David AckeboPartner | Stockholm
Opportunities and challenges relating to corporate responsibility and compliance are growing significantly in importance. In some contexts the efforts are summed up under the abbreviation “ESG” (environmental, social, and governance), in others under the umbrella of “CSR” (corporate social responsibility) or “Compliance” with reference to a vast number of areas, such as anti-bribery and anti-corruption, corporate governance, data protection, tax, competition, employment, public procurement, sustainability, and transparency, to mention but a few.
Sustainability on the agenda of the board of directors has become less of a “let’s stay out of prison” and more of a “let’s stay in business” topic. Investigations and scandals highlight the speed at which social media enables the public to pass judgement on actions near and far away. “Soft values” have become hard cash. International businesses need to consider how to ensure policy coherence across the globe, all while managing potential conflicts in relation to commercial objectives. Decision-makers need to be aware of the legal framework upon which regulators now hold stakeholders liable. “Soft values” are connected to criminal liability, severe corporate fines and sanctions, seriously damaged reputation and bad will, and have a direct impact on cash flow and risk profile with links to competitiveness in the market and company value.
There is a difference between traditional legal advice and guidance which seeks to identify and, in practice, address opportunities and risks in a broad and increasingly complicated context. Contractual representations and warranties, general codes of conduct, and templates alone are often not sufficient. A different way of reviewing information and managing risks is required.
Please contact us if you wish to learn more about our expertise in this particular field, which ranges from corporate dawn raids and white collar crimes to organising compliance programs for both the public and private sector, addressing privacy issues, and covering critical areas of compliance in M&A processes.