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Get to Know 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 organisations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives.

We anticipate and understand the needs of the in-house profession; help members deliver services to their corporate clients efficiently; promote the value of in-house services; influence the practice of law as it affects the in-house profession; and deliver a mix of relevant, timely services including information, education, networking and advocacy.

With more than 40,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries, ACC connects its members to each other and to the people and resources necessary for their personal and professional growth.

We encourage HKCCA members to find out more about ACC and its online resources by clicking here: https://www.acc.com/hk/

You can hear more about the alliance from ACC Hong Kong President, Lin Shi here.

HKCCA and ACC Alliance FAQ

When does the alliance commence?

The alliance will commence on 1 September 2017.


I’m an existing HKCCA member – what does this mean for my membership?

As part of ACC’s global network, HKCCA will deliver more in-house resources, connections, and professional development opportunities, on top of the services we currently offer, so your HKCCA membership just got better.

Existing HKCCA members (whether individual or corporate) will be able to continue their existing membership under ACC Hong Kong. This will be known as “standard” membership. You will also have the option to upgrade to full membership for access to a broader range of resources at a higher annual membership fee.

Existing HKCCA members must renew their membership within one month of the expiration of their membership in order to qualify for continuing standard membership.


What benefits will I receive as a standard member?

Like HKCCA, ACC offers resources, education, peer connection, and advocacy – some of which are region or country specific, and some global. More information about ACC can be found at: https://www.acc.com/hk

Standard membership will provide access to local events and services as currently provided by HKCCA, along with access to select global ACC resources and benefits such as:

  • Global Webcasts*, including webcasts on critical legal hot topics, available in the Hong Kong time zone.
  • Access to select ACC education programs* across the globe, including the ACC Australia National Conference and the ACC Annual Meeting
  • ACC Docket: A monthly electronic journal featuring articles written by in-house counsel worldwide.
  • Research*: Gain critical insight into how your peers worldwide see issues such as: law department management, work life balance, compensation, and interactions with business people in their company.
  • QuickCounsel: When you need to know about a topic quickly, QuickCounsel provides high-level briefings on topics such as IP, contracts, anti-corruption, litigation alternatives, and more.
  • Chief Legal Officer Resources: ACC provides a suite of services designed specifically to help CLOs meet their unique challenges. Programmes include a global General Counsel Summit*, Think Tanks, Roundtables, benchmarking reports*, and tools to aid in managing a law department.

*Costs may apply for certain resources, programmes or conferences.

For further information on the types of membership benefits you will receive please refer to the Membership Benefit Chart.


What are the fees for standard membership for 2017/2018?

From 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018, the individual rate for standard membership will remain HKD 750 for an individual, and HKD 500 per employee for corporate members.

On your membership renewal date, and at any time after, existing HKCCA members will also have the opportunity to upgrade to the full membership option.


What benefits will I receive as a full member?

Like HKCCA, ACC offers resources, education, peer connection, and advocacy – some of which is region or country specific, and some global.

If you choose to become a full member, in addition to all standard membership benefits, you will also gain access to the full range of ACC online resources and tools including:

  • International and Local Member Directory: Enabling in-house counsel to search for and contact other in-house counsel in a secure environment.
  • ACC Committees: Get involved with a global network of in-house lawyers interested in your area of law. Committees hold regular conference calls across multiple global time zones and host online eGroups where members develop resources, organise continuing education programs, and more.
  • Benchmarking Tools: ACC offers profiles describing how top legal departments around the world handle the issues you face: compliance training, corporate governance, and more.
  • Sample Forms, Policies and Guidelines: Don’t reinvent the wheel! Leverage select existing multi-jurisdictional materials, or, once available, download sample Hong Kong material developed by in-house lawyers, for in-house lawyers.
  • InfoPAKs: These comprehensive reports allow you to explore some of the most difficult issues you face in detail through articles, forms, case law, and policies.
  • Compliance Portal and Contracts Portal: These portals bring together a variety of resources and best practices on compliance and contractual issues.
  • Member-to-Member: Connect with your peers in Hong Kong and around the world to share ideas and questions through a private online community.

Full members also receive a discounted full member rate on a range of services, including the GC Summit, ACC Annual Meeting, ACC Australia National Conference and ACC research reports.

For further information on the types of membership benefits you will receive please refer to the Membership Benefit Chart.


What are the costs for full membership for 2017/2018?

From 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018 the individual membership rate for a twelve-month full membership for new ACC Hong Kong members will be HKD2,055. During this period, a twelve-month full membership for continuing HKCCA members will be at a pro-rates amount to take into account the three month trial membership. Please contact us for corporate membership rates.


How do I become a full member?

On your membership renewal date, existing HKCCA members will have the opportunity to upgrade to the full membership option. Standard members may also upgrade to full membership at any time after the alliance commences on 1 September 2017.

New members joining after the alliance commences must join as full members.


What if I’m part of a corporate membership and leave my employment?

