The ACC Annual Meeting 2009: Corporate Legal Counsel Seek Cost and Information Control

At the conference, Intralinks previewed a new enterprise product concept for managing outside legal services and received a very positive response. The product, which will be piloted in the UK, entails a corporate collaboration environment for managing diverse global operations.


14 December 2009

I recently attended the annual Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conference in Boston, a gathering of 1600 global corporate counsels and 1000 other professionals, including several global law firms and other software/service providers. The theme of the conference was ‘survival in difficult times,’ with many sessions focusing on ways that corporate counsel can control costs and better manage outside legal counsel. Speakers discussed in-sourcing legal activity, developing contract pricing for repetitive activity (versus billable hours), and gaining greater control over information flows. With shrinking budgets and staff, legal outsourcing will continue, but must be done without effecting risk management and security.

At the conference, Intralinks previewed a new enterprise product concept for managing outside legal services and received a very positive response. The product, which will be piloted in the UK, entails a corporate collaboration environment for managing diverse global operations. Being a staff department, corporate counsels often have few technology resources to manage a significant budget for legal matters outsourced to law firms and other providers, including the growing use of offshore Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) firms.

In fact, several attendees approached me to say they face these very challenges in managing large volumes of documents that are dispersed in both format and location. Having a document repository that is searchable for customer reference as well as like cases would add tremendous efficiency to the corporate counsel team, especially in departments like real estate.

Overall, the discussion at the ACC conference underlined the need for more efficient and secure collaboration between corporate counsel and their external professional partners. I’ll be sure to keep you informed as our offering for corporate counsel and legal services develops in the coming months.