMC sat down with Mark Smolik, Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Chief Compliance Officer, at DHL/Exel recently to seek his guidance on metric-based planning and decision making in the law department.  Mark was gracious enough to share his expertise at the LDMC Webcast sponsored by Seyfarth Shaw in June entitled, “Metrics to Move your Team’s Performance”

LDMC:  Based on your experience at DHL, why do you think law departments should be focused on metrics and, more specifically, how do metrics help improve a legal team’s performance?

Mark:  Metrics, whether in the form of key business performance indicators such as earnings before income taxes and depreciation (EBIT), sales growth percentage year-over- year, or gross margin percentage are at the core of every successful business. They often times are critical benchmarks, used by internal and external business stakeholders, to measure success.  It is incumbent on us, as law department leaders, to use metrics to measure our own performance.  What those metrics are will vary by organization. However, when closely aligned with the goals and objectives of the organizations to which we provide legal services, metrics serve as a platform for establishing value and succinctly communicating results. They help communicate the “business” side of operating a law department and also serve as a means of driving high performance among department members. The more everyone on the legal team understands the metrics being communicated to the business, the more likely the team will achieve business partner intimacy and alignment on key goals. In my experience, the more the law department leverages metrics to communicate results, the more likely members of the legal team will be perceived as business people first who also happen to have law degrees, something that works well in our organization.

LDMC:  What are the metrics that are relevant to in house law departments and their clients—or, in other words, what data should in house lawyers be collecting and measuring to help improve performance?

Mark:  The metrics that are relevant to one organization may not be to another. In my experience, business leaders expect functional leaders (whether the General Counsel or Head of HR, etc. ) to manage their departments much in the same manner those business leaders manage their operations….with a keen eye on protecting the financial and risk profiles of the organization. Every metric reported on by a law department, should, in my opinion, provide the business with meaningful and actionable data. In our organization, we developed our metrics after meeting with our business leaders to understand what data are important and most meaningful to them. Not surprisingly, as our business priorities and goals have changed, so too have some of our metrics. For example, several years ago, we reported on costs per full time associate and external vs. internal costs, to name a few. Today, our metrics focus on data that financially impacts the P&L of the organization. They include such things as employment claims and associated costs of resolution (including professional fees) for each facility we operate. We cross-reference that data with information reported through our compliance hotlines to evaluate trends or risks in any particular facility that may need the attention of our HR or local operations teams. We also identify litigation and customer or vendor claims by facility. The aggregation of this data, along with other key metrics, provides us an opportunity to report risk trends in the business giving us an opportunity to proactively address matters before potentially significant and costly legal claims or challenges arise.

LDMC: What are the tools that you have used to collect data and are there any specific tools you would recommend for in house law departments, keeping in mind half of our members come from small law departments with little to no budget?

Mark: Whether you work in (or lead) a small or large organization, the best “tool” for identifying what metrics to use is one-on-one discussions with your business leaders. We leverage our established matter management and electronic billing platforms to aggregate data on metrics we report to the business. However, whether or not you have sophisticated data gathering systems, once you identify what to report on, you should then consider developing a sustainable process for gathering the data, even if that process is manual. In one of my prior companies, we were a law department of three. We manually tracked data on external counsel spend, employment claims and litigation and related costs, among others. It took a bit of organization but once the process of gathering that data was established it became somewhat routine to summarize that data for the business. 

LDMC: Can you describe any business partner metrics that you have been able to adapt to your law department and the effectiveness of using similar enterprise metrics for the law department?

Mark: Quite simply, we take a P&L approach to many of our metrics. In addition to the metrics mentioned previously, we also report on many of the same metrics reported on by our business operations: performance to budget, cost forecast for the remainder of the fiscal year and fixed vs. variable costs. We also report on external legal fee spend and trends (over a 5-year period) and fixed cost (i.e., actual department expenses) trends over a 5-year period. The fixed vs. variable cost trending has enabled us to establish added value by identifying opportunities to reduce external counsel fees by in-sourcing legal work such as real estate and labor and employment.

LDMC: What are the biggest challenges in moving toward metric-based planning and decision making in a law department? 

Mark:  I don’t see the challenges as all that great.  If I were to start with a plain sheet of paper, working to identify what metrics to report on to our business, I would first jot down the names of the people in the business who I felt would give me the best insight into what data coming out of the legal department is most meaningful to them. I learned quite a bit by attending various law department conferences on what metrics other law departments were using. I use what I have learned from those forums, and occasionally add a set of data to my field of metrics, and report on how the costs of our department stack-up against costs of other companies in our industry.

