For 40 years and in over 85 countries, ACC has represented, guided, and supported the global in-house counsel community. Here, we look back at our founding and acknowledge our leaders, current and past, whose work has built ACC into the dynamic organization it is today.
In The Beginning
On December 1, 1981, Robert S. Banks, then general counsel of Xerox Corporation, hosted a luncheon that would change the legal profession. Conversation ranged from the changing role of general counsel to whether resources available from national, state, and local bar associations were adequate for in-house counsel. Those in attendance agreed that while there were considerable resources for lawyers practicing in firms and working in government, there were not enough resources for in-house counsel.
In addition, in-house counsel had very few networking opportunities. Although several American Bar Association committees attempted to address some corporate practice issues, they were neither for nor made up of in-house lawyers. No organization really represented the specific interests of in-house counsel.
Gray Castle, former general counsel of Xerox, Cigna, and the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, as well as a past partner in major law firms, remembers, "[We needed] a national organization, especially one that would help raise the sights of in-house counsel and provide a unified voice for our profession. It was not until the 1981–1982 meetings, however, that things really got rolling."