ACC Value Challenge

Legal Service Management Workshop

2016 Program Faculty

ACC has assembled an ensemble faculty of legal practitioners with extensive knowledge of value-based fee structures and management practices, experienced in law department and law firm management as well as consulting. In addition to preparing curricular materials and teaching, faculty members serve as facilitators as you work through business cases in small groups to apply your new management tools.


Lisa Damon

Lisa Damon

Lisa Damon is a key member of Seyfarth Shaw's senior leadership team. She serves on the firm's Executive, Administrative and Compensation Committees, and also has executive oversight of the firm's SeyfarthLean initiative. Her vision and guidance have been highly instrumental in adapting SeyfarthLean's core principles of delivering client value, collaboration and efficiency to all firm departments and practice groups. Lisa, who is a certified GreenBelt, leads teams of lawyers and staff to bring SeyfarthLean to clients across a broad platform of legal services. Under Lisa's leadership, SeyfarthLean has gained significant attention and she is regularly asked by high profile organizations, such as the Association of Corporate Counsel, to share best practices and other knowledge.

Lisa is the National Chair of Seyfarth Shaw's 350 attorney Labor & Employment Department, and she represents management in the area of labor and employment law with an emphasis on litigation of claims of sex, race and age discrimination and harassment. She consults with clients on avoiding such litigation, through improved management policies and practices, positive employee relations, training and diversity assessment. Lisa also works with management to devise and refine diversity programs, helping companies limit class action liability and achieve diversity objectives.


Russ Dempsey

Russ Dempsey is Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer for United Retirement Plan Consultants. In addition to being a hands-on CLO, Russ drives value for his client by increasing efficiencies within the legal and compliance departments, and utilizing project management techniques and structuring value based relationships with outside counsel. Russ is a frequent speaker on legal project management and value-based billing practices.

Russ was named one of 12 Value Champions by the Association of Corporate Counsel (“ACC”) in 2012, where he was recognized for creativity in driving value for his corporate client. He is currently a member of ACC’s Value Challenge Steering Committee.

Russ holds both a JD and an LL.M. in taxation. He received his BA degree in Philosophy from Marshall University.

Garcia Photo 042016

Bill Garcia

Bill the Chief Practice Innovation Officer at Thompson Hine LLC and is responsible for the implementation of Thompson Hine's SmartPaTH® legal services delivery model as a core competency of the firm and for identifying and developing areas where novel ideas, new technology, firm structure and day-to-day practices can be combined and refined to improve the firm’s clients’ experience. Bill supports the development of legal project management and related processes, procedures and tools; coaches firm lawyers on SmartPaTH® techniques; and works with clients to foster more efficient legal service delivery processes. He supports practice groups in new product and service initiatives; identifies emerging new market opportunities; and sponsors the development of pioneering technologies.  He is a founding faculty member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Legal Service Management Workshop series.  Bill was the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives of an international law firm, where he advised firm clients on the development of alternative fee/value-based billing arrangements and the formation and operation of preferred legal vendor programs.  He previously served for more than a decade as inside counsel at Gannett Co., Inc., where he advised on antitrust, advertising, distribution and other matters and managed the commercial litigation docket. He later served as Vice President/Compliance Oversight at MCI during its emergence from bankruptcy. Before joining Gannett, Bill practiced at two international law firms.  He holds a J.D. from University of Chicago Law School and an A.B.mcl from Harvard University.  He has held several leadership posts in the ABA Section of Litigation, is an Associate Editor of Litigation Journal, and is a former co-chair of the Committee on Corporate Counsel.  Contact Info:  (202) 263-4163;

Heather Jacobson

Heather Jacobson

Heather Jacobson is the Director, Legal Business Solutions at UnitedLex and has worked with corporate law departments on strategic and operational projects for 10 years, with a focus on data-driven decision making and supporting metrics and reports. Jacobson has helped departments define their vision and goals and develop applicable processes, roles, systems, and training. Jacobson has worked with clients in various industries, such as: financial services, consumer products, technology, and manufacturing. Previously, Jacobson was a Director at Huron Legal and served on the Associate Board for Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS) in Chicago. Jacobson received her B.A. in Finance from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and MBA in Finance and Operations Management from DePaul University.


Nancy Jessen

For over 25 years, has provided strategic and operational consulting services to the legal industry. Nancy works closely with the General Counsel to develop the vision and structure of the law department to reflect and enable accomplishment of the company’s goals. Her focus also includes operationalizing the vision through a resource plan that balances the use of internal and external resources and the effective deployment of simplified processes and enabling technology. Nancy is known for her depth of knowledge and passion for driving sustainable improvement with her clients.

During the course of her career, Nancy has supported and partnered with the key industry organizations, including ACC (Association of Corporate Counsel) and IACCM (International Association for Contract & Commercial Management) to define and promote industry best practices that raises the understanding and effectiveness of organizations beyond her direct client base.

As a recognized industry expert, Nancy draws upon her prior roles as the practice leader for Huron Consulting’s Law Department Management group and her time with Altman Weil. Her consulting experience is supplemented with knowledge gained from hands-on experience as the Manager of Information Systems at a mid-west law firm and working for a software company that designed and implemented financial systems for law firms.

