Working with senior managers to identify legal risks and put in place processes to manage them
Working with senior managers to identify legal risks and put in place processes to manage them

The following In-House Advisor guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Working with senior managers to identify legal risks and put in place processes to manage them
  • Identifying legal risk
  • Reviewing processes
  • Prioritising effort
  • Improving or reinforcing processes to reduce risk
  • Plugging in

This Practice Note, written for in-house lawyers, provides guidance on how to work effectively with senior managers to identify legal risks and sets out an approach you might follow to put processes in place to manage those risks.

All too often business people regard legal risk as something that is only for the lawyers to worry about and abdicate responsibility for managing it. Lawyers in turn can be so perturbed about how legal risk might be managed by possibly inexperienced business people that they confiscate management of it. Ironically, the establishment of a legal department can result in poorer management of legal risk thanks to this pattern of abdication and confiscation.

It is fundamental that senior managers in the organisation recognise that managing legal risk is something for which they have primary responsibility, albeit often relying extensively on the in-house legal team and external advisers to assist them.

This Practice Note does not address the compliance regimes which regulated industries and sectors need to implement.

For further reading, see Practice Notes: Getting buy-in for coherent use of the legal team and Developing programmes to raise legal awareness.

Identifying legal risk

The first step is to identify the areas of legal risk which concern you, eg:

  1. the show-stoppers of regulatory contravention

  2. significant exposure to or lack of recourse against contracting parties

  3. significant exposure to or