The compliance program lawyer: A key role for in-house counsel

The compliance program lawyer: A key role for in-house counsel

Joe Murphy – Compliance & Ethics Professional – November/December 2014

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Ask any group of compliance and ethics people how they feel about having the general counsel be the compliance officer, or having a more junior lawyer take that role, and you will likely find yourself deep in controversy. But for a company lawyer interested in compliance, and a compliance and ethics professional needing access to effective legal help, there is an alternative approach that can work well for all involved.

In companies large enough to have several lawyers, consider assigning one specific lawyer as the lawyer for the compliance program. Now, of course, any corporate lawyer can tell you that he or she has only one client – the corporation. That is true, but it is also true that lawyers are given certain areas of focus and expected to work with specific client groups in the company. And while it is a good idea for any corporate lawyer to know the basics of compliance, there is great advantage in having at least one who takes this on as a special focus.

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