To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
During the month of May, the Houston Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Chapter plans to sponsor a series of discussions between in-house attorneys and outside firms about delivering value in legal services to their mutual corporate clients.
As attorneys, we recognize that the question of value is broad and can encompass many topics upon which discussion can be had. One definition of value is achieving desired results that clients want while connecting the cost of legal services to their value.
James Lank, general counsel and corporate secretary of Tesco Corporation, said, "We strongly believe that such discussions will improve the relationship between in-house counsel and outside counsel and allow us to better focus on service and efficiency in delivering legal services. Only by working together can we deliver better value to our shared clients."
The Houston ACC Chapter will hold breakout session discussions among in-house counsel, outside counsel who support corporate legal clients, and other members of the legal community. Discussions will take the form of personal conversations between in-house counsel, outside counsel, and school administrators, in small groups or in round-tables, during which value-related topics, issues, concerns, and potential solutions will be explored in depth.
The breakout sessions are titled:
• Performance Measurement of Outside Counsel
• Legal Education to Improve Value
• Using Technology to Drive Value
• Managing the Relationship
• Staffing of Legal Services Projects
• Efficiency in Providing Legal Services
• Legal Costs and Billing Arrangements
• Increasing Value in Delivery of Services
"Such discussions are crucial first steps for lawyers who would like to explore practical solutions to help improve collaboration and to drive value that improves service to their mutual client," said Susan Hackett, senior vice president and general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
The Houston Chapter's efforts will culminate in a Value Challenge Event for the Houston legal community at which several panelists will consolidate the discussions had and present practical solutions identified and possible next steps for the future.