How do you work with the Legal Department? Do you have a good relationship? If so, why and how? These are the questions I’ve been asking my compliance friends so I can get the hear straight from the experts – YOU! I’ve been taking their answers (anonymously of course) and putting them into my presentation at the SCCE Conference in Las Vegas.
As for me? Following please find four winning ways I’ve found to work with Legal.
Carefully Delineate Your Responsibilities
You’ve just received a notice of a potential competition violation or a data breach. Who is in charge, Compliance or Legal? Deciding these types of questions before they become an issue can be incredibly helpful. In one company in which I worked, if there were a regulatory investigation or outside competition inquiry, then the Legal Department handled it. If there were an internal competition complaint or concern, Compliance handled it. This delineation allowed for easy assignment of tasks when an issue came up.
One company I work with separates contract processing as follows: Legal is primarily in charge of contract drafting, negotiation and review; and Compliance handles any anti-bribery, modern slavery or sanctions-related clauses, as well as any supplier codes of conducts. Legal relies on approval from Compliance for these specific clauses and supplier code reviews, and Compliance doesn’t interfere with the rest of the contracting process.
Talk to Legal about all of the areas they handle. If your company’s Compliance Department is new, there may be reluctance by the Legal Department to hand off responsibility. After all, Legal has almost certainly been entirely in charge of legal and compliance issues before Compliance came to the company. Try to be understanding but firm in creating delineated responsibilities so that you can work together effectively. [Read more…]