Working towards a compliant business culture
Working towards a compliant business culture

The following Risk & Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Working towards a compliant business culture
  • Know your business
  • Establish a solid decision making framework
  • Convince the board
  • Engage the wider company
  • Conclusion

At the second annual Legal Leaders General Counsel Forum conference, in which LexisNexis was the headline partner, the topic central to discussion was that of compliance and how to ensure that, as an in-house lawyer, your company is working towards a genuinely compliant culture. Although the conference panels and delegates agreed that setting the tone from the top was an essential component, ensuring that the entire company is aware of its ethical and legal obligations is never that one-dimensional. The Forum identified four key areas for in-house lawyers to work on:

  1. know your business

  2. establish a solid decision making framework

  3. convince the board

  4. engage the wider company

Know your business

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

Andrew Magowan, the general counsel and company secretary for the fashion brand, ASOS, asserted that for his company, which has a young staff: ‘I wouldn’t set up our own compliance department; no one would talk to them.’ Instead, Magowan says that ASOS is working on more subtle ways to spread the compliance message, such as working it into corporate sensibility under the umbrella of social responsibility.

Cultural differences are also an important consideration when deciding what methods are best for delivering the compliance message. In order to educate their workforce as to the ins and outs of compliance, GE, for example, created a Manga-style compliance comic book for their offices in Japan. This proved to be popular with

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