Managing risk in an organisation to a level acceptable both commercially and legally is a never-ending task.
The bar is raised annually, as best practice, legislation, case law and technology evolve.
The point of managing risk is rarely to eliminate it completely; rather to have an overview of the most critical risks relevant to your business, sector and geographical area of operations, and to manage them effectively whilst balancing your commercial operation.
Successful risk management will result in the reduction of claims, associated costs of claims, management time and, ultimately, insurance premiums.
Furthermore, compliance with regulation is not an optional extra:
- The HSE has begun taking action against companies who do not manage their safety risk, irrespective of whether or not any sort of injury occurs
- The Information Commissioner has gained powers to fine businesses up to £500,000 for data protection breaches and as this legislation arrives, discussions at EU level are suggesting fines at up to 2% of global turnover
- The first cases are being prosecuted under anti bribery and corporate manslaughter legislation
- Cartel offences are regularly resulting in expensive investigations and eight or nine figure fines
Increasingly, the government and the courts are looking to make shareholders 'feel the pain' when risk is not managed properly - they are looking to send non-compliant businesses out of business, take action against rogue directors and senior managers, and deliver stinging fines to larger companies where failings are found.
Managing risk, therefore, is not an 'optional extra' for any successful business wishing to develop over the long term.
Our team of risk management lawyers has a wealth of experience in identifying legal risk to businesses. We provide practical, commercial, legally compliant advice, training, procedures and policies to manage corporate risk that will greatly reduce the chance of facing prosecutions and claims.
The team advises on pre-emptive risk management, including undertaking training, mock trials, health and safety audits and drafting health and safety policies in both private and public sectors, ensuring adherence to the standards expected by the courts.
Additionally, we provide innovative training solutions via our e-learning training courses on anti-bribery, data protection and competition law compliance; all as part of our risk management service.
When defending employers' and/or public liability claims, our team advises on what lessons can be learned from such claims, as well as providing services auditing claims history to help change business practices or policies, to pre-empt similar risks, improve risk trends and stem cash losses.
We advise our clients on these risk areas:
- corporate governance and directors' duties
- reputational risk
- competition compliance
- health and safety and fire safety
- data protection
- insurance risk management services
- public/employers' liability
- environmental compliance
- product liability and recall (including labeling)
- advertising and marketing
- food safety and hygiene
- disaster recovery and crisis management
- Advising on a local authority's highway maintenance and inspection regime to ensure that the standards expected by the courts are met, so as to reduce the liability claims and enhance the prospects of successfully defending such claims
- Providing strategic compliance advice and responses in association with PR companies and marketing teams to a number of high profile clients who have been investigated by BBC Watchdog, Which? magazine and various newspapers, following staff whistle-blowing and consumer complaints
- Partnering with a major global furniture retailer and our own chartered health and safety consultant to undertake safety and security audits across all stores and distribution centres, as well as all UK suppliers. Partnering with them in a trip to their global HQ with Trading Standards to demonstrate their extensive product safety compliance and testing facilities
- Delivering a selection of mock court trials to large, high risk organisations and their employees to prepare them for court appearances and to promote general awareness of the implications of individuals' behaviour on the organisation and third parties
- Providing bespoke, branded desktop e-learning training solutions on compliance subjects such as competition law, data protection, anti-corruption, personal safety and employment law to more than 14,000 users at a number of global brands