Follow ACC Docket Online:  

Compliance – It Can Start with Contracts

At the inaugural ACC Mid-Year Meeting, one of the popular morning sessions was "Enhancing Compliance and Risk Management Through Contracts." Faculty Dan Puterbaugh, director and associate general counsel, Adobe Systems; Monica Reinmiller, director corporate compliance, Sutherland Global Services Inc; and Sarah Sederstrom, senior counsel, Wunderman, instructed attendees that your contracts can be your first line of defense against compliance issues.

Here were some of the key takeaways:

  • Think about the incidents you hope to avoid when drafting contracts: When you define "incident," what do you mean by it? What is the timeline? These items are often left incredibly generic, which opens you up to risk.
  • Apply parameters to incident notification: Do you want to be notified? How and when?
  • Make negotiations go more smoothly by addressing your most common concerns in contract templates.

Underlying contracts compliance is an effective contract management system, but "everybody hates their contract management system," Puterbaugh said. Talk to your fellow in-house counsel about the pros and cons of various systems to find what's best for your law department.

Later in the morning, in "Engineering Change in Your Contracting Process," conversations on contract management systems and other technology continued. Panelists Lucy Bassli, assistant general counsel, Microsoft Corporation; Margo Lynn Hablutzel, assistant general counsel, Lands' End; and Mark Ross, global head, legal process outsourcing, Integreon, urged attendees to be forward-thinking when it comes to applying technology-based solutions.

Takeaways included:

  • Think about what will work with your department down the road and how you can grow and adjust.
  • Ensure you are using your solutions to their full capacity. The last thing you want is to find that you are only using five percent of your platform a year or two down the road. 

Engineering Change in Your Contracting Process

The panel takes questions in "Engineering Change in Your Contract Process"

Engineering Change in Contracting Process

The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.