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Leigh Dance has written, published and spoken extensively on many aspects of global legal services, at major global conferences and in business and legal industry publications worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal.  Click here for our extensive archive of past (we believe still insightful!) published articles.

Dance is author of Bright Ideas:  Insights from Legal Luminaries Worldwide, published by Mill City Press and available on Amazon.  Bright Ideas is a compilation of 23 original essays by leaders and influencers around the world.

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The ACC Value Challenge Comes to Europe

Last autumn the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) retained ELD International to compile a guide translating key principles of the ACC’s successful Value Challenge effort to greater Europe.  While the Value Challenge is known to many global companies and their ACC members and law firms, North America has until now been the primary focus.

  I was honored and thrilled to have this assignment from ACC; an ambitious project with an equally ambitious deadline (six weeks!).  ACC agreed with me to look holistically at increasing value as is now the trend among corporate counsel.  So the Europe guide addresses both  increasing value and reducing law firm costs, and driving value of in-house legal functions through efficiency improvements.

You can now see the result at: www.acc.com/valuechallenge/europe.


In their recent news release, ACC explains: The 75-plus-page guide is divided into two parts, which focus on creating a successful foundation and identifying ways to effectively manage costs and outside counsel relationships in Europe. The guide offers tools and resources on defining strategies to create higher value, communicating in a cross-border market, determining metrics, clarifying spending, enhancing available resources, and setting the stage for implementing effective alternative fee arrangements. Importantly, this guide also features anecdotes on managing relationships, driving value internally and measuring success from top-level general counsel and law firm partners from such organizations as BT Global Services UK, Eversheds, HJ Heinz and others.”

I'm delighted to see the digital product and the wealth of information in the guide.  I am most proud of the anecdotal comments I gathered from practitioners, "what's different about Europe?" and the case examples I assembled from both law departments and law firms.  Following a consistent format, each case example illustrates a chapter topic.  For example, Chapter 5 on Measurement & Metrics has two case examples, one from Coca-Cola Europe’s GC on taking accountability for the legal budget, and another from Eversheds (law firm) on teaching in-house counsel Key Performance Indicator principles.  There are many excellent approaches to inform European in-house counsel.

The ACC’s Catherine Moynihan, who led this Guide’s development and production, was a valuable project manager throughout, and especially helpful to me in structuring the 'table of contents' as we began.  She made a wise move to produce the guide digitally.  Given ACC’s 30,000 members worldwide and corporate counsel readers spread across the 40+ countries of greater Europe, the digital format enables you to click through to countless ACC resources that are excerpted in the Value Challenge Europe guide.

Like the Value Challenge in the US, we can expect the ACC Value Challenge in Europe will be enhanced over time with more resources and discussion from ACC and its members.   This provides a good start.