The Association Of Corporate Counsel Names Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal Of Canada, Borden Ladner Gervais As "2013 ACC Value Champions"

Law Department/Law Firm Collaboration Recognized as Leaders for Controlling Legal Costs Through Long-Term Arrangement

Toronto (June 19, 2013) — The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), announced today that Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) were named 2013 “ACC Value Champions” for establishing a six-year, value-based partnership that increases the predictability of legal fees while also rewarding law firm performance.

A component of the ACC Value Challenge, which promotes reconnecting the cost and value of legal services, the ACC Value Champions initiative recognized HIROC and BLG as one of 12 corporate legal departments and law department/law firm collaborations that delivered substantial value to their client organizations by cutting spending, improving predictability and achieving better legal outcomes.  HIROC and BLG are the only Canadian organizations to be recognized as 2013 ACC Value Champions.

“We commend the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada and Borden Ladner Gervais for being champions of change in the legal industry,” said Veta T. Richardson, President & CEO of ACC. “By implementing innovative value-based fee arrangements, they show how strong in-house counsel and law firm relationships can lead to lower costs and successful legal outcomes.”

Satisfied with its external counsel, HIROC sought a way to further establish legal cost predictability with new pricing mechanisms. The partnership between HIROC and BLG evolved in stages, with fee arrangements that included performance incentives as well as hourly rates discounted for volume considerations.

“We took a different approach to medical malpractice in Canada. We wanted expertise rather than an area of geographic concentration,” said Michael Boyce, HIROC’s vice president of claims. “We offered steady, ongoing work, which allowed us to attract the best and brightest defence counsel.”

The current arrangement between the two partners consists of a base fee combined with a performance fee, which is determined by process management, responsiveness, predictable costs and results.

“In today’s terms, the most progressive arrangements are those that are based on billing for service rather than hours,” said John Morris, partner and national practice leader of the Health Law group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. “We can’t predict every matter but we do have a sense of what is a reasonable fee.  In HIROC’s case, the volume makes it easier to predict. This is an example of the type of arrangement that we at BLG are encouraging as part of BLG Adroit, our project management and process improvement initiative.”

The partnership makes fee adjustments for HIROC’s plans to insource some legal matters, as well as other evolutions, over the six-year period, which began in 2011.

ACC received 75 nominations from law departments and law firms from December 2012 through February 2013. The complete list of the 2013 ACC Value Champions, along with additional details related to the HIROC/Borden Ladner Gervais LLP submission can be viewed online at:

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Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) works in partnership with healthcare organizations across Canada to create meaningful and productive change resulting in greater safety, a reduction in claims and incidents, and improved system efficiency. Founded in 1987 with 53 healthcare organizations in Ontario, HIROC has expanded to over 560 subscriber organizations across Canada. Subscribers include regional health authorities, hospitals, midwives, long-term care facilities, community health centres, homecare organizations, associations and regulatory colleges.

About Borden Ladner Gervais

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is a pre-eminent full-service, national law firm focusing on business law, commercial litigation and intellectual property solutions for our clients. With more than 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals in six Canadian cities, BLG assists clients with their legal needs, from major litigation to financing and patent registration. For further information, visit

About ACC

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the professional and business interests of in-house counsel through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. The association, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has over 30,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations in more than 75 countries. ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for personal and professional growth. For more information, visit and follow ACC on Twitter. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.®

Media Contact

Ellen Gardner
HIROC Communications

Amanda McWhirter
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP