Corporate Law Departments Embrace Technology, Data-Driven Solutions to Law Department Management, Achieving Time and Cost Savings

ACC Names 12 Companies as 2018 ACC Value Champions

Posted: May 15, 2018

WASHINGTON (May 15, 2018) — In-house lawyers are leveraging custom technology and automated processes to run leanly in high growth environments, transforming the law department from a cost center to a strategic business partner, and optimizing organizational capacity by altering legal services delivery models, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global legal association representing more than 43,000 members in 85 countries, announced today.

ACC recognized 12 law department and law department/law firm collaborations, including companies based in Israel and Germany, as 2018 ACC Value Champions. Their strategic approaches increased client satisfaction, enhanced the value of legal service spending, reduced turnaround times and costs, and improved results. Pioneering change for the global legal industry, this year's group of Champions includes a range of innovative collaborations, including the largest-ever managed legal services transaction and a national coordinating counsel model that includes a custom knowledge management platform shared across the outside counsel network.

"To be considered best-in-class, a law department must move at the speed of the business client, optimizing every process, controlling every cost, taking advantage of every available piece of data," said Catherine J. Moynihan, associate vice president of legal management services at ACC. "These Champions use leading management practices – writing applications, leveraging AI, and applying sophisticated sourcing and staffing models – to help the businesses they serve succeed."

ACC recognizes the following 2018 ACC Value Champions, chosen by a panel of in-house lawyer judges:

·      AARP (Washington, DC) — Enables compliant self-service through its "Train & Trust: Content QuickPath," a two-hour training and certification program. AARP reduced legal service requests by 36.7 percent, while achieving significant time savings. Clients waited 1,403 fewer business days for content approvals in 2017.

·      Andeavor (San Antonio) and Counsel Management Group (New York) — Andeavor Legal restructured, creating "centers of excellence" — one of which is legal operations. The legal operations team centralized all matter creation, bill review, and reporting and analytics, resulting in a 28 percent reduction in legal spend. Teaming up with Counsel Management Group, Andeavor also launched an RFP initiative fixated on value-based fees and comparative cost models. The RFP initiative identified more cost-effective firms and increased use of fixed fees by 30 percent in one year.

·      Danaher Corporation (New York and Washington, DC) and Seyfarth Shaw LLP — Built a three-tier service delivery model to optimize efficiency and effectiveness in addressing labor and employment issues. The model includes toolkits on critical areas of the law, best practices, templates and process maps; an internal portal for easy access to the toolkit for Danaher HR clients; and a Global ER4HR Helpline for real-time legal advice on routine labor and employment issues, as well as knowledge management. Through this model, the Danaher labor and employment legal function re-captured over 17 work weeks of attorney time, yielding a cost savings of almost 60 percent. 

·      DXC Technology (Tysons, Va.) and UnitedLex (Overland Park, Kan.) — An industry-first partnership dubbed "Legal 2.0," DXC engaged UnitedLex to take over most of the law function — leveraging technology, process innovation, and managed services to reduce operating costs by 30 percent. More than 150 DXC lawyers across the globe became UnitedLex employees, retaining institutional knowledge. By implementing UnitedLex's contract management platform, DXC also experienced faster, more competitive contracting — increasing new business wins from 64 percent to 84 percent. 

·      Eaton (Cleveland) — Restructured the legal department, adding strategy-focused teams to drive learning, develop best-in-class people, promote efficiency, increase innovation, and enhance client focus. The "Cost-Out" team revamped its outside counsel strategy and built sustainable, value-enhancing processes to manage outside counsel and maximize spend predictability. The company significantly consolidated outside litigation counsel by 80 percent over the past four years and decreased litigation report cycle time by 40 percent. Eaton's legal team also reduced legal costs by 11 percent year-over-year.

·      7-Eleven (Irving, Texas) and Seyfarth Shaw LLP — With the help of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, 7-Eleven streamlined its law department to better support the company's real estate portfolio of more than 10,000 properties. They applied a value-based sourcing and staffing model, realigning workflow based on type of matter. Through flat fees and lean six sigma process improvement initiatives, 7-Eleven saw outside spend drop, and new store deal fall-through rates plummeted from 25 percent to near one percent.

·      Monsanto Company and Husch Blackwell (both St. Louis) — Designed and launched an innovative national coordinating counsel model for toxic tort litigation. The multifaceted approach includes use of a proprietary algorithm that uses data to accurately assess the risk profile and probable outcomes to channel resources towards more complex cases. As a result, the number of active cases declined by 53 percent and settlement costs were reduced by 30 percent. Husch Blackwell also built a knowledge management platform that shares expertise and work product across the local outside counsel network. With the help of a fixed fee arrangement, Monsanto enjoys predictable spend, down by 10 percent.

·      Ocwen Financial Corporation (West Palm Beach, Fla.) along with QuisLex, Inc. (New York and Hyderabad, India), Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (New York) and Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (New York and Richmond, VA)— Ocwen collaborated with its partners to re-engineer its due diligence delivery model, coming up with a technology-enabled process that defines roles for each of Ocwen's in-house and external legal teams to fit the unique value they bring to a specific project. Documents were prioritized and fed into a custom platform that utilized artificial intelligence to streamline the review with automated responses and guided help text. Using the re-engineered due diligence delivery model, the team efficiently generated accurate data, delivered significant savings over traditional methods, and provided a database that Ocwen's business and legal teams still reference today for other needs.

·      Pure Storage, Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) — Automated contract management and implemented new, integrated intellectual property management tools for a cost savings of over $1 million from increased responsiveness, leaner head count, and an end-to-end order fulfillment process. At the same time, Pure engineers enjoy a highly interpersonal, efficient patenting process. IP productivity increased 160 percent year-over-year with annual savings of $60,000.

·      Software AG (Darmstadt, Germany) — Saved nearly 3 million Euros after its lawyers developed the "External Legal Manager" application to make sourcing and management of external legal services smarter, faster, and more transparent. Software AG also grew use of alternative fee arrangements nearly 50 percent, dramatically improving budget predictability. The legal team now has built 12 active legal applications, and other Software AG departments, such as human resources, use applications developed by the legal team.

·      Tahal Group B.V. (Tel Aviv, Israel and Amsterdam, The Netherlands) — Through efficiency, advanced technology, team empowerment, standardization, and internal training measures, Tahal Group was able to bring the majority of work in-house while adding only one person to its internal staff—cutting legal spend by 67 percent and achieving total budget predictability, while improving response time and client satisfaction. The company also implemented cloud technology to handle all corporate and managerial issues of its 30 subsidiaries around the world.

·      Walmart (Bentonville, Ark.) — Demonstrating that watched behavior improves, Walmart Legal transformed itself from an in-house law firm to a legal business unit by creating the "General Counsel Insights Platform," an ecosystem of dynamic and connected dashboards on actionable key performance indicators. Through close monitoring, Walmart saw improvements in firm/vendor spend, work allocation, and matter oversight, as well as gender and diversity. By partnering with IT to build the solution, the legal team yielded an estimated $1 million cost-savings, compared to using an outside vendor.

About the ACC Value Challenge: The ACC Value Challenge, launched in 2008, has provided resources and training for in-house counsel and law firm lawyers to help affect change within the legal industry. By re-aligning relationships and promoting value-based fee arrangements and other management tactics, such as project management, process improvement, efficient use of technology and knowledge management tools, the market for the delivery of legal services benefits from the same insights and wisdom upon which every other service industry relies to provide world-class value to their clients. For more information, visit

About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking, and advocacy. With more than 43,000 members in 85 countries employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit and follow ACC on Twitter: @ACCinhouse.

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