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ACC Celebrates Founders' Day

T oday, as ACC celebrates Founders’ Day, we look back to March 11, 1982 to appreciate how far we’ve come. In 1982, about 50 in-house lawyers came together to establish a bar association that was by in-house counsel, for in-house counsel. These lawyers enlisted their entire law departments (equaling a total of 2,400 corporate counsel members), launching what was then known as the American Corporate Counsel Association, or ACCA. In 2003, we changed our name to ACC, the Association of Corporate Counsel, reflecting our increasingly global interests and the needs of our ever-growing multinational membership.

Today, ACC is more than 45,000 members strong in 85 countries.

“Five years from now,” predicts Patricia (PJ) Trudeau, ACC’s vice president and chief administrative officer, “ACC will continue to lead in providing services to in-house counsel internationally. Our significant member growth in the past 10 years has shown the need for the services we provide globally.”

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Then and now

On March 11, 1982, ACC had 53 members. On March 11, 2019, ACC has 45,000 members.

ACC’s first chapters were located in Colorado and Alabama. Now, ACC has over 60 chapters worldwide. ACC’s most recent offices opened in Brussels and Hong Kong.

ACC’s first meeting was held in Dallas, Texas. Robert S. Banks, then-general counsel of Xerox Corporation, hosted a luncheon where in-house counsel discussed the need for resources, networking opportunities, and corporate practice organizations serving general counsel.  Today, we are preparing for conferences globally, including the inaugural ACC Asia Pacific Annual Meeting in Hong Kong (April 11, 2019) and our annual Global General Counsel Summit in London (May 22-24, 2019).

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Timeline for Founders' Day 3Age of the chief legal officer

In its 37th year, ACC has seen the dawn of the “Age of the Chief Legal Officer.” The 2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey revealed that the proportion of CLOs who report directly to the CEO has jumped from 64 percent to 78 percent — a 14 percent increase in one year. CLOs are assuming positions of greater power and influence within their enterprises and taking on roles beyond that of technical legal adviser. Nearly 70 percent of CLOs surveyed indicate that the executive team almost always seeks their input on business decisions — 11 percent more than last year!

We thank all of you for helping us to grow and serve the in-house community!

Learn more about ACC.

Timeline for Founders' Day 4Timeline for Founders' Day 5

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