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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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ACC America and its Southern California Chapter

On December 1, 1981, Robert Banks, then vice president and general counsel of Xerox Corporation, hosted a luncheon that triggered a chain of events that would change the legal profession.  The participants -- mostly general counsel of their companies -- included Lawrence Kraus (U.S. Chamber of Commerce), Philip Knox, Jr. (Sears, Roebuck and Co.), Carl Liggio (Arthur Young and Company), Stephen Middlebrook (Aetna Life and Casualty), Donald Walsh (Sun Company, Inc.), William Weitzel, Jr. (Texaco, Inc.), Irving Yoskowitz, (United Technologies Corporation), and Guy Zoghby (IBM Corporation).

ACC SoCal is resolved to continue our award-winning tradition of excellence

An Overwhelming Response From the Very Beginning

As a result of that initial luncheon meeting, 55 leading general counsel were invited to attend a March 14, 1982 meeting at the AMFAC (now Hyatt) Hotel at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport to discuss the formation of an organized group for in-house counsel. Although no one knew how the invitation would be received, 53 out of the 55 invited general counsel showed up. This overwhelming response demonstrated that a common chord had been struck.

Get Involved

ACC Southern California welcomes involvement from in-house counsel who want to make a positive difference in the way we work. For information on the local activities and services of ACC Southern California, please call us at 213-689-2990, or e-mail us at

ACC Southern California is pleased to announce that five Diversity Scholarships were awarded to 3L students at various law schools throughout Southern California.

ACC SoCal selected scholarship recipients based on, among other things, need, academic achievement, and community involvement.  The ACC SoCal 2019 Diversity Scholars are:

  • Pilar Fabregas, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
  • Jasmine Lewis, Southwestern Law School
  • Susan Perez, Loyola Law School  
  • Savannah C. Skelton, Pepperdine University School of Law  
  • Jong Won Yang, Pepperdine University School of Law

Upcoming Chapter Events

View All Chapter Events

May 22
Los Angeles, CA
May 21, 2019 LA hACCess: New California Code on Mediations
11:30 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Details & Registration
May 22
May 22, 2019 CLE and Cocktails at the SoHo House!
4:30 PM - 7:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Details & Registration
May 24
May 23, 2019 OC hACCess: New California Code on Mediation
11:30 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Details & Registration
  • Distinguished Past Presidents

    Distinguished past Presidents of ACC Southern California (and their employers at their times of service) include the following:

    • 1985 Oscar Glass – Burroughs Corporation
    • 1986 Kenneth Bornholdt – Bixby Ranch Company
    • 1987 Charles “Chuck” Axen – TICOR Title Insurance Company
    • 1988 Timothy Conley – Nissan Motor Corporation USA
    • 1989 Kenneth Kaufmann – First Interstate Bancorp
    • 1990 Harriet Burns Feller – Western Financial Bank
    • 1991 Larry Steckmest – Occidental Petroleum Corporation
    • 1992 Eugene Erbstoesser – Ernst & Young LLP
    • 1993 David Henri – California Federal Bank
    • 1994-95 Daniel Hedigan – California Pacific Homes, Inc.
    • 1996 Michael Cahill – Trust Company of the West
    • 1997 Jess Womack – Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO)
    • 1998 Trischa O’Hanlon – Kaiser Permanente
    • 1999 Hayward “Dan” Fisk – Computer Sciences Corporation
    • 2000 Robert Lindquist – Ingram Micro, Inc.
    • 2001 Timothy Wahl – The Geneva Companies, Inc.
    • 2002-03 Michael Dwyer – NMB Technologies Corporation
    • 2004 Julie Pierce – Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.
    • 2005 Vincent Gonzales – Sempra Energy
    • 2006-07 Jonathan Block – Salem Communications
    • 2008 Zachary Zaharek - The First American Corporation
    • 2009 Renée D. Benjamin - CalPortland Company
    • 2010 Bernard A.Gaffaney - Cisco Consumer Products LLC
    • 2011 William Davis Harn - City National Bank
    • 2012 Teigue Thomas - ACER/Gateway
    • 2013 Manisha Merchant - Union Bank N.A.
    • 2014 Peter Ching - Tealium
    • 2015 Melanie Sims Frank - Panavision Inc.

    The countless hours of hard work and selfless devotion of these and hundreds of other volunteer leaders have contributed to both ACC and ACC Southern California evolving into, in the words of one ACC Southern California member who is the General Counsel of a Fortune 100 company, "the best professional association choice that any in-house counsel could ever make." With the continuing efforts of in-house attorneys of similar character, leadership, and vision as those who came before them, ACC and ACC Southern California will continue to grow to better serve our profession, our companies, and our communities, and to be the best professional association available to all in-house counsel.

    In nine out of the last fourteen years (1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015), ACC Southern California was recognized by ACC as the “Outstanding Large Chapter of the Year” due to its exemplary leadership, outstanding programs, and great service to its members.

  • Awards

    2016 Diversity Counsel of the Year
    Catherine M. McEvilly, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Honda North America, Inc.

    2016 Pro Bono Counsel of the Year
    Verizon’s Public Policy, Law and Security Group (Southern California)

    2015 Pro Bono Counsel of the Year
    The Warner Bros Entertainment Group Legal Department

    2015 Excellence in Diversity Award
    Hyundai Capital America Legal Department


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