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Chapter Spotlight: ACC Middle East

Volume 38 , Number 4 , Page 72-73
Serving the community and building a solid network — just a few benefits Wafa Derouiche, director of legal compliance, EMEA at TE Connectivity, enjoys as a leader in the ACC Middle East Chapter in Dubai, UAE. Below, she discusses what skills new to in-house counsel need to succeed and how they can get involved with ACC.

Wafa DerouicheWhat brought you to TE Connectivity, and what do you like most about being in-house counsel? 

I joined TE Connectivity, among other reasons, for its values-based compliance culture, strong ethical leadership, multinational environment, and global exposure.  

I most enjoy the “generalist” approach we take in the in-house profession. We have the ability to handle matters of very different natures daily, collaborating with subject matter experts when necessary. That type of exposure and partnership is a constant learning experience for me.  

As EMEA compliance director for TE Connectivity, what challenges do you currently face, and how are you addressing them? 

In general, dealing with a broad region and high-risk jurisdictions makes it a constant challenge to be alert to the different regulations, any local or regional restrictions that might impose exceptions to global policies, as well as any changes in legal frameworks — especially with added geopolitical parameters.  

Also, many of us are very busy dealing with these unprecedented times caused by COVID-19. I am supporting the business to overcome difficulties we are facing, and at the same time reassuring employees while assessing the potential impact.  

What are some of the skills the next generation of in-house counsel need to hone?

The use of technology. Artificial intelligence and automation are becoming an important part of the tools available to in-house lawyers, and understanding and mastering these tools is critical. The next generation needs to adapt to the constant technological changes and embrace those changes that sometimes move faster than the law.  

On another front, business acumen, commercial awareness, and the right risk balancing are also very important skills to have and can help position the in-house counsel as a business enabler and a true partner to internal clients.  

How did you first become involved in leadership in ACC Middle East, and how has it helped you in your career? 

Having benefited from the ACC membership for several years, I became keen to share those benefits with communities that are not necessarily aware of ACC. I first volunteered to become a country lead for Tunisia in 2018, launching the first ACC annual gathering, followed by other events, and established a network of in-house counsels. 

I also participated in speaker opportunities with the chapter, and I am now serving as a board member of ACC Middle East. All this has helped me to develop leadership skills, increased my visibility and trust within the network, and motivated me to create value for the community. 

How does your chapter promote meaningful connections and provide value to its members? 

Our resources are a very helpful tool for members, along with the e-groups, webinars, and in-person events. All our events, whether educational or social, present an excellent opportunity to meet peers, share best practices or common challenges, and learn from different industries and subject matter experts. These connections extend beyond these events and more initiatives have derived from these relationships.  

What are ways members can become involved in your chapter? 

There are several ways to get involved! Members can contribute by helping us create content that suits their needs, actively participate as speakers or panelists at events, or simply by attending in-person or virtual events and sharing their thoughts, best practices, or areas of expertise.  

How does being an ACC member help you gain time in your schedule? What does having more time mean for you? 

ACC offers a one-stop location for rich resources that can save tremendous research time on common topics. Less research time means more time to focus on strategic thinking and offering an enabling business solution.  

How have connections made through ACC helped you to be the best version of yourself? 

Connections made through ACC have helped me realize that we are creating value in new markets where the in-house profession is relatively new, such as Tunisia. Listening to peers facing different challenges is eye opening and helping them to overcome these challenges is very fulfilling. 

It has taught me to always try to see things from a different perspective. Ultimately, ACC is helping me realize my goal of serving the community and building a solid network that is an asset for the future. 


To see what other CLOs are talking about, please visit acc.com/clo.



The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.