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Posted June 21st, 2012 in Top Stories

The Association of Corporate Counsel Recognizes Target & Nilan Johnson Lewis as “2012 ACC Value Champions”

MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Wagner

The Association of Corporate Counsel Recognizes Target & Nilan Johnson Lewis as “2012 ACC Value Champions”

MINNEAPOLIS (June 21, 2012) – Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA, along with client partner Target Corp., today announce that they have been recognized as 2012 “Value Champions” by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for their collaboration and creativity in developing and advancing a value-based approach to managing legal services. Part of the “ACC Value Challenge,” this new program recognizes law department/law firm collaborations that deliver substantial value to the client corporations by achieving better legal outcomes while simultaneously cutting spending and improving predictability.

“Target’s use of fixed fee arrangements with Nilan Johnson Lewis has allowed Target’s employee and labor relations team to deepen the partnership with a key law firm that has been critical to the department’s success, while simultaneously enhancing cost certainty for Target,” said Jim Rowader, vice president and general counsel for employee and labor relations at Target, who submitted the Value Champions nomination.

ACC developed this new program in response to case studies exemplifying how client expectations – not hourly-based legal spend – drive the legal services equation. ACC received a total of 61 nominations from sources of all sizes from around the world. The nomination process elicited examples of significant initiatives that improved cost efficiency in organizations’ legal function, both in-house and in relationships with outside counsel.

“By breaking the employment legal work into four components, Target and Nilan Johnson Lewis effectively applied a slightly different retainer model to each and, along with prevention measures, yielded 20 percent savings,” noted Veta T. Richardson, president & CEO of ACC. “Their creativity and collaboration are great examples of best practices we hope other in-house counsel will learn from and replicate.”

“These value-based initiatives have fostered a productive and winning partnership between Nilan Johnson Lewis and Target and have generated outstanding results for both Target and our firm,” explained Joseph Schmitt, shareholder, Nilan Johnson Lewis. “For example,” Schmitt added, “our monthly retainer for advisory matters allows and encourages Target to obtain preventative advice, and our phased billing arrangement for single-plaintiff employment litigation has allowed us to achieve terrific results at a predictable cost.”

Target’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Jodee Kozlak, added, “The team’s use of innovative fee arrangements has driven significant, cost-effective improvements in the quality of work of our law firm partners, which ultimately helps preserve Target’s brand reputation.”

The ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee, which reviewed all nominations, is comprised of Jeffrey Carr, senior vice president, general counsel & secretary, FMC Technologies, Inc., Elisa Garcia, executive vice president & general counsel, Office Depot, Inc.; and Michael Roster, former general counsel, Golden West Financial and Stanford University. The 2012 ACC Value Champions were selected for the significant results they achieved in legal services management through practices that could be replicated by other corporate law departments, both large and small.

The complete list of the 2012 ACC Value Champions, along with additional details about the specific practices that Target and Nilan Johnson Lewis have developed to ensure greater value, can be viewed online at:

About Target:
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,764 stores across the United States and at The company plans to open its first stores in Canada in 2013. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week.

About Nilan Johnson Lewis:
Founded in 1996, Nilan Johnson Lewis has built its reputation by putting clients first, building a practice centered on excellence and defining the next generation of law firm. The firm’s practice focuses on five areas: labor and employment advice and litigation, product liability/mass tort litigation, commercial litigation, health care law, and business law.

About 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 private-sector organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. With more than 29,000 members in more than 75 countries, employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit and follow ACC on Twitter


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