Home » Events » 2022 Annual Dinner » 2022 Annual Dinner Co-Chair Spotlight: Joel Unruch, Accenture

2022 Annual Dinner Co-Chair Spotlight: Joel Unruch, Accenture

Joel Unruch
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Joel Unruch is Accenture’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, responsible for leading the company’s global legal function. With ultimate oversight for all legal support to Accenture, he leads a global team of legal, contract management and government relations professionals. He is also a member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee.

Joel joined Accenture in 2011 as Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary and became Corporate Secretary in June 2015. In addition to his responsibilities as corporate secretary, he oversaw ventures & acquisitions for legal, which includes global acquisitions, dispositions and strategic minority investments. He also led the legal organization’s alliances & ecosystems practice, which drives growth through Accenture’s strategic relationships with partners and suppliers, handled the Global Legal Network—a team that delivers a comprehensive suite of legal services.

Prior to joining Accenture in 2011, he served as Corporate Counsel at and previously worked in the corporate department of the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions transactions as well as corporate securities.

Joel serves on the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, he sits on the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council and is an active advocate for increasing access to civil legal aid. He is also a member of the General Counsel 50 division of World 50.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Bachelor of Common Law degree and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from McGill University and a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School.

Accenture Legal Access Program Overview
Accenture has a long history of being a responsible business. Accenture staff have contributed approximately 1.3 million hours of their time to making a positive social impact through volunteering, pro bono work, and Accenture Development Partnerships.

In 2019, under the leadership of General Counsel Joel Unruch, Accenture launched a global pro bono program – called Legal Access—to maximize its efforts to increase access to justice.

Since the launch, Legal Access volunteers have contributed over 4,900 pro bono hours across 110 pro bono projects globally. With a team of over 3,000 legal professionals across nearly 50 countries, Accenture’s projects represent the diversity of experiences and passions our volunteers bring to the table, and include:

  • Legal aid clinics and free legal advice services
  • Legal support for small businesses, non-profits, and underrepresented entrepreneurs
  • Immigration-related application assistance and eligibility screenings
  • Sealing and expungement of criminal records
  • Legal research and advocacy for vulnerable populations including children, women, and the LGBTIQ+ community

In a quickly changing global context, Accenture’s team stepped in to respond to some of the most urgent needs for pro bono service, including:

  1. Supporting Afghan Evacuees: In 2022, Accenture Legal Access volunteers contributed over 330 pro bono hours in service of over 70 Afghan evacuees in the United States, with work continuing in the US and UK.
  2. Supporting Small Businesses during COVID-19: At the launch of our program in 2020, we mobilized volunteers with several partners to provide legal services to help over 100 small businesses navigate COVID-19 impact on their business.
  3. Delivering High-Value Global Research: Our global team has completed more than 1,000 hours of legal research projects to support initiatives to improve outcomes for survivors of domestic violence, children deprived of liberty, and LGBTQ+ individuals seeking asylum.

PBI is grateful to Joel Unruch and Accenture for their pro bono leadership!