Nancy is a frequent speaker at industry-wide and sponsored events on topics that inspire and educate the audience on how to set priorities, achieve cost savings, successfully implement new systems, drive user adoption of change and articulate the value contribution of the law department. Nancy received her degree in Management Information Systems from Iowa State University.

kathy kirmayer

Kathryn D. Kirmayer

Since January 2015, Kathryn D. Kirmayer has been General Counsel at the Association of American Railroads in Washington, D.C..  For twenty-five years prior to that, she practiced with an AmLaw 100 law firm as a trial attorney specializing in complex business litigation and arbitration.  While at the law firm, Kathy served as Vice-Chair of the firm's Finance Committee, with responsibility for approving the firm's value-based pricing proposals as well as monitoring their performance. She trained firm attorneys and staff in VBB principles and practices, and wrote and presented outside the firm (including as part of the ACC LSM Faculty) on the subject of value-based fee arrangements. 

Kathy earned her law degree magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif. She has a B.A. in psychology from Williams College, where she was captain of the swim team and a four-year All American.  Kathy is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia. She lives in Maryland with her two children, and is an avid open water swimmer.

 Joseph (Joe) Spratt

Joseph (Joe) Spratt

Joseph Spratt is an accomplished communications strategist and business management executive, with more than 20 years’ experience in both in-house and consulting capacities, notably in the rapidly evolving legal services industry.

Joe has combined deep expertise in brand, strategy, talent and communications to create an innovative approach that effectively advances and accelerates an organization's success. For Seyfarth Shaw, an AmLaw 100 firm, held a number of strategic initiatives that successfully and dramatically repositioned Seyfarth as a progressive leader in value and innovation.

Joe’s work has focused on internal organizational change, client-partner engagement, brand management, and external thought leadership and reputation management. He has created industry partnerships and alliances that help an organization advance its leadership position, using education as a powerful business development tool.

Joe is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and serves on the faculty for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Legal Services Management program. He has worked in partnership with the ACC to develop executive-level education and training curriculum on business of law issues. He is a published author on topics that include legal project management and process improvement, strategic communications for legal teams, the art of listening and advancing legal diversity.




Ken Grady

Kenneth A. Grady

Ken Grady is the Lean Law Evangelist for Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and formerly was Chief Executive Officer of SeyfarthLean Consulting, LLC, a Seyfarth Shaw subsidiary. A recognized thought leader, Ken is a frequent speaker in and outside the U.S. on legal industry issues and trends, including innovation, leadership, efficiency, and change management. Ken’s articles and posts have been featured in many online and print media publications, and he is the editor and principal author of the blog He has also earned a number of accolades during his career, including being named to the Fastcase 50, which honors the law’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders” and was honored by the Financial Times for innovative leadership of in-house counsel/outside counsel relationships.

Ken helped pioneer techniques in the legal industry such as value-based fee arrangements, project management, and process improvement netting impressive results including reducing legal department expenses by as much as 50% while at the same time supporting high-growth companies. Ken’s training in lean thinking includes studies at the famed Japanese consulting firm Shingijutsu Co. Ltd. under Yoshiki Iwata, an original member of the Toyota Autonomous Study Group that developed the Toyota Production System.

Before retiring from in-house positions, Ken’s career included general counsel roles at three Fortune 1000 corporations and executive leadership positions in Fortune 500 and 1000 corporations. While in private practice, Ken was a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery. Ken was an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for 14 years. He served as a member of the ACC’s Board of Directors, its Value Challenge Steering Committee and its Advocacy Committee.

Renee Karibi-Whyte

Renee Karibi-Whyte

Renee Karibi-Whyte currently oversees law department marketing development and research initiatives for Practical Law Company. Her focus includes identification of key issues and concerns of in-house counsel, particularly as they relate to efficiency and cost containment.

Prior to joining Practical Law Company, Renee worked with American Conference Institute, where she managed a team of attorneys that researched, developed and facilitated conferences for in-house and private practice attorneys on diverse issues, ranging from law department management to regulatory compliance and litigation strategies. In this role, Renee researched, developed and facilitated events on reducing legal costs for in house counsel, providing in-depth, practical information and concrete take-aways. Under Renee's direction, her team developed and ran over 70 events per year focused on helping attorneys improve their practice and the bottom line.

Renee previously practiced at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, worked with the US Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and served as a Trial Attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources division in the US Department of Justice Honors Program. After graduating from Harvard Law School, she clerked for the then-Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


Stephanie Shores Lambert

Stephanie Shores Lambert is managing counsel at Staples, Inc.  In this role, she reports to the general counsel and provides legal support to Staples’ merchandising and private label products divisions. Her practice has focused on commercial transactions, customs and international trade matters, regulatory compliance, technology licensing, and intellectual property issues.

Before joining Staples, Ms. Lambert served as corporate counsel at OneSource Information Services, Inc., a leading provider of online business information to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to her role at OneSource, she was in private practice.

