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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Top European Companies Focus on Compliance and Prevention in 2013

By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.

According to recent surveys conducted by legal and corporate watch and compliance groups of over 150 CEOs, chief compliance officers and risk managers, European goals for 2013 are focused around regulatory compliance and litigation prevention.

“Continuous assessment, monitoring, and updating of compliance programs and policies is critical, and it is not surprising that the UK Bribery Act, data protection, and competition regulation top the list of compliance leaders’ priorities,” state the findings from LEN, which surveyed CEOs and CCOs from the U.K., Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium.

Litigation prevention is a top priority and many companies will be focusing on new internal and external policies aimed at limiting liability with competitors, clients and customers.  Internal policy changes include social media policies and both sexual harassment and litigation prevention training. Externally, companies are focusing on product and service regulation and employing new measures to prevent against problems created by competitors, including trade secret protections.

From a compliance standpoint, the surveys suggest that most companies are looking to meet governmental filing and compliance regulations by revamping their corporate polices which include the creation of “soft” filing deadlines well in advance of actual deadlines.

Of the CEO’s interviewed in connection with the surveys, over 90% believe that they can increase their company’s profitability in 2013 by utilizing preventative measures.

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