Last year I attended the IACCM Americas conference in New Orleans. I thought it was one of the best conferences I’d ever attended. Excellent speakers, thought-provoking discussions, and opportunities to network with people outside my normal sphere of corporate counsel made it an event I’d recommend to anyone involved in contracting.
This year I have the opportunity to participate as a discussion leader in the Academic Symposium that kicks off the conference. We’ll be exploring whether current approaches to academic training (both legal and procurement) result in more confrontational and less productive relationships.
Although the IACCM is not primarily an association for attorneys, Tim Cummins and the IACCM have recently been taking a leadership role in discussions about the legal profession. Tim recently wrote on his blog, Commitment Matters:
“I am observing a growing number of corporations – especially US-headquartered multi-nationals – where the Legal organization is gaining increased power. And they are exercizing that power with a renewed focus on standard terms and conditions that are blatantly unreasonable and confrontational. Some are doing this on the buy-side, others on the sell-side – and when these two perspectives meet in the market, the only people who are empowered to fix the problem are …. the lawyers.”
I’d like to think Tim is wrong about the role of lawyers in creating the problem, but I certainly agree with his observation about the increasing prevalence of unreasonable and confrontational contract terms. It will be interesting to hear the views of others involved in the contracting process.
Other programs will focus on issues of globalization, automation, negotiations, risk assessment, and the changing world of business and contracting.
If you can make it to Scottsdale in early April it promises to be another great conference.