ACC Value Challenge

Legal Service Management Workshop

2015 Program Faculty

For each workshop, ACC assembles a faculty of legal practitioners with extensive knowledge of value-based fee structures and management practices, experienced in law department and law firm management as well as consulting. In addition to preparing curricular materials and teaching, faculty members serve as facilitators as you work through business cases in small groups to apply your new management tools.


Lisa Damon

Lisa Damon

Lisa Damon is a key member of Seyfarth Shaw's senior leadership team. She serves on the firm's Executive, Administrative and Compensation Committees, and also has executive oversight of the firm's SeyfarthLean initiative. Her vision and guidance have been highly instrumental in adapting SeyfarthLean's core principles of delivering client value, collaboration and efficiency to all firm departments and practice groups. Lisa, who is a certified GreenBelt, leads teams of lawyers and staff to bring SeyfarthLean to clients across a broad platform of legal services. Under Lisa's leadership, SeyfarthLean has gained significant attention and she is regularly asked by high profile organizations, such as the Association of Corporate Counsel, to share best practices and other knowledge.

Lisa is the National Chair of Seyfarth Shaw's 350 attorney Labor & Employment Department, and she represents management in the area of labor and employment law with an emphasis on litigation of claims of sex, race and age discrimination and harassment. She consults with clients on avoiding such litigation, through improved management policies and practices, positive employee relations, training and diversity assessment. Lisa also works with management to devise and refine diversity programs, helping companies limit class action liability and achieve diversity objectives.


Russ Dempsey

Russ Dempsey is Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer for United Retirement Plan Consultants. In addition to being a hands-on CLO, Russ drives value for his client by increasing efficiencies within the legal and compliance departments, and utilizing project management techniques and structuring value based relationships with outside counsel. Russ is a frequent speaker on legal project management and value-based billing practices.

Russ was named one of 12 Value Champions by the Association of Corporate Counsel (“ACC”) in 2012, where he was recognized for creativity in driving value for his corporate client. He is currently a member of ACC’s Value Challenge Steering Committee.

Russ holds both a JD and an LL.M. in taxation. He received his BA degree in Philosophy from Marshall University.

Bill Garcia

Bill Garcia

Bill Garcia is the first Director of Legal Project Management at Thompson Hine LLP and is responsible for the firm's implementation of LPM and establishing it as a core competency of the firm. As a Principal and the Chief Legal Officer of a consulting firm, he worked with law departments and professional services firms on inside-outside counsel management, value based engagements, and client service program development. He is a founding faculty member of the ACC's Legal Service Management Workshop series on value based fee structures and the management skills and tools to support them. Bill is the former Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives at an international law firm where he structured and managed the firm's client service organization. He advised firm clients on the development of alternative fee/value based billing arrangements and the formation and operation of preferred legal vendor programs. He previously served for more than a decade as inside counsel at Gannett where he advised on antitrust, advertising, distribution and other matters and managed the commercial litigation docket. He later served as Vice President/Compliance Oversight at MCI during its emergence from bankruptcy. He holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and an A.B.mcl from Harvard University. He has several leadership posts in the ABA Section of Litigation, including Managing Director, Associate Editor of Litigation Journal, and is a former Co-Chair of the Committee on Corporate Counsel.

Carla Goldstein

Carla Goldstein

Carla Goldstein is Associate General Counsel & Director of Strategic Initiatives for Bank of Montreal. Ms. Goldstein’s first mandate is oversee the continued development and implementation of a robust external counsel program. She is committed to working with the in-house attorneys and external counsel to drive innovative delivery models for legal services. Ms. Goldstein brings to this role a unique combination of experience as a corporate lawyer, a credentialed project management professional, and one of the founding members of Seyfarth Shaw’s SeyfarthLean Program team.

Ms. Goldstein formerly was Chief Strategic Innovations Officer of SeyfarthLean Consulting and its parent Seyfarth Shaw. In that capacity she focused on the delivery of legal services, process improvement and outside counsel management programs for her clients. Carla holds a JD/MBA from Northwestern University School of Law/Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, and a BFA from the University of Massachusetts. She is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a Project Management Professional.

Ken Grady

Kenneth A. Grady

Ken Grady is the Lean Law Evangelist for Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and formerly was Chief Executive Officer of SeyfarthLean Consulting, LLC, a Seyfarth Shaw subsidiary.

A recognized thought leader, Ken is a frequent speaker in and outside the U.S. on legal industry issues and trends, including innovation, leadership, efficiency, and change management. Ken’s articles and posts have been featured in many online and print media publications, and he is the editor and principal author of the blog He has also earned a number of accolades during his career, including being named to the Fastcase 50, which honors the law’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders” and was honored by the Financial Times for innovative leadership of in-house counsel/outside counsel relationships.

