Top 5 Compliance Trends In-House Counsel Need to Know

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 24, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Your job is to make sure the company is dotting its I's, crossing its T's, and generally staying on the right side of the law. In other words, compliance. Regulatory compliance should be one of the largest parts of any legal department's work.

And though the law moves slowly, it does move, so in-house counsel need to stay on top of the latest compliance trends.

1. Study Shows Law Departments Lack Resources for Compliance

Sadly, when it comes to compliance, one of the main trends is a lack of resources. A recent study of corporate GC's reveals that in-house counsel are lacking the support they need to stay ahead of new regulatory and litigation risks. But, there are ways to do more, even when you have less.

2. Compliance Attorneys Are in Demand. Here's Why.

Compliance attorneys are a mix between outside counsel and in-house attorneys, with a bit of human resources officer thrown in on the side. Straddling both the corporate and the private practice worlds, they're a major new trend in the legal industry. With slightly lower pay than in house attorneys, compliance attorneys can be a way to fill out a legal department with less cost.

3. What Corporate Compliance Developments Will 2016 Bring?

Before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, 2016, much will have changed in the corporate legal world. Some predictions: chief compliance officers will move into the boardroom, technology will play an even bigger role in compliance, the Yates Memo will result in increased prosecutions, and everyone will still need to prove their ROI value.

4. The Yates Memo's Unintended Consequences

What's the Yates Memo, you ask? Just a massive shift in Department of Justice policy towards corporate misdeeds. The memo, penned by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, marks a sea change in the DOJ's approach to individual culpability, requiring less settling, more admission of guilt, and a strong focus on holding individuals, not just companies, accountable. That last bit, however, could have some unintended consequences, reducing corporate cooperation in investigations.

5. 3 Ways to Prepare for, and Handle FCPA Bribery Compliance

If your company operates internationally, you should start familiarizing yourself with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA prohibits gifts and payments to foreign government officials and, though rather straight forward on paper, those rules can be tricky in real life.

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