The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the world's largest association of in-house counsel, announced today that James A. Merklinger, a long-time executive at ACC, has been named the new general counsel of the organization. In his new role as ACC vice president and general counsel, Mr. Merklinger will represent the organization on legal issues and advise the association on meeting the needs of the in-house counsel profession.
Most recently, Mr. Merklinger served as ACC deputy general counsel and vice president – Legal Resources. Mr. Merklinger will continue to oversee the team responsible for developing ACC’s array of legal resources to help in-house counsel do their jobs. He is also the lead executive working with 16 volunteer leadership committees organized by practice areas including Employment, IP, Litigation, IT and other key areas of law who contribute to the strategic development of the association's resources and education programs. In addition, Mr. Merklinger will continue to spearhead ACC's regular benchmarking studies to provide members and the legal industry at large with key trends related to the in-house counsel practice and outside counsel management. Mr. Merklinger joined ACC in 1995 as the director of legal resources and was instrumental in making the association's membership materials available online.
In announcing Mr. Merklinger's new role, ACC president and CEO Veta T. Richardson states, “Jim is an outstanding attorney who has contributed greatly to ACC's growth and success over the years. This promotion recognizes his longstanding role as primary counsel to the association, as well as a trusted advisor. I have every confidence that Jim will take ACC's office of the general counsel to new levels of excellence.”
Mr. Merklinger was named ACC's director of Large Law Programs in 2005, where he was the primary liaison some of the largest legal departments at companies around the world. He collaborated with faculty and members to develop relevant and insightful continuing legal education programs for in-house counsel in the U.S. and Canada. While in the position, Mr. Merklinger helped grow ACC's large law membership by more than 85 percent.
“This is a great opportunity. I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that this general counsel position has achieved in previous years by providing our members with substantive legal resources and fostering a world-class learning environment for the in-house community,” says Mr. Merklinger. “For more than 15 years, I have been an advocate on behalf of in-house counsel issues, and plan to use these experiences to shine the light on these topics and elevate the role of corporate counsel.”