Ken helped pioneer techniques in the legal industry such as value-based fee arrangements, project management, and process improvement netting impressive results including reducing legal department expenses by as much as 50% while at the same time supporting high-growth companies. Ken’s training in lean thinking includes studies at the famed Japanese consulting firm Shingijutsu Co. Ltd. under Yoshiki Iwata, an original member of the Toyota Autonomous Study Group that developed the Toyota Production System.

Before retiring from in-house positions, Ken’s career included general counsel roles at three Fortune 1000 corporations and executive leadership positions in Fortune 500 and 1000 corporations. While in private practice, Ken was a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery. Ken was an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for 14 years. He served as a member of the ACC’s Board of Directors, its Value Challenge Steering Committee and its Advocacy Committee.

Nancy Jessen

Nancy Jessen

Nancy Jessen has more than 20 years of experience working with legal organizations on a variety of strategic and operational issues. Her focus has included the areas of organizational structure, cost containment, outside counsel management, process improvement and strategic technology utilization. Prior to joining Huron, Nancy was with Navigant Consulting, Inc. and Arthur Andersen, LLP. Her career also includes working for a private law firm and a software development company focused on billing, accounting and financial management software for the legal community.

Examples of Nancy's experience include leading the development of a new outside counsel management program that resulted in a standard process and criteria for selection and management of outside counsel including scope of work, fee arrangements and evaluation and leading a project to improve the efficiency of a law department and ensure that resources focus on the highest value work. Nancy has also led an effort to analyze the law department of a major P&C insurance company to understand the current operations, align the department with the corporate strategy and identify cost saving opportunities.

Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management Information Systems from Iowa State University. She is a member of the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) and has spoken at a number of conferences, including the Association of Corporate Counsel, IACCM, vendor conferences and various law department forums.

kathy kirmayer

Kathryn D. Kirmayer

Since January 2015, Kathryn D. Kirmayer has been General Counsel at the Association of American Railroads in Washington, D.C..  For twenty-five years prior to that, she practiced with an AmLaw 100 law firm as a trial attorney specializing in complex business litigation and arbitration.  While at the law firm, Kathy served as Vice-Chair of the firm's Finance Committee, with responsibility for approving the firm's value-based pricing proposals as well as monitoring their performance. She trained firm attorneys and staff in VBB principles and practices, and wrote and presented outside the firm (including as part of the ACC LSM Faculty) on the subject of value-based fee arrangements. 

Kathy earned her law degree magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif. She has a B.A. in psychology from Williams College, where she was captain of the swim team and a four-year All American.  Kathy is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia. She lives in Maryland with her two children, and is an avid open water swimmer.

Rob Lipstein

Rob Lipstein

Rob Lipstein is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Antitrust, International Investment, Trade and Arbitration (ITA), and Intellectual Property Groups, and is co-chair of the Antitrust Group and chair of the ITA Group Steering Committee. As chair of the firm's Finance and Contingent Fee Review Committees, Rob also leads the firm's value-based billing initiatives, working within the firm and with clients to craft and implement value based fee agreements. Rob has worked closely with ACC on its Value Challenge, and is a core faculty member for ACC's Legal Service Management curriculum.

In private practice in Washington, D.C. since 1978, Rob counsels clients on all aspects of antitrust and trade regulation issues, with particular expertise on mergers and acquisitions; product distribution; and the interaction of antitrust and intellectual property laws. Rob has decades of industry specialization in a broad range of industries, from chemicals and industrial gases, to hazardous waste, consumer electronics, musical instruments and technology/telecommunications. Rob is the architect of distribution agreements that have become the standards in several industries, and has assisted companies to establish and enforce unilateral Minimum Advertised Price and Minimum Retail Price policies.

Joseph (Joe) Spratt

Joseph (Joe) Spratt

Joseph Spratt is an accomplished communications strategist and business management executive, with more than 20 years’ experience in both in-house and consulting capacities, notably in the rapidly evolving legal services industry.

Joe has combined deep expertise in brand, strategy, talent and communications to create an innovative approach that effectively advances and accelerates an organization's success. For Seyfarth Shaw, an AmLaw 100 firm, heled a number of strategic initiatives that successfully and dramatically repositioned Seyfarth as a progressive leader in value and innovation.

Joe’s work has focused on internal organizational change, client-partner engagement, brand management, and external thought leadership and reputation management. He has created industry partnerships and alliances that help an organization advance its leadership position, using education as a powerful business development tool.

Joe is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and serves on the faculty for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Legal Services Management program. He has worked in partnership with the ACC to develop executive-level education and training curriculum on business of law issues. He is a published author on topics that include legal project management and process improvement, strategic communications for legal teams, the art of listening and advancing legal diversity.



