I’m really looking forward to this year’s ACC meeting in Denver. It’s always a great place to re-connect with in-house counsel we’ve worked with during the year and to meet GCs who are eager to share best practices. This year we can also expect to see the beginning of new approaches from the new team running the ACC – President Veta Richardson, GC Jim Merklinger and Chief Legal Strategist Amar Sarwal.

Here are some interesting developments, trends and sessions I’ll be tracking at this year’s conference:

– The latest developments in the ACC’s Value Challenge – including courses with both in-house and outside counsel who are finding new ways to add value and efficiency to their work together

– New techniques developed by in-house counsel in response to the increasing pressures to cut costs, both in their law departments and with outside counsel – including exercising their greater bargaining power to drive more responsiveness from their law firms

– The widespread application of project management and vendor management strategies to the handling of legal work

– The rapidly growing interest in using metrics and financial reporting to assess the performance of the law department and of its law firms, as well as to discover specific opportunities to improve performance – applying the valuable data generated by technology platforms like Serengeti to assess progress not only within the company, but also to find out how your legal teams are doing compared with other companies and their law firms.

It’s also worth taking some time to walk the vendor floor to see the latest products and services for the profession (and to sample their giveaways!). We’ll be back in touch after the meeting to talk about some of the new developments we discovered during the largest gathering of in-house counsel in the world.