As an integral part of an overall internal risk management procedure, your compliance program should at a minimum:
- identify the regulatory risks affecting your company,
- determine whether or not your current practices might breach those requirements,
- formulate a risk prevention and remedy plan, and
- institute a corporate culture of compliance within your company that includes ethics training for employees.
The Wide Reach of Ethical Considerations
Although traditionally the term professional ethics conjured up concerns about medical ethics, legal ethics, and accounting practices, today the term has been expanded to encompass not only all of the financial sector, but also a broad range of everyday commercial undertakings engaged in by virtually all companies.
What Areas of Corporate Conduct Should Be Included in Your Compliance Program?
While compliance requirements for each business differ from industry to industry, and an effective compliance program for your company must be tailored to your type of industry, there are, nevertheless, certain fundamental topics that apply to most, if not all, businesses. Here are nine crucial areas to examine:
- Handling of Confidential Information
- Potential for Insider Trading Violations
- Conflicts of Interest
- Non-complying Accounting Practices
- Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Violations
- Financial Accounting and Records Maintenance Problems
- Use (or Misuse) of Company Property
- Handling of Client and Vendor Gifts, Favors, and Gratuities
- Proper and Timely Reporting of Ethical and Compliance Concerns
Across The Board Ethics Training
Equally important to maintaining a sound compliance monitoring and resolution program is instituting a comprehensive, mandatory, and ongoing ethics training program for all employees who are likely to encounter the above issues while carrying out their various and sundry business functionsin other words, just about everyone!
Developing a corporate compliance program that includes in-depth ethics training will promote honest and ethical employee conduct, increase the likelihood of compliance with applicable laws, and provide employees with clear guidelines and expectations as to what practices are acceptableand legally permissibleversus those that pose a risk of liability for the company and, therefore, must be avoided.
David draws on 20+ years’ experience in both legal practice and in business services delivery since his own call to the Bar in 1989. With several years in the startup environment, including as a co-founder in the legal tech space specifically, he brings a unique and timely perspective on the role of data, automation and artificial intelligence in the modern and efficient delivery of services for legal consumers. Having been both a corporate buyer of legal services and a services provider, he identifies the greater efficiency and value that can be achieved in legal operations for corporate buyers especially.
An attorney, David worked for law firms Pinsent Masons and Linklaters in London before moving to New York to join Credit Suisse. As CAO, he helped negotiate & execute the relocation of Credit Suisse into its new NYC global HQ. Subsequently, David directed major global outsourcing, shared sourcing, HR operations & process efficiency initiatives including the digitization of records, the global roll-out of PeopleSoft HRMS & Y2K. David has worked extensively in the UK, US, Philippines, India and China markets in the areas of data management, human resources and business process outsourcing.
Most recently, David has been successfully investing in and serving as an advisory board member of several legal services start-ups including a cloud-based solution for legal process automation and e-filing; and a technology solution for large-scale capture of court and other public data used for litigation analysis, among others.
David graduated from the University of Manchester with Honors in Law and Bar School (College of Legal Education) in London, and has been a member of Middle Temple since 1989. He is the founder and former Chairman of The Global Sourcing Council.
Member: Bar of England & Wales, ABA, NYCBA, ACC, DRI