ACC Value Challenge

ACC Value Champions
ACC Value Champions

ACC Value Champions Booklet

Meet the Champions!

Cutting costs. Improving predictability. Achieving better outcomes. The ACC Value Champions provide models you can adopt to drive value in your own organization.
The 2017 Champions include corporate legal departments that are adding legal operations functions, automating work to make time for higher-value projects, and harnessing data to allow real-time access to metrics in order to reduce legal spend and improve department performance. They are also engaging in holistic partnerships with their law firms and legal services providers, providing legal solutions featuring integration of value-focused technology, staffing, processes, and pricing.


Archer daniels midland and onit

An agricultural processing company doing business in 160 countries with 35,000 employees, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has a far-flung legal department of 80 lawyers in 16 countries. When Cam Findlay(an ACC Value Champion in 2012 when he was GC of Medtronic)joined ADM as General Counsel in 2013, he was frustrated that the company couldn't easily locate basic information about the number and type of legal matters facing ADM, how many law firms it was using, or how much it was spending on particular matters or in aggregate.

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Avis Budget Group Inc.

When General Counsel Michael Tucker took the helm of the legal department at Avis Budget Group in 2010, he found "chaos": a company using almost 700 law firms globally, often hired by local managers at the mobility company that includes such brands as Avis, Budget, Payless and ZipCar. "It was almost impossible to get my arms around the legal budget," says Tucker, who heads up a department of about 30 attorneys.

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When you start a new in-house legal department, you can construct it the way you want, taking advantage of best practices and current thinking, informed by history and data. That's the approach James Gilmartin took when he became General Counsel and the first member of the in-house legal department at Bankrate in 2012. Founded in 1976, the company had passed through several phases of public and private ownership, but had always relied on external legal resources.

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A key way to get greater value for legal spend is harnessing and analyzing data to understand where the dollars have gone in the past, and to make evidence-based decisions on where they should go in the future. BASF Corporation leveraged data analytics as part of a multi-pronged cost containment and efficiency initiative that also included revamped relationships with outside counsel, governed by new engagement guidelines; focused budgeting and decision-making; and increased insourcing.

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cabela's and littler mendelson

Fortunately, Brad Lundeen is a tinkerer. Lundeen, who joined Cabela's Inc. as senior corporate attorney for labor and employment law in 2010, had become very familiar with electronic case management and e-billing at his previous posts. He understood the power of innovation and how it is changing the practice of law. Unfortunately, he found none of that legal technology at Cabela's and an uphill battle to secure it.

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Express scripts and husch blackwell

In the description of their project named "Rethinking Square Zero," Express Scripts and co-Champ Husch Blackwell suggested that, while most projects begin at "square one," good legal project management begins well before that, before a new lawsuit comes in the door. Keeping that premise in mind, the company and the law firm began working together in 2012 to completely revamp Express Scripts' approach to managing litigation, when the company's litigation portfolio grew after a corporate merger in April 2012.

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netapp and elevate Services

Data management and storage company NetApp garnered a Value Champion award in 2013 for its data-driven, technology roadmap project. Not satisfied to rest on their laurels, General Counsel Matt Fawcett, Senior Director of Legal Operations Connie Brenton, VP of the Innovation Services Group (IP Group) Beth O'Callahan, recognized that innovation in silos wasn't enough. "We had to find a way to integrate individual innovations into a cohesive program that would create greater spend and value alignment," says Brenton.

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Ricoh Americas and Reed Smith

As in so many other organizations destined to become ACC Value Champions, a major acquisition and a corporate transformation initiative aligned to drive significant change in the legal department at Ricoh USA. Long known as a copier sales company, Ricoh USA is transforming into a services company, acquiring one of its largest dealers and associated field force to bring momentum to the change.

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royal dutch shell

In their quest for value, many in-house legal departments have added new roles to their rosters: legal operations manager, controller/budget specialist, efficiency expert and so forth. Such is the case for Shell, which brought on Vincent Cordo as global sourcing officer for the legal department. An MBA with a background in economics, Cordo deploys niche expertise in pricing, compensation and profitability to provide pricing support for the legal department. His background and skills are very important to the department, says Gordon McCue, Associate General Counsel, Litigation – Strategy & Coordination, because Shell's AFA program was initially a "real challenge.

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telstra and herbert smith freehills

Although Mick Sheehy was working on innovation projects within Australian telecom company Telstra as early as 2013, the main result of those efforts had been local business unit and transaction focused improvements. "It was difficult to get outcomes on a whole of Telstra Legal Services scale," says Sheehy, General Counsel, Finance Technology Innovation and Strategy for the company. He wanted to "supercharge" legal project management. Attending a Harvard University design thinking program, Sheehy found a new source of energy.

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The goal of Verizon Legal's Purposeful Contracting initiative was simple: to take the best of current thinking in technology and process improvement—simplicity, clarity, and efficiency—and apply it to contracting. This is not an easy challenge for a large global multinational company that contracts with large, multinational companies and governments for services that are complex, critical, and specialized. But it was its challenging nature that made this project attractive to Verizon lawyers Woodrow ("Woody") Jones and John Veilleux.

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Woolworths group

When Richard Dammery was named Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary at Woolworths Group in New South Wales, Australia, three years ago, the opportunity to effect positive change in this well-regarded company, one of the top 10 in Australia, was appealing. "I received a strong invitation from the CEO to look at Woolworths' legal services model and move into closer alignment with the business," Dammery says. "It was presented as a great opportunity, but it was also made clear that we needed to fund our own initiatives through cost reductions."

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