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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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In-house Counsel Strategy Checklist

  • Who does this impact/who is involved?

  • What is the business trying to accomplish here?  How can Legal help?

  • Does this maximize value creation/minimize value destruction?

  • How does this fit into the company’s strategy?

  • What’s the game theory here?  If we do this:

    • What happens in the short term?

    • What happens in the long term?

  • Is there a pattern behind this problem/issue?  Can we fix/change it?

  • What are the benefits/risks of doing this?  How much will it cost?

  • Is this something that will make customers or vendors upset/bring on litigation?

  • Is this something that if it becomes public or goes “badly” could damage the reputation/stock price of the company?

    • Even if we can do this legally, should we?

  • Is this covered by any specific law or regulation?

    • Will any regulator care if we/they do this?  How would we respond if they do?

  • Can we use legal tactics/government affairs to legally advance our interests/stop this?  Should we?

  • Have our competitors/anyone done this or faced this before – what did they do?  What happened?

  • What is the craziest "what if" I can come up with here?  Why would/wouldn't that work?

  • Who in the company needs to know about this?

  • Is this something that could injure someone?

*Reprinted with permission from Sterling Miller’s Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel blog post “Ten Things: The ‘Strategic’ In-House Lawyer” (December 2019).


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