The Challenges of Balancing Compliance and Growth
Together with Barbara Sessions, Chief Marketing Officer of Winston & Strawn, we discuss the findings of a survey conducted this year on corporate counsel and their response to the business risk of corruption in the Corporate Counsel magazine article "The Challenges of Balancing Compliance and Growth".
In late July, authorities in China accused U.K.-based drug maker GlaxoSmithKline of paying $500 million in bribes to government officials, hospitals, and others through a maze of 700 travel agencies. Closer to home, media reported that Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s investigation into its Mexico bribery scandal cost the company $240 million in the 12 months since the initial allegations of $24 million in bribes. In-house legal and compliance teams in multinational corporations know all too well that bribery is not only ethically wrong—it’s bad for business.
And yet, reducing business risks of corruption, antitrust violations, data privacy breaches, and other perils seems to be easier said than done. A recent study* of top corporate counsel at major multinationals in the United States and Europe finds that policies and procedures to address these issues may be in place, but approaches tend to be generic—and far too few companies take the step to see if their measures actually work.
Only 41 percent of corporate counsel respondents rank their company’s particular bribery and corruption risks for each business in each location. Ranking is an evaluation of exposure to various risks that helps focus an effective compliance program. Less than half of counsel surveyed monitor the effectiveness of their antibribery compliance policies and training. Justin McClelland, a London partner of Winston & Strawn (the law firm that conducted the survey), says that too many multinationals are implementing generic compliance measures without clarifying the organization’s risk profile locally. “It is critical to start with a real understanding of the risks that the organization faces and then tailor the procedures accordingly,” McClelland said.
To read the full article, please visit: The Challenges of Balancing Compliance and Growth