ACC Value Challenge

ACC Value Champions

ACC Value Champions

Meet the 2016 ACC Value Champions

Cutting costs. Improving predictability. Achieving better outcomes.  The 2016 ACC Value Champions provide models you can adopt to drive value in your own organization.
These Champions take proactive approaches to the hallmark areas of corporate legal work, including discovery, contracting and procurement, employment law and patent protection. They have simplified processes to reduce cycle time. And the winning legal departments and law firms, aligned through value-based fees, collaborate to reduce litigation and empower business units through automation to get legal answers and documents in real time.

Aegean Motorway S.A.

Solved a business-wide problem at this highway operating company: government protest-inspired toll violations by up to 40 percent of drivers, causing a €7 million ($8.05 million) annual loss. Lawyers built a nimble team by adding and training non-legal staff to assist with department work and creating templates and a database to track and notify toll violators. Efforts saved more than €2.5 ($2.9) million in outside legal costs, while legal-led publicity and stringent follow-up dropped violation rates to 0.7 percent and recouped funds, as revenue lost due to toll infractions dropped 42 percent.

Learn more


Deployed a Law Department Strategic Improvement Project with four elements. First, the company’s in-house and firm lawyers attended joint LEAN/Six Sigma training to map processes and identify areas of improvement. The team also partnered with the procurement department to standardize the RFP process, transferring 40 percent of all U.S. legal matters to flat fee arrangements. Contracts work remained in-house but moved to India and Poland, reducing costs by 50 percent and turnaround time by 66 percent, and Aon created a global rotation program to boost employee engagement.

Learn more

Axalta Coating Systems and Hunton & Williams

Seized an opportunity to start anew after Axalta became independent from DuPont. The law department, with help from Hunton & Williams, built templates and playbooks to overhaul procurement, a crucial part of the business. Lawyers provided training on using the playbooks; as a result, the procurement department now processes 62 percent of contracts without engaging the legal department, approaching an 80 percent goal. Due to these initiatives and AFA-based spending with Hunton & Williams, annual spend for commercial contract review by outside counsel has dropped 80 percent.

Learn more

BT Group plc Employment Law

Replaced a reactive labor dispute and litigation mindset with a focus on proactive prevention. The team redesigned many legal processes with the help of IT solutions and offered training to HR and business colleagues, who are now frequent users of self-service systems. Thus, the law department freed its time for strategic projects, directly handling 267 transactions in 2014, including an $18 billion acquisition of EE (the largest corporate acquisition in UK history. With more high-value work performed in-house, outside legal spend dropped 73 percent between 2013 and 2015.

Learn more


Built the GE Discovery Center of Excellence (COE), a shared services center to support fast, efficient and effective discovery practices. The COE established a panel of discovery service providers and transferred more than 95,000 hours of document review from law firms to the panel. Average annual savings are 25 percent. The COE constantly adjusts its value levers and has seen 400 percent client growth as additional business units utilize its capabilities – strong adoption of a shared service in a decentralized corporate structure.

Learn more

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Handled the largest corporate separation in history when Hewlett Packard (HP) split into HP and HPE in 2015 – and came in on time, millions of dollars under budget and without significant interruption to day-to-day business activities. The team utilized a suite of technology already employed in the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), leveraging it for new uses, like “cloning” contracts. Even prior to the separation project, the OGC relied on outside counsel and resources only for exceptions, laying a strong foundation for its ability to lead the separation.

Learn more


Revolutionized the process for labor and employment claims by consolidating outside counsel and selecting Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C., as its partner firm. Aligned through a value-based fee arrangement, they crafted a preventative approach by analyzing past litigation and company policies to identify a need for further training or policy changes. New technology platforms allowed employee relations staff to manage many requests without legal assistance. Questions can be directed to Ogletree, Deakins, and response times have dropped from 8-9 days (under old firms) to minutes. Litigation has dropped by 74 percent, claims by 60 percent, and hhgregg saved 44 percent on outside legal spend.

Learn more


Concentrated value efforts on controlling intellectual property costs by identifying and quantifying its most important technology and products. By creating a comprehensive set of tools in-house, collectively known as Husky’s Holistic Legal Strategy, including an opinion tool to determine when to seek outside counsel, Husky ensured budget predictability (within 1.5 percent) and cut patent procurement costs by 15 percent annually.

Learn more

Microsoft Procurement & Contracting

Focused on continuous improvement in its Procurement & Contracting legal team allowing in-house attorneys to focus on the most strategic contracts while partnering with two law firms interested in new delivery models for high-volume, high-complexity transactional work. The agreement includes intensive use of client-focused success metrics, and the fixed fee arrangement has improved budget predictability while generating savings of 18 percent. Clear, consistent processes established through new workflows have improved service to internal clients, and the team meets weekly to review data and brainstorm paths to further progress.

Learn more

Palace Entertainment

Brought personal injury and workers' compensation litigation under control with a focus on prevention. The legal department became a ring-leader in driving safety: hiring a corporate safety expert, reviewing all work processes, redesigning warnings and partnering with an insurance company that exclusively covers amusement parks. The robust culture of safety has reduced claims by 80 percent and litigation by 75 percent, while workers' compensation incidents are down 55 percent. Case settlements, previously at 40 percent, are down to 10 percent, and outside legal fees are down more than 85 percent through smart hiring of personal injury defense counsel.

Learn more

REd Robin AND Bryan Cave

Took a holistic approach to the company’s contracting processes, including building playbooks and a comprehensive contract management system (CMS) with law firm Bryan Cave, now the company’s single provider under a value-based, flat-fee structure. One aspect of the CMS, a “green sheet” offering a contract and approvals summary, has brought needed clarity to the system, making it popular across the business units. The rollout has improved timeliness (90 percent of contracts are completed on time) and lowered risk (100 percent of high-impact contracts are approved via the CMS).

Learn more

Staples Australia and New Zealand

Created Project Reinvention to support business drive to diversify. The legal team led a cultural shift away from risk aversion and towards risk tolerance and risk management and fostered an environment of teamwork and accessibility. By educating the sales team on legal matters and simplifying contracting processes, the legal team cut its workload on low-risk transactional services by 40 percent, yielding more time for high-value projects. With less high-value work being outsourced, Staples cut outside legal spend by over 50 percent. Recognizing that changing consumer behavior and decreased demand for its traditional products meant that Staples had to adapt or die, the company has spent the last several years reinventing itself and its offerings.

Learn more

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work properly; others help us improve the user experience.
By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our privacy policy to learn more. Hide this message