Law Society Gazette: Companies warned of compliance risks

Originally Published in Law Society Gazette | March 9, 2015 | By Monidipa Fouzder

Companies may be exposing themselves to compliance risks by not involving their chief compliance officers (CCOs) in big-picture international business decisions, research by a consultancy suggests.

A report from consultancy Consero shows that more than half (58%) of CCOs do not feel their compliance department is sufficiently integrated into corporate decision-making and strategy.

Consero chief executive Paul Mandell (pictured) said the CCO and their team must have open lines of communication to the most senior leaders of the business.

The CCO, he said, should have an opportunity to weigh in on important strategic decisions that heighten existing risk or give rise to new potential pitfalls.

He added: ‘Without this seat at the table, companies may expose themselves to compliance issues that could have been prevented.’

Less than a third (30%) of respondents felt their suppliers were sufficiently focused on minimising risk, compared with nearly half (48%) the previous year.

Though the question was asked with non-legal suppliers in mind, Mandell said CCOs were concerned some of their external law firms took a ‘transactional approach’ to acquisitions or significant corporate decisions that might yield risk, without sufficient consideration of compliance issues.