Recap: 2019 ACC Annual Meeting

by Charles Dimov







This year’s 2019 ACC Annual Meeting was outstanding! From networking groups, to CLE CPD Credits (continuing legal education / continuing professional development – respectively), to chachka – galore, and thought leaders delivering provoking seminars – you had it all. Truly, it was an opportunity to meet in-house peers across companies, industries, and even countries. In fact, the conference brought in corporate counsel attorneys from all around the US, and the world. Notably, we met lawyers and legal operations professionals from Canada, Australia, Iceland, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Israel, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. So, the conference has truly become an international interest.


The registration rate for the opening discussion made it a packed house presentation. A great opening plenary came from Trevor Faure, Former Global General Counsel, EY, and CEO, Smarter Law Solutions.

Beyond being a highly entertaining speaker, Faure took the audience through an important paradigm changing the industry. That paradigm being the change and challenges of new technologies coming into the legal industry. In-house counsel and lawyers in firms need to continually think about what makes them more productive. In other words, they must continually find ways to stop doing the low-level tasks with which non-lawyers can help.

Faure introduced a key pyramid model that discussed the base (commodity) layer, core (day-to-day work), and cream (the important stuff). The cream being the legal strategy, and management layer. He also pointed out how the least useful layer for a high-priced attorney is the commodity layer. Yet, as you have probably guessed, that’s where many attorneys spend most of their time. Not an effective use of such a strategic resource.


Ultimately the opening 2019 ACC annual meeting presentation discussed where the legal industry is heading. The key message is to stop doing what is easy, and bump up the work you do to the high-value zone’. This is where technology like artificial intelligence should be used. Faure even provided a great example, being that in-house counsel should all be using contract management systems with AI built-in … to take away the mundane work. These systems store information on all contracts, run analytics with the AI engines, and allow non-attorneys to create standardized contracts. In fact, with these systems – there is no reason why a legal counsel should be involved in simple contract creations (authoring), anymore. … Check! One low-level task taken off your desk, letting you focus on the non-commodity level!

To stress the point of change, Faure asked: “when was the last time you did something for the first time?” The time for adopting new technology in your legal department is now.


Aside from the many dozens of presentations, the tradeshow floor was a super popular place. There, attorneys could meet, drink, eat, network, and learn about new services and technologies to help bump up their game. At each break, the floor came alive with an intensity of activity. Naturally, there was a proliferation of chachka. In other words, some of the booths looked like small convenience stores. Fortunately, some of the most popular give-aways were the uniquely stylish ContractPodAi socks. Just about everyone wanted a pair of the cool socks with the Neural Network pattern. Although I have to admit, many recipients mistook the pattern for spider webs, given the proximity to Halloween.


Above all, the 2019 ACC Annual Meeting was a big success. Hosted in Phoenix Arizona, it was a great venue with such pleasant weather – for this event.

If you were here, you know you got your conference money’s worth. Thanks to the Association of Corporate Counsel – for a well-run event.

To find out more search the hashtag #ACCAM19.

For more about ContractPodAi and our leading-edge, AI – Contract Lifecycle Management technology, contact us directly. We are always pleased to discuss our favorite topic, in a no-pressure conversation.


 Charles Dimov
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