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ACC CLO Survey - Canada Spotlights Canadian Companies' Reliance on CLO to Safeguard Against Litigation and Support Profitability

Posted: Jun 4, 2014

WASHINGTON (June 4, 2014) –– The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global bar association representing more than 33,000 in-house counsel, today released findings from the ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) 2014 Survey – Canada, which spotlights top legal and business concerns weighing on CLOs in Canadian corporate legal departments.

The annual geographic-specific survey divulged that ethics and compliance (90%), regulatory and government changes (89%) and information privacy (75%) will lead as the most pressing issues facing Canadian CLOs in the year ahead. Social media management (72%), protection of intellectual property (71%) and technology developments (68%) followed close behind.

"In light of the implementation of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation and developments related to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, we anticipated ethics and compliance, as well as regulatory changes, to top the list of concerns for Canadian CLOs," said Veta T. Richardson, president and CEO of ACC. "And to address these issues, we expect Canadian CLOs to play an even more critical role in the strategic decision-making within their companies."

Respondents noted that staying aware of company activities with potential legal implications is a top priority in the coming months and 86 percent of Canadian CLOs would prefer to spend their time advising executives and participating in strategic corporate issues.

Other significant findings in the survey include:

  • Over half of respondents (54%) indicated the cost of their law department continues to be part of the enterprise's general overhead (for cost accounting purposes).
  • Nineteen percent of respondents stated they have definite plans to alter their law department size in 2014.
  • Roughly 97% of Canadian CLOs applied one or more management practices to control outside legal spending and 28 percent anticipate their use of value-based fees to increase in the year ahead.
  • Over one-third of respondents indicated compliance functions are handled by the CLO. However, 39 percent also indicated compliance functions report to the Board of Directors, 32 percent to the CFO and 31 percent to the CEO.

The ACC CLO 2014 Survey – Canada is a special report to the ACC CLO 2014 Survey, the largest global survey of corporate legal department heads from around the world, representing the views of more than 1,200 general counsel and chief legal officers from 41 countries on key business priorities, career satisfaction and trending issues in law. For more information or to purchase a copy of either survey, visit www.acc.com/cclosurvey.

About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. With more than 33,000 members in 85 countries, employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on Twitter: @ACCinhouse.

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