Shouldn’t the ACC specify why it chooses certain vendors as its exclusive Alliance members?

The ACC chooses a handful of companies to promote to its member as exclusive providers for various services. For example, according to Met. Corp. Counsel, May 2011 at 35, Applied Discovery holds that coveted position for electronic discovery, which led me to look at the other service providers with like recognition. The Association’s website merely says that it has Alliances: “ACC has formed partnerships with leading legal and business service providers” and members of the Association are entitled to benefits. I could find no justifications for the choices. For ACC to explain its methodology, facts, and basis for selection would make a big difference to all in-house lawyers who want to rely on or find such a service provider.

On the ACC website are listed Chubb (“Employed Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance”), Copyright Clearance Center, IntraLinks (“market leader in online workspace solutions”), Practical Law Company, Robert Half Legal (“exclusive staffing partner of the ACC Alliance”), WeComply (“the leading provider of customizable online compliance training”), and West (“the foremost provider of integrated information solutions, software and services to the U.S. legal market”). The companies have competitors; law department managers would deeply appreciate specific reasons why the ACC chose one over another.

On what basis did the ACC choose these favored Alliance members? Perhaps it is as simple as pay to play. If the criteria and process discriminate better between the chosen vendor and alternatives, it would help members if the Association explained the basis of the decisions, with specificity, so that members could know what distinct capabilities distinguished them from the other providers of similar services. It would allay the admittedly cynical question of whether whoever pays the most to the Association gets the garland.

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