The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is endorsing the General Counsel Oath. Drafted and spearheaded by Simon Zinger, group general counsel at Dentsu and an ACC member, the Oath is an opportunity for general counsel and other in-house leaders to recommit to ethical conduct in their practice and pursue other actions to benefit their teams and organizations. Following the unanimous vote by the Board of Directors, ACC chapters and networks will now begin sharing and highlighting the Oath to their individual members as well.
Modelled on the Hippocratic Oath, the General Counsel Oath initiative urges general counsel to “go beyond stated rules, codes and guidance to act with integrity, honesty, and… the highest ethical and professional values.” Additional signers to the Oath include leaders from throughout the in-house community and support has been provided by a number of law firms and legal recruiters.
“The General Counsel Oath is a timely, critical reminder of our responsibilities as corporate counsel to our clients, our colleagues, and our communities,” said Veta T. Richardson, president and CEO of ACC. “The role of the general counsel is fundamental to modern businesses and has an outsized impact on the world economy as well as the cultural climate across businesses. I thank Simon for dedicating the time and effort to draft and promote this fundamental statement of values and behaviours for the entire in-house community to embrace. I am so proud that an ACC member is taking on this initiative and ACC looks forward to helping continue to expand the reach of the Oath however we can.”
“As lawyers and compliance professionals, we appreciate that our work is underpinned by ideals of fairness, justice and professional responsibility. But with so much volatility in business and around the world currently, I felt we needed something to refocus our attention and expand our efforts,” said Simon Zinger. “ACC and other organizations have joined us in supporting this commitment by GCs, anywhere in the world, to use our collective influence to promote positive social change, including efforts aimed to promote diversity,equity and inclusion within our teams and organizations. I sincerely appreciate the support shown to this initiative and look forward to continue working across the legal industry to help spread the word.”
Mr. Zinger will be speaking in a roundtable at ACC’s 2020 Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually from October 12 to October 16. He also joined Ms. Richardson and ACC board member Donny Ching (legal director, Royal Dutch Shell plc) in an ACC Europe podcast on diversity and inclusion on September 24.
The text of the Oath is available here.