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ACLA Joins ACC - The Largest Global In-house Counsel Network

Posted: Dec 4, 2014

ACLA has announced to members that it is expanding its members’ benefits by joining with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) – a likeminded global in-house counsel association with 36,000 members across 10,000 organisations in 90 countries. The decision of the two organisations to join forces means ACLA members will benefit from increased global resources and connectivity, while retaining local focus and content.

“Australian in-house counsel stand to benefit significantly from this alliance through increased benefits with targeted resources, international connections and a stronger independent advocate on in-house counsel issues,” said Adrian Goss, ACLA National President and General Counsel Bauer Media.

“ACLA has a long and proud history as the preeminent Australian in-house counsel association. This decision strengthens our ability to serve our members. The issues in-house counsel face are largely universal, and with the majority of members having international dealings, it is appropriate for their professional association to be both global and local in nature,” Goss added.

A study of ACLA’s membership in 2013 identified that over 70% of Australian in-house counsel operate across borders, and a 2012 study showed that 51% of Australian companies operate in the Asia-Pacific region, 37% in Europe, 35% in North America, 26% in South America, 25% in Africa and 25% in the Middle East. This aligns with ACC’s network of chapters and affiliations that today includes Europe, Israel, Middle East, Singapore, USA, Canada and Argentina, and interest groups in China and Brazil.

“One constant throughout ACLA’s history has been that we are independent. We are run by in-house counsel for the benefit of in-house counsel. ACC is the same. Joining forces keeps ACLA true to our purpose, yet strengthens our ability to serve our members,” said Trish Hyde, ACLA CEO.

ACC’s members also benefit, with those in the Asia-Pacific region having access to ACLA’s convenient time zone based services.

“We are thrilled that ACLA, the premier association for in-house corporate and government lawyers in Australia, is joining the ACC global network," said John Page, ACC Chairman and Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer & Chief Legal Officer at Golden State Foods Corp.

"Our alliance will strengthen both associations but the real beneficiaries are our members who will now enjoy a stronger peer-to-peer network throughout Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and beyond," Page added.

“We are delighted to welcome ACLA to our global in-house counsel network. Over the 18 months of discussions and due diligence by both parties, it was clear that our two organisations are completely aligned in vision and values. This provides a strong foundation for our alliance and together we will create greater value and a stronger voice for all in-house counsel,” said Veta T. Richardson, President and CEO of ACC.

“The ACLA Board and management undertook a detailed strategic review as part of the due diligence process. Respecting the origins and values of both associations, it was important to ensure that by combining we are both better able to fulfil our objectives of supporting and advancing the in-house counsel community. Our alliance achieves this,” said Goss.

ACLA will provide regular updates to members as it prepares for the 1 July 2015 implementation.

ACLA’s heritage dates back to the 1960s when there were several state based associations dedicated to in-house counsel. In 1992, when it was clear that members wanted a national approach, the state based associations formed a federation. With more that unites in-house counsel globally than divides, and with growing international interests, it is appropriate timing for ACLA to take the next step to provide members with local and global support.

"We are very pleased to be able to do this for our members. Many people have made the initial concept a reality, in particular, I would like to thank the ACC team, the ACLA team and ACLA's external counsel (Corrs Chambers Westgarth)," said Hyde.


Media Enquiries: Emma Langoulant +61 03 9248 5548 or emmalangoulant@acla.com.au

About the Australia Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA)

With over 4,000 members, ACLA is the peak national association representing the interests of lawyers working for corporations and government in Australia ('in-house lawyers'). As a membership association ACLA provides support, tools and resources for in-house lawyers, catering for all members including those new to in-house through to general counsel working in ASX 200 companies and government departments. ACLA plays an important role advocating on matters of interest to the in-house profession to shape our nation’s corporate legal environment and promote the understanding of the law within the business and legal communities.

About the Association of Corporate Counsel (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 organisations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. With an international membership of more than 36,000 in-house lawyers at more than 10,000 corporations and non-governmental organisations in 90 countries, ACC serves as the voice of the in-house profession. ACC supports 57 chapters and affiliations including in Argentina, Canada, Europe, Israel, the Middle East, Singapore and the United States. It has interest groups in Brazil and China.


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