To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
In October, I began my tenure as president of ACC Europe after having served as treasurer of the association for two years. While I only recently became active in a leadership role with ACC Europe, I have been a member for many years while serving in in-house positions throughout Europe.
My reasons for joining ACC, and continuing my involvement, are several. First, ACC offers a wealth of practical resources that are designed to improve the effectiveness of in-house counsel. These resources, easily available on the ACC website, include papers on topics of current interest to in-house counsel such as data protection, document retention, corruption laws and policies and many, many other subjects. During my years as a member, the breadth and depth of these resources has improved dramatically. These resources are international in scope and of tremendous utility for in-house counsel around the world. The daily news feed, a compendium, depending on interest, of articles and alerts from law firms around the world, often in languages other than English, is also a very useful tool.
The resources and capabilities of ACC respond to the growing role of in-house counsel in companies throughout the world. Companies are less inclined to use outside counsel on a regular basis and, as such, are demanding more from their in-house counsel. The subject of compliance is becoming increasingly important as the nature of laws and regulations affecting businesses grows together with the consequences from any breaches. Breaches in areas as diverse as competition law, export controls, anti-bribery or health and safety can have disastrous effects on a company’s business prospects. As a consequence, those persons charged with ensuring compliance are increasingly important to the life of a company.
For those in-house counsel working in small law departments, it is almost axiomatic that outside resources are needed to best perform one’s job. This is also true even in larger law departments where the increasing complexity of today’s legal issues makes it virtually impossible for any one department to be fully versed in all areas of the law. This is where ACC comes to the aid of in-house counsel by providing resources and information on topical legal and management subjects. I should also note, given the financial constraints that all legal departments operate under, that ACC represents a very strong value proposition. Membership is approximately the cost of one or two law books.
In Europe, we offer our members full ACC resources as well as programming specifically tailored for our European members. Often, this is done at a country level where we have active leaders arranging local programming.
One of the principal networking opportunities is our Annual Conference. At this year’s Annual Conference in London from 18-20 May, we will celebrate our twentieth year of existence. Registration information is available on the ACC website in the European chapter section. It promises to be an extremely strong conference from both a substantive standpoint and a networking perspective – I hope to see you there.