ACC Value Challenge

Legal Service Management Workshopy


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 Eagle Key Consulting LLC, 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 Associate Editor of Litigation Journal, and is a former Co-Chair of the Committee on Corporate Counsel.

Ken Grady

Kenneth A. Grady

Ken Grady is Chief Executive Officer of SeyfarthLean Consulting, LLC. With an emphasis on process improvement, complex project management and sophisticated portfolio management, SeyfarthLean Consulting uses Lean Six Sigma, data analytics and other creative, proactive approaches that drive efficiencies in the practice of law and help improve performance.

Ken is the retired General Counsel and Secretary for Wolverine World Wide, Inc., a publicly held global marketer, distributor and retailer of footwear and apparel. Prior to joining Wolverine Worldwide, Ken’s career included general counsel roles at two other Fortune 1000-sized corporations, executive leadership positions in the retail and manufacturing industries, and partnership at McDermott, Will & Emery. As general counsel, Ken helped pioneer techniques such as value-based fee arrangements, project management and Lean Six Sigma in the legal industry, netting impressive results that reduced 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, Chihiro Nakao and Senji Niwa. Mr. Iwata, Mr. Nakao and Mr. Niwa were original members of the Toyota Autonomous Study Group that developed the Toyota Production System and primary pupils of Taiichi Ohno, who is considered the father of the Toyota Production System (known as lean thinking in the United States). Mr. Iwata and Mr. Nakao founded Shingijutsu Co. Ltd.

A recognized thought leader in the legal industry, Ken was an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for 14 years. He recently served as a member of the ACC’s Board of Directors, its Value Challenge Steering Committee and its Advocacy Committee.

Ken has spoken widely and frequently on a number of industry issues and trends, including law firm – legal department relationships, value-based fee arrangements, legal department strategy, and methods to improve the efficiency of practicing law. He has also earned a number of accolades during his career, including honors in 2011 from the Financial Times for innovative leadership of in-house counsel/outside counsel relationships.

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

Kathryn D. Kirmayer is a trial attorney who specializes in complex business litigation and arbitration. Kathy has particular expertise in disputes that disrupt or threaten to disrupt long-term commercial relationships, such as joint venture disputes, long-term supply disputes, and licensing disputes. She is experienced in the unique challenges posed by litigation and arbitration against critical business partners, whether long-term joint venturers or key suppliers or customers. Kathy’s active docket also usually includes antitrust cases, including recovery matters on behalf of long-term firm clients, as well as substantial pre-litigation counseling. Kathy has served as the chair of the firm's Litigation Group in D.C., whose attorneys handle business disputes of all types, including contract, business torts and fraud, unfair competition and trade practice, and licensing.

Kathy is currently Vice-Chair of the firm's Finance Committee, and together with the firm’s Director of Client Services and Pricing, has responsibility for approving all value-based pricing proposals as well as monitoring their performance. She trains firm attorneys and staff in VBB principles and practices, and frequently writes and presents outside the firm on the subject of value-based fee arrangements.

Kathy joined the firm in 1989 after earning 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. She is a member of the American Bar Association Sections on Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and she previously served on the Task Force on Civility of the D.C. Bar Association. 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.

Pat Lamb

Patrick Lamb

Patrick Lamb is a founding member of Valorem Law Group. Valorem represents corporate clients in business disputes, and is at the forefront of helping clients solve their business disputes and coping with pressures to reduce legal spend using nontraditional approaches, including use of non-hourly fee structures, coordination with LPOs or contract lawyers, joint venturing with other firms and implementation of project management tools to handle lawsuits or portfolios of litigation. Pat has, for years, been an outspoken critic of the billable hour model, including the annual rate increases that have become part of the legal tradition.

Pat is the author of the recently published book Alternative Fee Arrangements: Value Fees and the Changing Legal Market (2010). More information about Pat, his book and Valorem can be found at

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.



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 chief executive officer of Neota Logic, which enables experts to deliver knowledge in an operationally useful form – as expert systems consulted interactively online or embedded in transactional systems.

He was for 20 years the chief knowledge officer and co-head of technology at Davis Polk & Wardwell after practicing as a litigation and bankruptcy partner at Mayer Brown.

Mr. Mills received a B.A. from Reed College, where he learned to program an IMB 1620 minicomputer in machine language and Fortran. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, then served as law clerk to a United States District Judge in Oregon.

He is vice chairman 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.