Devdeep Ghosh

Devdeep has over seven years experience in assisting corporate business units, legal departments and law firms in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of their functions – improving business performance by strategy development, business process redesign and technology solutions. He has worked on department assessments and subsequent implementation of the recommendations ranging from organizational restructuring to business process redesign and vendor management. He has also worked on matter management, document and contract management projects with clients in a number of industries, including chemical, oil and gas, energy, technology, pharmaceuticals, banking and retail.

Examples of Devdeep’s experience include conducting detailed diagnostic assessment projects for the legal department including structure, spend and workload to improve overall legal service delivery model. He has also helped develop and implement several outside counsel management programs within different industries.

Prior to joining Huron, Devdeep worked as a business analyst and then as a program manager in the IT department of a steel manufacturing company. Devdeep holds an MS from Texas A&M Unvierty, and a BS in Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, India.

peter gutelius

Peter Gutelius

Peter Gutelius is Assistant General Counsel, Royal Bank of Canada and is responsible for a team of lawyers and para-professionals who manage RBC's commercial disputes, globally and across business platforms. As part of his management of commercial disputes Peter is active in the development and implementation of value billing strategies and RBC Law Group's eBilling and matter management system. Peter is a graduate of Queen's University (B.A. Hons. 1987) and Dalhousie University (LLB. 1991). He was called to the bar of Ontario in 1993 and joined RBC in 1999.

Renee Karibi-Whyte

Renee Karibi-Whyte

Renee Karibi-Whyte currently oversees law department marketing development and research initiatives for Practical Law Company. Her focus includes identification of key issues and concerns of in-house counsel, particularly as they relate to efficiency and cost containment.

Prior to joining Practical Law Company, Renee worked with American Conference Institute, where she managed a team of attorneys that researched, developed and facilitated conferences for in-house and private practice attorneys on diverse issues, ranging from law department management to regulatory compliance and litigation strategies. In this role, Renee researched, developed and facilitated events on reducing legal costs for in house counsel, providing in-depth, practical information and concrete take-aways. Under Renee's direction, her team developed and ran over 70 events per year focused on helping attorneys improve their practice and the bottom line.

Renee previously practiced at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, worked with the US Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and served as a Trial Attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources division in the US Department of Justice Honors Program. After graduating from Harvard Law School, she clerked for the then-Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

michael mills

Michael Mills

Michael Mills is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Neota Logic Inc., creators of the Neota Logic software platform for legal process improvement.

He attended the University of Chicago Law School, then served as law clerk to a United States District Judge. Mr. Mills was a partner in the law firm Mayer Brown.

At Davis Polk & Wardwell, he lead technology strategy, business development, knowledge management, lawyer training, and e-discovery. At Kraft & Kennedy, he served as a technology consultant to law firms and law departments.

He is a director of Pro Bono Net, which provides innovative technology for the nonprofit legal sector.


Amar D. Sarwal

Amar D. Sarwal is the Vice President and Chief Legal Strategist of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in Washington, D.C. ACC is the world's largest bar association dedicated exclusively to serving the interests of in-house counsel. With an international membership of more than 30,000 in-house lawyers at more than 10,000 organizations in more than 75 countries, ACC serves as the "voice of the in-house bar" for corporate lawyers at 98 percent of the Fortune 100 and 45 percent of the Global 1000.

In this position, Amar leads efforts to engage Chief Legal Officers and other legal executives, to challenge both law firms and in-house counsel to deliver real value for their clients and to shape the legal environment so that it advances the professional interests and unique perspectives of the in-house bar. To accomplish those objectives, he works with ACC’s leadership and members, government regulators and other organizations.

Amar joined ACC in 2010 as Associate General Counsel, directing key advocacy efforts and issues of importance to in-house counsel and the bar at large, such as multijurisdictional matters, corporate responsibility, attorney-client privilege, ethics and other issues that affect the ability of in-house counsel to provide effective guidance to their corporate clients.

Before joining ACC, he served as General Litigation Counsel at the United States Chamber of Commerce, where he managed the Chamber’s extensive amicus curiae and party litigation docket before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state courts. Prior to the U.S. Chamber, Amar was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day, practicing in the Issues and Appeals Section. Earlier in his career, Amar served as a judicial clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Little of the Western District of Louisiana and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Krupansky of the Sixth Circuit of Ohio.

Amar received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on International Business. He also graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. Amar is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal courts.

He is also a member of the board of directors for KEEN Greater DC, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that works with children with disabilities.

ACC Sends Condolences in Wake of Paris Tragedy

On behalf of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), board of directors, staff and entire ACC community, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims and families of the tragic events in Paris.

Paris is the home of many of our chapter leaders, members, country representatives, sponsors and the in-house community at large. We share in the grief and sadness of those that have lost loved ones or suffered physically or emotionally.

At this time we are not aware of anyone from the ACC network of families and friends that have been injured or lost. Our hearts go out to our colleagues and friends and family of loved ones in Paris. We pray for your safety and security.

– Veta T. Richardson, ACC President & CEO Continue