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At the Annual Meeting, Follow the Crowd to LDM Programs
Stephen E. Roth | Vice-President & General Counsel, Jewelry Television

Finding some of the very best programs at AM2015 is easy.  Just follow the crowd.  Although the meeting is still three months away, registrations for our sponsored and co-sponsored programs are nearing 1,000.  When you consider this impressive lineup, you’ll see why.

  • Session 108 -- Turbocharged Strategic Planning: Driving Results in an Era of Fast-Paced Global Change.  

  • Session 208 -- Survival Skills for the 21st Century GC.

  • Session 302 -- Extracting Efficiencies from High-volume Contract Processes.

  • Session 408 -- A Global Game of People, Process and Strategy (presented with our committee sponsor, Seyfarth).

  • Session 607 -- The Best App Standing—60 Apps Sure to Make You More Productive.

  • Session 1008 - Using Body Language, Adjusting Your Attitudes and Finding Your Signature Voice: Practical (and Different) Advice on Maximizing Your Executive Presence—and Your Impact.

Please join us.  And remember, to find LDM Programs, just follow the crowd!
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Sponsor Highlights
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

LDMC members:

We hope that you are enjoying your summer. As the ‘dog days’ of summer approach, we hope you will take note of a few of the events we have planned with the Law Department Management Committee this fall:

•       On September 30, we will help you gain a greater understanding of the rapidly evolving world of contract management solutions. Please plan on joining us for “Navigating the Contract Management Landscape, “ the third in our Trio series of webcasts for 2015. This 60-minute moderated dialog session will feature three experts in this area, representing in-house and well as external perspectives. It’s a great opportunity to gain both strategic insight as well as some hands-on tips.

•       We also hope you are making plans to attend the ACC Annual Meeting in Boston, October 18-21. The team from Seyfarth will be on hand and working with the Law Department Management Committee on a number of activities including:

•       A Global Game of People, Process and Strategy (Program 408). If you’ve grown up playing strategy games  -- Chess? Risk? Stratego? -- We have the session for you on Monday, October 19, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. We are teaming up with the Law Department Management Committee, Harvard Law School and leading in-house counsel to help you sharpen your business acumen and stretch your strategic thinking and leadership skills. You will get to match wits with your colleagues and peers when a new global competitor disruptor makes a bold move, and the landscape changes overnight for an entire industry.

•       Also on that Monday evening, we will be hosting a cocktail reception in conjunction with the Law Department Management Committee. All LDMC members attending the Annual Meeting are invited. Look for more details soon. It will be a great opportunity to meet and mingle with your fellow members.

We hope you will join us for these events, as well as for the monthly meetings and Legal Quick Hits.
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GC/CLO Resources
Larry Parsons, Vice President and General Counsel, McLane Company, LDMC GC/CLO Chair

LDMC created a new subcommittee this year to focus on issues of concern for ACC members in the role of General Counsel or Chief Legal Officer (“GCs and CLOs”).  This subcommittee will help ensure that LDMC provides Annual Meeting Programs, Legal Quick Hits, Webcasts and other materials relevant to GCs and CLOs.

The ACC Resource Library contains countless InfoPAKs, Top 10s, Checklists, Forms, Policies, Presentations and other documents invaluable to GCs and CLOs.  Because the library contains thousands of resources, the LDMC GC/CLO subcommittee will use this and future newsletters to spotlight one or two of those resources.  This month, we want to make you aware of the following InfoPAK:

Just updated by Jackson Lewis in June 2015, as the title suggests, this InfoPAK provides in-house counsel with comprehensive information on the management and defense of employee whistleblower claims.  It includes an overview of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other federal whistleblower laws and the critical elements of an internal reporting mechanism (a so-called “whistleblower” program). These sections are followed by an in-depth review of whistleblower litigation and a discussion of Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower claims.

  • All GCs and CLOs should also regularly check the Chief Legal Officer Services  page of the ACC website.  This page collects in one place information relevant to GCs and CLOs, including listings of current ACC and other events, CLO Perspectives, benchmarking and links to the CLO Bulletin and links to helpful resources.

  • Navigating the Contract Management Landscape - Webcast

How to Manage the Evolving World of Contract Management Solutions

Contracts are vital to a business’s livelihood. They are the mechanism through which our businesses grow, change and protect themselves. Many legal departments are inundated with requests from their business clients to draft, negotiate and execute hundreds, if not thousands, of contracts a year. Finding a solution that addresses both the business need and the legal need is a rising challenge for in-house counsel. Getting the solution wrong can be devastating as it creates business interruption and potential loss of credibility for in-house counsel. Getting it right creates significant business value and provides in-house counsel the opportunity to focus on more strategic work streams.

