THE YEAR 2013 WAS NOT THE EASIEST TIME TO BE WORK-
ing in the legal department at Archer Daniels Midland
Co., one of the world’s largest agricultural processors
and food ingredient providers.
Not only was the mood in the department dampened
by an ongoing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation, there also were more systemic issues at work. The
department was in many ways operating in its own silo
and, although almost 85 percent of ADM’s legal spend
went to outside counsel, no one had a full picture of
which firms were being used or how fee determinations
were being made.
Enter Cameron Findlay, Chicago-based ADM’s
senior vice president, general counsel and secretary,
who joined the team in July 2013. Findlay and a group
of intrepid in-house colleagues succeeded in taking a
legal department that likely would have looked more at
home decades in the past and turning it into a cutting-edge operation worthy of Corporate Counsel’s Best
Legal Departments honors for 2018.
BEST LEGAL DEPARTMENTS 2018
BY REBEKAH MINTZER
STEP BY STEP
ADM’S LEGAL DEPARTMENT HAS PULLED OFF A MASSIVE TURNAROUND, A LITTLE AT A TIME.