GDPR compliance: engaging the business

GDPR compliance: engaging the business


With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on 25 May 2018, the legal industry is already mobilising. A robust compliance programme is now vital – especially given the scale of fines involved.

Although the parameters of the GDPR are known, one key issue still concerns industry leaders – namely, how to encourage wider corporate engagement with compliance.


Typically, data protection is seen as the sole concern of the legal team, with little to no buy-in from C-suite executives or the wider business.

We spoke with senior counsel around the country to provide you with the insights and guidance you need to navigate the run-up to this May’s regime change.

Know your business

The first step is understanding the identity of your company and its culture. As a lawyer, aligning your advice and initiating a strategy that fits with your company’s values and vision is a must – there is no one size fits all approach.

For Andrew Magowan, general counsel of ASOS, setting up a compliance department was a non-starter; he knew no one would utilise it. Instead, he subtly worked compliance into corporate sensibility under the umbrella of social responsibility.

GE, meanwhile, created a Manga-style compliance comic book for its offices in Japan, which was popular with its employees. By taking cultural differences into account, GE was able to choose an effective method for delivering the compliance message.

Developing an awareness of the particular threats and challenges that your company may face following the implementation of the GDPR is also vital; forewarned is forearmed.

Convince the board

Getting executives on board with compliance is crucial; the barriers and obstacles put in place by the C-suite can make even the best, well-reasoned compliance programme difficult to deliver.

Board members need to be convinced of the consequences of disregarding, or not supporting, a compliance

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About the author:

Louisa leads marketing for the in-house legal community at LexisNexis. She joined the dedicated in-house team at LexisNexis four years ago and has a passion for driving and facilitating initiatives which are customer-focused at their heart. Her vision is to support in-house counsel succeed in their fast-evolving role based on deep insight, data analysis and best practice gathered across the in-house community.

Prior to her in-house focused role, Louisa led the marketing for the bar and mid-market private practice sectors as well as product marketing lead for LexisPSL - LexisNexis' cloud based, practical guidance and legal research software solution.

She brings 20 years' marketing experience both client and agency side, specialising in B2B marketing in the Legal, TMT (Telco, Media and Technology) and Financial Services industries. In both South Africa, Europe and the UK.

Louisa is also an active member on the LexisNexis Gender Equality Matters (GEM) steering committee and is involved with the Families at LexisNexis Group which brings together, supports and lobbies for change those with an interest in balancing the challenges of work and family.