Committee Chair Corner – Corporate Counsel Committee
It has been an honor to serve as the Chair of the IADC’s Corporate Counsel Committee, especially as the Association enters its 100th year of existence. The Association was created in 1920 by a group of general counsels, calling themselves the General Counsels’ Association of the United States. The minutes of their first meeting state that the purpose of the Association was to “encourage cordial relations among the general counsel of such companies; to cooperate, promote goodwill, and bring about harmony on risks which the respective counsel were interested in.”
Consistent with the mission statement of the IADC, the Corporate Counsel Committee is committed to serving its members in the development of skills, professionalism, diversity, and camaraderie in the practice of law. To fulfill this commitment, the Committee holds short monthly calls where members can discuss current legal developments, present unique issues that they confront, and freely exchange ideas and perspectives. The monthly meetings also provide a forum for informing Committee members about forthcoming IADC meetings, events, and educational offerings. The Corporate Counsel Committee also sponsors its own programming, contributes articles to the Defense Counsel Journal, and assists in the development of the Corporate Counsel Training Academy, the Corporate Counsel College, and the International Corporate Counsel College. Soon, I hope you will see one-on-one podcast interviews with highly accomplished Committee members and Committee member spotlights in the IADC newsletters to highlight corporate successes and showcase the depth and breadth of Committee member experience.
Corporate counsel are now being confronted with legal issues that could not have been envisioned just a few short years ago, among them issues such as cybersecurity, privacy, artificial intelligence, and climate change to name a few. Furthermore, their employers are asking them to address these issues with fewer resources and smaller budgets, all the while acting as both lawyer and trusted business advisor. Organizations such as IADC fill a critical role in assisting corporate counsel to meet these demands. In recognition of legal department budgetary constraints, IADC dues are waived for corporate counsel if they attend an IADC major meeting. Recently, the IADC Board added the Professional Liability Roundtable to the list of major meetings eligible for this member benefit. Also not long ago, the IADC Board approved granting $200 certificates for use at major meetings when corporate counsel attend a Regional Meeting. With respect to educational programs, you will not find superior programming in any other organization. IADC programs are presented by experts in their fields and are topical, timely, and full of relevant substance.
The camaraderie aspect of the IADC should not be undervalued by corporate counsel. The Corporate Counsel Committee fosters the development of relationships among Committee and other IADC members. They are both social and professional. Through the IADC, corporate counsel can develop lifelong personal friendships and professional relationships with lawyers that they can call upon and trust for expert counsel.
The IADC is recognized as the preeminent organization of lawyers providing litigation services and counsel to corporations and insurers throughout the world. The fact that it has an annual retention rate of over 90% should not be surprising. The Corporate Counsel Committee is a significant contributor to the success of the IADC. I encourage all corporate counsel to participate in the activities of the Committee. More importantly, I encourage you to take advantage of the myriad other opportunities presented by the IADC. You will not be disappointed.
I invite you to join the Committee’s next regularly scheduled monthly call on March 19th at 3:00 p.m. (central time) and I hope to see many of you at Pebble Beach.