Letter From The President Of The Northeast Chapter Of The Association Of Corporate Counsel

2005-10-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

Fall programming for the ACC Northeast Chapter is offering a new twist! Our annual all-day conference in November is entitled, "Business Skills for In-House Counsel: A Mini-MBA," and is sponsored by LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP. This program is the brainchild of Byron Kalogerou and Terry Mahoney of LeBoeuf Lamb, who together spent nearly 25 years in-house, and who realize that having an understanding of business concepts dramatically increases the value of in-house counsel to their business colleagues and their enterprises. Byron and Terry were able to convince the Boston University School of Management ("SMG") that in-house counsel make up an untapped market of individuals yearning to develop and hone their business acuity for an in-house context. Working with BU, Byron and Terry developed a program to provide ACC members with a crash course in key business concepts to make you a better attorney.

The daylong program will take place at the Executive Leadership Center at BU and will kick off with a welcome and overview by Senior Associate Dean Michael Lawson. Professor Susan Samuelson, Executive Director of Executive Education at SMG, will follow with a course on business strategy and your role as in-house counsel in implementing that strategy. She will review tools to understand the competitive structure of an industry and a company's position within that industry.The importance of the roles that organic growth, acquisitions, and international expansion play will also be covered.

Renowned Professor Israel Shaked will follow with "The Valuation Battlefield: Financial Issues," which will address the myriad issues surrounding valuation of a business, issues with which both in-house and outside counsel frequently struggle whether in an acquisition, divestiture or countless other contexts. Groundwork describing several valuation methodologies will be laid, followed by real world examples to fully illustrate how business valuations are actually performed.

A break at lunch will bring keynote speaker Chris Kearney, previously general counsel and now President and Chief Executive Officer of SPX Corporation. Mr. Kearney will speak about both the challenges of making the transition from law to business, and the value of attorneys with business acumen. Mr. Kearney will be speaking from his own experience - SPX is an international NYSE listed industrial products and services company with 2004 revenues of over $4.3 billion. We are also honored to have Frederick Krebs, President, Association of Corporate Counsel join me in presenting this year's Corporate Counsel Excellence Award

Following lunch, Professor William Kahn will discuss effective leadership techniques, reviewing strategies for eliminating barriers to change within organizations. Increased organizational efficiency and improved business processes are most likely to occur when management teams understand the business value of change and how to capture it most effectively. The session will provide participants with the knowledge to identify barriers to change, and how to overcome them. Management strategies will be discussed, along with a comprehensive model for change initiators.

The day will end with a review of financial statements by Professor Michael Smith. In many aspects of in-house practice, gaining an appreciation of the company's numbers will make the in-house attorney more valuable to the enterprise, and will expand the comfort zone when participating in complex financial transactions.This session will give an understanding of the application of accounting and finance principles to decision-making situations in a business environment.

The joining of forces of LeBoeuf, a firm that prides itself on its business approach to servicing clients, and SMG, which is planning a week-long business education program for in-house counsel in 2006 as part of its Executive Education program, is sure to provide our members with a unique experience and early indications from the "Save the Date" mailing are that the program will be very well attended.

We will be seeking CLE credit for the program.We are also encouraging ACC members to invite non-member in-house counsel to attend.

The ACC-Northeast chapter would like to acknowledge with thanks the efforts of LeBouef, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, and Boston University in the preparation of this program summary. We are delighted to be able to offer this unique and pioneering program to the Northeast membership.

Also on our agenda for the fall are plans to reach outside of the immediate Boston area to Rhode Island and Maine, with programs on e-discovery and ethics respectively. Outreach to more far-flung parts of New England has become an important initiative for the Northeast Chapter, and we plan to expand this in 2006.


Thomas Farrel