Bursting Your Bubble

In-house practice has never existed in a bubble. We’ve always had to operate across channels, be it within the organization — connecting the goals of the legal department with those of finance, the C-suite and beyond — or outside the company’s physical borders, working with inside and outside counsel in international jurisdictions. This issue of the ACC Docket explores some of the challenges, benefits and opportunities that exist when working across those proverbial “borders.”

For most of us, working with colleagues and outside counsel located around the world is just another day at the office. Preliminary data from the ACC 2015 Global Census indicates that roughly two thirds of in-house counsel have cross-border responsibilities. Additionally, CLOs reported in the ACC Chief Legal Officer (CLO) 2015 Survey that an average of 21 percent of annual revenue was derived from outside the country in which their office is headquartered.

Your company’s business likely spans more than one country, and if it doesn’t right now, chances are it will. Even if your company is based solely in one country, employees take business trips and clients can be based anywhere. A distance of 3,000 miles is no barrier to showing your face at a meeting, thanks to teleconference devices and conference room projectors.

The technologies that allow us to operate in a global business climate are discussed in this issue, with an article highlighting some of the questions that the proliferation of digital information is raising about what should be considered a document or a possession. The cover story “Transferring Personal Data Out of the European Union: Which Export Solution Best Fits Your Needs?” discusses what to do with this data. It outlines why it may technically be “easy” to transfer information between the European Union and the United States, yet it is not so easy to do this legally. The authors outline three accepted methods for a seamless, legal transaction, one of which includes using model contract clauses. ACC’s International Legal Affairs Committee recently held a program highlighting updates on the proposed EU data protection regulations.

Other articles focus on getting the business of the day done, which includes complying with visa laws when hiring foreign employees. In terms of transferring employees, the timely “Avoiding Global Transfer Snares for LBGT Employees” takes a look at what may or may not be considered discrimination based on practices in countries outside of the United States.

These articles offer the hands-on advice, tips and first-hand experience that corporate counsel need to improve and inform their practice. It’s a good thing that you’re a member of ACC. After all, only the premier global in-house bar could provide you with all the resources you need to operate in a cross borders world.