She recently served as chair of the ACC’s law department management committee and has served on the Massachusetts Bar Association’s (MBA) business law section council. She formerly served as counsel to the board of directors of Staples Foundation. She has coordinated and presented as a faculty member for both MBA and ACC education programs. She volunteers her time for Read to a Child and Holden Youth Baseball/Softball.

She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Wheaton College and her JD, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School.

R Lipstein

Rob Lipstein

Rob Lipstein, recently retired, was a partner in Crowell & Moring's Antitrust, International Investment, Trade and Arbitration (ITA), and Intellectual Property Groups, and was co-chair of the Antitrust Group and chair of the ITA Group Steering Committee. As chair of the firm's Finance and Contingent Fee Review Committees, Rob also led the firm's value-based billing initiatives, working within the firm and with clients to craft and implement value-based fee agreements. Rob has worked closely with ACC on its Value Challenge, and was a founding faculty member for ACC's Legal Service Management workshops. He is now emeritus advisor on the curriculum.

michael mills

Michael Mills

Michael Mills is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Neota Logic Inc., creators of the Neota Logic software platform for legal process improvement. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, then served as law clerk to a United States District Judge. Mr. Mills was a partner in the law firm Mayer Brown. At Davis Polk & Wardwell, he lead technology strategy, business development, knowledge management, lawyer training, and e-discovery. At Kraft & Kennedy, he served as a technology consultant to law firms and law departments. He is a director of Pro Bono Net, which provides innovative technology for the nonprofit legal sector.

Joe Otterstetter 

Joe Otterstetter

Joe Otterstetter is a 1985 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He began his legal career as an associate in Faegre & Benson’s business litigation practice group. In 1989, he joined 3M Legal Affairs and has served as a legal advisor to more than 30 different 3M divisions. From 1997-2000, he lived and worked for 3M in the United Kingdom and Europe where he supported 3M’s chemical, industrial, and electronics businesses. In addition, during this time abroad, he helped to establish and supported 3M’s operations in the Middle East and North Africa. He’s served as the primarily business group counsel for 3M’s Industrial, Transportation, and Safety & Security Systems business groups. In February of 2013, he was appointed to the newly created role as managing counsel for 3M Legal Affairs. In this role, Joe has led a number of important projects to enhance 3M’s efficiency and effectiveness, including the creation of 3M’s Preferred Counsel Network.

Joe is a passionate supporter of community engagement and pro bono initiatives. For more than 20 years, Joe has served as a volunteer lawyer for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, a Twin Cities-based legal civil legal services provider, and the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.


Amar D. Sarwal

Amar D. Sarwal is the Vice President and Chief Legal Strategist of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in Washington, D.C. ACC is the world's largest bar association dedicated exclusively to serving the interests of in-house counsel. With an international membership of more than 30,000 in-house lawyers at more than 10,000 organizations in more than 75 countries, ACC serves as the "voice of the in-house bar" for corporate lawyers at 98 percent of the Fortune 100 and 45 percent of the Global 1000.

In this position, Amar leads efforts to engage Chief Legal Officers and other legal executives, to challenge both law firms and in-house counsel to deliver real value for their clients and to shape the legal environment so that it advances the professional interests and unique perspectives of the in-house bar. To accomplish those objectives, he works with ACC’s leadership and members, government regulators and other organizations.

Amar joined ACC in 2010 as Associate General Counsel, directing key advocacy efforts and issues of importance to in-house counsel and the bar at large, such as multijurisdictional matters, corporate responsibility, attorney-client privilege, ethics and other issues that affect the ability of in-house counsel to provide effective guidance to their corporate clients.

Before joining ACC, he served as General Litigation Counsel at the United States Chamber of Commerce, where he managed the Chamber’s extensive amicus curiae and party litigation docket before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state courts. Prior to the U.S. Chamber, Amar was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day, practicing in the Issues and Appeals Section. Earlier in his career, Amar served as a judicial clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Little of the Western District of Louisiana and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Krupansky of the Sixth Circuit of Ohio.

Amar received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on International Business. He also graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. Amar is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal courts.

He is also a member of the board of directors for KEEN Greater DC, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that works with children with disabilities.


Stephanie L. Sciullo

Stephanie L. Sciullo is associate general counsel & director of litigation for MSA Safety, a publicly traded global manufacturing company.   She is responsible for all aspects of MSA's litigation portfolio.  Her expertise includes nationwide coordination of product liability claims and associated insurance recovery efforts.   Ms. Sciullo has implemented several initiatives resulting in million-dollar cost savings and improved quality of defense through process improvement and efficiency tools, earning honors as a 2014 ACC Value Champion. 

She is adjunct faculty at both the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Duquesne University School of Law, teaching a course she developed about the unique legal obligations of in-house counsel. Prior to MSA, she practiced with Reed Smith LLP.

She is a member of ACC’s Value Challenge Steering Committee.  She also serves on the board of directors for ACC Western Pennsylvania, where she founded a quarterly roundtable for local law department leaders to share best practices in legal services management.

Ms. Sciullo earned her BA and JD at the University of Pittsburgh.


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