The business opportunities opening up to international companies in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) are fast increasing, but the six Persian Gulf countries that comprise it have different commercial attractions and potentially competing economic goals, participants learned at a recent Doing Business in the GCC conference held in London.
Hosted by law firm Norton Rose, and drawing on the practical experience of panelists from Aegis Group, Boston Consulting Group, Celerant Consulting, Citigroup and Everything Everywhere, the advice offered to ACC members was both insightful and practical.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, ACC is celebrating its 30th year. It’s hard to believe that a shared lunch between distinguished members of our profession yielded an idea that has evolved into the leading, global association for in-house counsel. Well, it’s really not that hard to believe — after all, we have more than 30,000 members around the world contributing to the success of the organization, and to our ever-changing profession. Without your contributions of time, expertise and invaluable resources, we would not have made it this far.
Speaking of resources, over the last 30 years, ACC has introduced a variety of tools to better serve our growing membership, along with its expanding needs as in-house counsel. We offer InfoPaksSM — in-depth, practical primers that are smartly packaged to save you time — and ACC Newsstand — a collaborative initiative (and a favorite of our members) with newsfeed service Lexology that delivers essential know-how and market intelligence to you. Our Contract Advisor is (not to toot our own horn) the very first resource of its kind, and our Census Survey is the only comprehensive industry study providing unique insight into the in-house counsel community. Newer resources include the ACC Docket column, “Wisdom of the Crowd,” which poses members’ questions and answers from ACC eGroups, and the much-anticipated ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) 2013 Survey.
Last fall, the US Department of Justice and Security and Exchange Commission released new guidelines to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office unveiled revisions to the UK Bribery Act policies, giving corporate lawyers plenty to mull over within their departments. These two documents provide guidance and regulation for issues such as facilitations payments, business expenditures and self-reporting incidents of bribery. For organizations that do business in many countries, analyzing and understanding these resolutions is imperative. Most important, however, is that the legal department ensures compliance.
Sequels are quite underrated, particularly the second one in the series. Think about it. We all remember the first iterations of blockbuster movies, as if they were the gold standards, while most sequels are forgettable. Still, sometimes, the sequel outdoes the original. Lists of good sequels abound, but any such list has to include “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Terminator II,” “Mad Max,” “Silence of the Lambs,” “Godfather II” and “Superman II.” These are movies that make you want to come back for more. Well, the ACC Value Champions is back for its second act, and we feel the same way about our initiative to identify and celebrate the pioneers of value in the legal space.
Many of you know that I grew up in Georgia and Alabama. After my father retired from the US Army during my junior year in high school, we settled outside Ft. Rucker, Ala., in a small town named Enterprise. While I never went to the University of Alabama, I am a long-time Alabama football fan. Football is king in the south. We eat, sleep and breathe the gridiron. Continue Reading