ACC Update - March 29, 2012 (Plain Text Version)

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Attacking the Billable Hour: How One GC Uses Reverse Auctions to Drive Down Costs

When Daniel Troy became senior vice president and general counsel of GlaxoSmithKline in September 2008, he knew that there was one thing about practicing law that he hated: the billable hour.

“The billable hour simply creates an incentive towards inefficiency,” says Troy, a former partner in the DC office of Sidley Austin who knows what the traditional billing practice can involve. “It puts the interests of the law firm and of the client out of alignment. Sometimes, a lawyer can get a great result for a client in a few hours and can bill only a small amount, and sometimes, a lawyer can deliver a lousy result and get paid well because it took a lot of time.”

When Daniel Troy became senior vice president and general counsel of GlaxoSmithKline in September 2008, he knew that there was one thing about practicing law that he hated: the billable hour.

“The billable hour simply creates an incentive towards inefficiency,” says Troy, a former partner in the DC office of Sidley Austin who knows what the traditional billing practice can involve. “It puts the interests of the law firm and of the client out of alignment. Sometimes, a lawyer can get a great result for a client in a few hours and can bill only a small amount, and sometimes, a lawyer can deliver a lousy result and get paid well because it took a lot of time.”

This ACC CLO Perspectives piece provides insights on GlaxoSmithKline and its take on alternative billing. To continue reading, click here.

ACC’s GC Value Insights: What Multinational General Counsel Value Most


ACC is pleased to provide a compilation of perspectives and practices shared by the GCs of an array of global companies – ACC's GC Value Insights. You can see the tremendous momentum of the ACC Value Challenge, as the majority of top company CLOs profiled (76%) continue to increase their use of value-based fee structures (“AFAs”) and none plan to retreat from ground gained through the recession. It's a treasure trove of management practices employed by Fortune 50 law departments to drive value in legal spending. You can find the printed booklet with your April issue of the ACC Docket, or go to www.acc.com/GCValueInsights  to access the digital version.   [return to top]

India Court Rejects Effort to Bar Foreign Lawyers

 

Last month, the Madras High Court in Chennai rejected the petition of an Indian lawyer, A.K. Balaji, which argued that foreign lawyers were unlawfully practicing in India when they counseled their clients about non-Indian law (e.g., American, British or international law).  Balaji contended that foreign lawyers treat the practice of law as "a trade and business venture for earning money[,]" rather than for the purpose of "serv[ing] society[,]" as do their Indian brethren.  The Madras High Court disagreed with this parochialism, noting that Balaji's proposal would "result in a manifestly absurd situation where only Indian citizens with an Indian law degree ... could practice foreign law" even though such law is not generally taught in Indian law schools.  ACC filed a petition to intervene in the Madras High Court and will participate before the Indian Supreme Court, should Balaji appeal the lower court's decision.

 
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I Just Became a General Counsel: What Should I Do Next?

 

You’ve just been appointed general counsel of the company. Now what? The next 90 days are probably the most important of your career to date. From working with your assistant to partnering with the C-suite, this article provides suggestions on how to focus your time during the first three month in your new role. Spend your time wisely, or else it might be the beginning of the end.

 

To continue reading, please click here. [return to top]

ACC's In-house ACCess Blog: ACC Embarks on New Strategic Plan


In this month's blog, ACC President and CEO, Veta T. Richardson, explains ACC's New Strategic Plan and how it will positively affect the organization, its members, and their interests. 

 

To read the full blog post, click here.

 

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What CSR Teaches Us About Pro Bono


Pro Bono Institute President and CEO, Ester F. Lardent, writes about the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility and its relationship to pro bono. 


To read the full article click here.

 
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CareerPath - Lessons from the Titanic

 

Bill Mordan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Reckitt Bensicker Group plc, discusses one of the worst maritime disasters of the early 20th century to teach a lesson about bureaucratic organizations and good intentions. 

 

To read the full article please click here [return to top]

ACC Education and Events Calendar


ACC develops training sessions and continuing education programs to prepare participants for current issues facing in-house counsel. Learn about programs on: business education, compliance and ethics, and legal service management. 

 

  • ACC’s Legal Service Management Workshop: May 2–3, 2012, Minneapolis, MN | Looking for ways to drive value in client/firm relationships? Don’t miss out on ACC’s Legal Service Management Workshop. This two-day, intensive executive workshop brings together law department and law firm leaders who have begun to implement value-based fee structures, and equips them with the management skills and tools needed to support these fee structures. Past participants have reported making real progress in improving value in client/firm relationships. | Register and learn more at: www.acc.com/legalservicemanagement.

  • ACC Europe Annual Conference: May 13- 15, Amsterdam, The Netherlands  The ACC Europe Chapter's Annual Conference offers a unique opportunity to learn from and network with in-house counsel from around the world, including topics on recent legal trends in the European Union, strategies for successful cross-border collaboration and perspectives on effective management. To register and learn more click here.

The complete list of ACC’s educational programs is available at:  www.acc.com/education.

 

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In Closing

 

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as ACC’s new Senior Counsel and Director of Chief Legal Officer Services. My name is Linda Kelly and I join the terrific ACC team from George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center, where I designed and ran programs for judges and state attorneys general, but I also bring a combined twenty years of corporate, trade association and law firm experience to the table. I am very excited to work with you all and am busy planning the next chapter in ACC CLO services. Please never hesitate to reach out to me with your comments or ideas. You can reach me at Kelly@ACC.com.  

 
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