The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global legal association representing 40,000 in-house counsel in 90 countries, last week announced the launch of a new practice area committee. The ACC Information Governance Committee will foster engagement and collaboration on corporate legal departments’ role in data protection and collection, discovery procedures and records retention issues.

The committee will serve as a forum for addressing the common data use, protection and storage challenges that affect most corporations. Committee members will address industry best practices on ensuring data privacy, archiving information, becoming “litigation-ready” in the face of complex discovery requests and adding business value by implementing information management systems that lower costs and increase efficiency in the law department.

“In the coming years, companies and their law departments will have to contend with huge, unprecedented data growth,” said L. Shawn Cheadle, chair, ACC Information Governance Committee, and general counsel, military space, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “The ACC Information Governance Committee will help in-house lawyers collaborate across the challenging spectrum of data issues, ensuring compliance, mitigating risk, creating the right technology infrastructure and advising on information management and retention.”

In addition to Cheadle, ACC Information Governance Committee leadership includes:

Vice chair, Ann Drew, director, WEX;

Secretary, James Carroll, counsel, Occidental Petroleum;

Membership chair, Matthew Nelson, attorney, information governance, Symantec;

Legal quick hits program chair, Linda Sharp, associate general counsel, ZL Technologies;

Annual meeting program chair, Catherine Walberg, SVP, Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company; and

Publications chair, Melissa Drennan, associate general counsel for tax services firm Ryan.

The committee will also focus on the expensive discovery process for litigation and regulatory inquiries. Members will collaborate on procedures they have employed to streamline e-Discovery and the technology solutions they turn to in order to control and process an influx of data.

Upcoming Events

On Aug. 20, the committee will hold a roundtable discussion, “Pulling Together the Information Governance Plan,” on successful information governance initiatives and lessons learned.

Additionally, two of the committee’s upcoming programs will focus on the lifecycle of information. The first, on Sept. 17, is a webcast, “The Future of Contract Lifecycle Management: Deconstruction, Automation and Alternative Resourcing for Information Governance.” The committee will address mitigating the risks of information sprawl and offer best practices on contract lifecycle management, including automation and process reengineering options.

The second program on the topic, “Data Lifecycle: What Is It and Why Should It Matter to In-house Counsel?” will be presented at the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting, to be held Oct. 18–21 in Boston.

Additionally, the committee will present “A Brave New World: Cyber-security and Data Protection in the Wake of Recent Corporate Attacks” at the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting, in conjunction with the ACC Litigation Committee. At that session, speakers will offer practical guidance on cyber-security issues, including what steps to take to thwart or respond to a data breach.