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ACC Expands in Canada with the Establishment of ACC Alberta

Posted: Jun 30, 2014

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) –– The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global bar association representing more than 33,000 in-house counsel, continues to grow its global membership with the announcement of ACC Alberta, the fourth ACC chapter in Canada. With more than 150 members representing over 65 corporations, ACC Alberta will offer educational programs, networking opportunities and resources to in-house lawyers in the province.

"Alberta has experienced a significant boost in its economy over the past few years, resulting in an employment surge for global companies in the province," said Veta T. Richardson, president and chief executive officer of ACC. "With Alberta expected to lead economic growth in Canada in 2014, it is an especially exciting time for ACC to form a chapter in the region to provide in-house counsel in Alberta with the tools necessary to address global business challenges and grow in such a prosperous environment."

ACC Alberta will provide multiple programs throughout the year on a variety of topics to in-house counsel in Calgary, Edmonton and other cities in keeping with member needs.

"As the first Canadian to chair the ACC Board of Directors, I am especially proud to charter ACC Alberta and advance our goal to serve as the global voice of the in-house bar," said David Allgood, ACC board chair and executive vice president and general counsel for Royal Bank of Canada. "ACC is the premier network for in-house leaders in the legal industry who are interested in diversity, advocacy, continuing legal education, resources and other opportunities."

Leaders of ACC Alberta represent a variety of multinational corporations in the province and include:

  • President – Karen Wiwchar, Vice President, Legal for H&R Block Canada, Inc.
  • Vice President – Lorne O'Reilly, General Counsel for Superior Plus Corp.
  • Treasurer – Barrett Westerlund, Senior Counsel for ATB Financial
  • Secretary – Kate Fischer, Corporate Legal Counsel for Talisman Energy Inc.
  • Board Member and Program Chair – Michelle Plouffe, Vice President and General Counsel for Grant MacEwan University
  • Board Member and Membership Chair – Merran Christie, Legal Counsel for SMART Technologies, Inc.
  • Board Member – Darren Baccus, Associate General Counsel for Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo)
  • Board Member – Charles Kraus, Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Lone Pine Resources Inc.
  • Board Member – Lynette Stanley-Maddocks, VP, Legal  for Westmoreland Coal Company
  • Board Member and Program Committee – Melissa Stoesser Young, Senior Legal Counsel  for Talisman Energy Inc.
  • Board Member and Sponsorship Co-Chair – David Weyant, Q.C. former Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Alberta Health Services

"ACC is well-known among in-house counsel for its superior resources and strong worldwide network," said Karen Wiwchar, president, ACC Alberta, and vice president, legal for H&R Block Canada, Inc. "As ACC Alberta president, my goal is to work with our founding board of directors to develop strong and meaningful connections for in-house counsel in the area and provide the necessary resources to address the compliance and regulatory issues brought on by Alberta's fast-growing economy."

According to the ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) 2014 Survey - Canada, published earlier this month, in-house lawyers have identified compliance and regulatory changes as key issues in Canada. These concerns are consistent with those ranked as pressing by the broader global in-house community. In fact, more than 83 percent of CLOs and general counsel in 41 countries identified these topics among their leading concerns. This percentage is even greater in Canada, as more than 89 percent reported these as key issues now and in the year ahead.

For more information on ACC Alberta, please visit www.acc.com/chapters/alberta.

About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. With more than 33,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on Twitter: @ACCinhouse.

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