find a firm that specializes in commercial
regulatory law for an undisclosed jurisdic-
tion outside North America.
She didn’t want to waste precious time
contacting colleagues and fellow in-house
counsel for references.
As a member of the Washington,
D.C.-based Association of Corporate
Counsel (ACC) and the president of the
130-member Quebec chapter of the ACC
Martel simply logged on to the ACC Value
Index (AVI) that the international asso-
ciation launched at its annual meeting in
Boston last year.
Part of the broader ACC Value Chal-
lenge that seeks to reconnect the cost of
legal services to the value provided, the
AVI enables ACC members to share infor-
mation about the value they get for those
services from outside counsel and to score
firms based on certain criteria.
The ACC hopes to accomplish two
goals with its client-satisfaction measure-
ment tool, according to Fred Krebs, presi-
dent of the association, which has about
26,000 members (including nearly 1,000
in Canada) from an estimated 10,000
organizations in more than 70 countries
around the world.
rebs says that ACC mem-
bers have the choice of
identifying themselves in
their evaluations of firms
or remaining anonymous.
Either way, colleagues can still send
them an e-mail and request clarity or
further information about a firm’s rating.
The member who posted the evalua-
tion has the option of replying or not, but
Krebs points out that ACC members “by
and large tend to be very responsive to
Martel has posted a handful of eval-
uations of law firms she has retained,
and was contacted by ACC colleagues
looking for more information.
She has also contacted reviewers
of other firms in foreign jurisdictions
where BRP either has no operations
or where she is unfamiliar with the le-
competitive rates,” she bubbles.
“The one time I have used the in-
dex to find a firm produced amazing
results, and I’m really happy.”
[The index] will be another way
for me to measure value, and help
me assess or decide on choosing a
firm… relationship with external counsel.
“One is to help members find outside
counsel. The other is to enable mem-
bers to find law firms by virtue of what
has been said about the firm, and allow
members to contact other members
about their evaluations.”
Through the AVI, BRP’s Martel ob-
tained “a very good reference” for a
firm in the country she was searching
and contacted the ACC colleague who
posted the glowing review and “fully
recommended” the firm.
“We’ve been working with that firm
for the last six months, and are very,
very pleased—and they have really
“In one case, I was able to talk with
in-house counsel from a large, reputa-
ble multinational corporation who had
made a good comment about a firm,”