If an individual has acquired existing HKCCA membership through his/her company, the company is the existing corporate member and not that individual. This means that if the employee of the corporate member joins a different company after 1 September 2017, and that other company is not an existing corporate member, the employee of the new company must join as a full member and is not entitled to renew at the standard individual or corporate membership rates.


Can I join now?

Should you have any colleagues who wish to join HKCCA, please share this HKCCA website link, where they will find information about our currently discounted joining rates (50% of the standard membership fee) to 31 July 2017: https://www.hkcca.net/HKCCA-News/4669459.


Why is HKCCA joining ACC?

HKCCA is very proud of the services we deliver to Hong Kong in-house counsel. However, the majority of our members work and/or transact across borders. By joining the ACC global network our members benefit by accessing the resources and benefits of a global association, while retaining local services and events previously provided by the HKCCA.


Why ACC?

HKCCA and ACC have the same purpose – to advance the interests of and serve the in-house profession – creating a natural synergy. Joining forces with ACC gives HKCCA an instant global footprint that will benefit in-house counsel members through global resources and connections.

ACC is a global in-house counsel association that promotes the common professional and business interests of its members through information, education, networking opportunities, and advocacy initiatives. ACC’s membership includes a diverse mix of more than 42,000 in-house lawyers who represent more than 10,000 companies in 85 countries worldwide.

ACC seeks to anticipate and understand the needs of the in-house profession; help members deliver services to their corporate clients efficiently; promote the value of in-house services; influence the practice of law as it affects in-house counsel; and deliver a mix of relevant, timely services.

ACC is by in-house for in-house, and ACC’s primary responsibility is to its members. ACC continually strives to develop resources and programs that respond to and anticipate member needs.


What process did ExCo follow in deciding to join ACC?

This decision by ExCo was not taken lightly. Rather, it was after careful consideration of the strategic alignment of the two organisations, identification of common objectives, and determination of the added membership value, that the ExCo decided it was in members’ interests to join the global network.

The founding members of HKCCA foresaw that alliances, mergers, and/or partnerships may assist the HKCCA achieve its objectives. They anticipated this by expressly including a clause in the HKCCA constitution stating that ExCo could undertake such activity in its efforts to deliver on those objectives.


Will HKCCA be relevant locally given ACC is US based?

Yes. ACC started as an US-based organisation and is now a global association, with in-house counsel members in 85 countries. By joining the worldwide network, HKCCA can continue to focus on local needs and resources. The difference is that we will not be alone and can draw on the power and scale of the ACC network.

The HKCCA ExCo will continue to deliver local content. This alliance will not jeopardise our ability to be relevant in the Hong Kong context and provide content that is current and focused on the needs of our members locally.


What does this mean for our existing partner and sponsorship arrangements?

There will be no impact on our current commitments, and HKCCA will be an even stronger in-house counsel association to partner with going forward.


Will the HKCCA head office still be located in Hong Kong and will there be local staff to contact?

Yes, the HKCCA office will continue to be based in Hong Kong, and our contact information and customer service will remain the same.


I’m a regulatory, enforcement, or policy lawyer – what happens to my membership?

While both organisations are very similar there is one significant difference - ACC does not have government regulatory, enforcement, or policy in-house counsel (REP) as members other than in Australia and Hong Kong. Under the alliance, “Government REP” means a lawyer working for a government department or agency, quasi-government, or administrative body who has regulatory, enforcement, and policy functions This is a historic issue based on the adversarial nature of the US corporate and regulatory environment. Unfortunately, this means there are limitations on cross-border networking and global resources designed for corporations that ACC currently offers.

Government REPs will be eligible for standard membership only; however, the new standard membership with ACC will still provide more than what was offered before the alliance.

For further information on the types of membership benefits you will receive please refer to the Membership Benefit Chart.


I’m a professor, student, academic or paralegal – what happens to my membership?

Any current members who are not in-house counsel (e.g. professors, students, academics, and paralegals) will be grandfathered and known as associate members under the alliance and will be eligible for standard membership only. After 1 September 2017, people who would otherwise have met the associate member criteria before 1 September 2017 will no longer be eligible for membership.

For further information on the types of membership benefits you will receive please refer to the Membership Benefit Chart.

I’m an honorary member – what happens to my membership?

Anyone who is an honorary member of HKCCA at the time the alliance commences will be grandfathered in and entitled to a complimentary ACC Hong Kong full membership.

Will the cost of membership increase under the alliance?

There is no immediate fee change for standard members, and full membership will have a higher fee for a more extensive range of services. Each year we do review membership fees and as always, any changes will be clearly outlined in your renewal.

How do I access the trial full membership?

All HKCCA members, other than associate and government REP members, will be entitled to a three-month trial of the full membership option to enable members to experience the full range of ACC resources and services. Members will receive information about how to take up the trial as part of the membership renewal process.

Will the HKCCA website remain?

Yes, and in time you will be access the ACC global website from the HKCCA website using your existing log-in.

What will happen next, and when?

All members will receive regular updates as we aim for a 1 September 2017 launch date.


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