Join us for the final webinar in our Trio Series in leadership, operations and strategy on September 30. Our panel of legal leaders will provide insight and practical advice for in-house counsel on the many moving elements involved with implementing and maintaining effective contract management solutions. During this 60-minute session, you will gain insight on how to define the need for a contract management solution, where to start in building a solution and most importantly, learn key factors to consider in implementing and embedding the solution into your legal and business operations and workflow.

Session Faculty:

  • David Pruitt, Associate General Counsel, BMO Financial

  • Nancy A. Jessen, Sr. Vice President, Legal Business Solutions, UnitedLex

  • Rob Saccone, CEO, SeyfarthLean Consulting

We hope you can all join our webcast.

Access the materials from our session, "Metrics to Move Your Team's Performance - Tips to operationalize legal management metrics"; or our April 29 session, "Do You Have What It Takes? - Leadership and career planning for the new or upcoming general counsel"

If you are interested in learning more about information, resources and upcoming events from our sponsor, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, please click here

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Annual Meeting Session Information

It’s hard to believe, but we’re less than three months away from the ACC’s 2015 Annual Meeting.  The LDMC programs will be among the most informative—and fun—of any on the agenda. A list of our sessions and their numbers is below. Please join us!

Monday, October 19th

9:00-10:30 AM ET: 108 -- Turbocharged Strategic Planning: Driving Results in an Era of Fast-Paced Global Change.   

11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET: 208 -- Survival Skills for the 21st Century GC.

2:30-4:30 PM ET: 302 -- Extracting Efficiencies from High-volume Contract Processes.

4:30-6:00 PM ET: 408 -- A Global Game of People, Process and Strategy (presented with our committee sponsor, Seyfarth).

Tuesday, October 20th

11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET: 607 -- The Best App Standing—60 Apps Sure to Make You More Productive.

Wednesday, October 21st

11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET: 1008 - Using Body Language, Adjusting Your Attitudes and Finding Your Signature Voice: Practical (and Different) Advice on Maximizing Your Executive Presence—and Your Impact 
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Council of Committees Update
Steven Mashal, Corporate Counsel, American Council on Exersize

For those of you who have not been able to attend a LDMC monthly call for a while, you may be wondering what is the Council of Committees?  The Council of Committees (CoC) is dedicated to providing guidance and support to all of ACC’s committees.  The CoC typically invites the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Program Chair from each committee to attend their meetings.  There are discussions about how to run your committee more effectively, how to encourage participation of members, how to develop committee leaders, and updates on the global activities of the ACC that will affect the committees.  LDMC is excited to announce that one of our initiatives, the Welcome Packet for new Executive Committee members is going to be one of the CoC’s upcoming projects.  It is an opportunity to share our hard work with other committees.  We generally try to provide a CoC update at each monthly meeting phone call.

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Upcoming Legal Quick Hit - September

Title: Taking on Social Change Initiatives

Summary: Social change has become an area in which CEOs and company executives have been providing their views. Examples include a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act and guns. Cathi Hunt will provide a review of company involvement in social issues and the role of corporate law departments.

Bio: Cathi J. Hunt is Director, Corporate Counsel to Starbucks Coffee Company, a Fortune 250 company with more than 18,000 retail locations in over 66 countries. Ms. Hunt provides counsel to the company on employment and government affairs matters and manages employment-related litigation.
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ACC Docket

There are many opportunities to partner with law firms to write articles and that we can accommodate matching them up via the ACC.  Tiffani Alexander, Editor in Chief, ACC Docket, shares the followinginformation:

1. Author Teams.  On the topic of law firm / in house counsel teams, there appears to be no shortage of PR firms, Communications firms, and Law firms submitting ideas to the ACC Docket and Docket.com; Tiffani notes to these pitch-makers that the in-house counsel on the team will lead the byline. Interested in-house authors interested in “matchmaking” for such an endeavor, may contact Jeff Brown, LDMC Publications Co-Chair at Jeff.Brown1@TELUS.com.

2. International Diversity.   The ACC Docket and web channels have undertaken a strong push to recruit international authors, reflecting the need to serve and respond to the growth in international ACC membership.

3. Outlets.   There are multiple outlets for publication, including: Docket.com, Profiles, Day in the Life, Skype interviews, etc. To learn more, email Tiffani Alexander at alexander@acc.com. 
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LDMC Chair: Stephanie Shores Lambert   

LDMC Vice Chair: Steven Mashal

LDMC Secretary: Darren Dragovich                     

Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer F. Nelson, Esq. 

Vice President and General Counsel, Maesa LLC

LDMC Publications Subcommittee Co-Chairperson


Jeff Brown, Esq.

Associate General Counsel, TELUS International

LDMC Publications Subcommittee Co-Chairperson

Jason M. Brocks, Esq.

Assistant General Counsel, Benecard
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