Compliance tops Spanish in-house worries

By James Barnes

14 November 2012 at 11:07 BST

Introduction of individual liability to Spain's criminal code coupled with greater focus on the risks of sharing information with competitors is causing serious headaches in many of the country's legal departments.

Madrid: rising regulatory issues for Spain's in-house lawyers

The Iberian Lawyer magazine reports that at a recent conference more than 40 in-house lawyers bemoaned how their companies were prioritising cost management to the detriment of greater emphasis on compliance.

Criminal liability

The lawyers – from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Michelín, Siemens, and Virgin Active – said cost-sensitivity should not be applied to compliance issues, as the cost of not taking due care can be high.
José María Fernández-Daza, head of the commercial law department at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, told conference delegates: ‘Companies are increasingly looking for their external lawyers to advise them on measures to mitigate this new criminal liability as the law itself is not very clear.’
Reyes Cerezo Rodríguez-Cedano, general counsel at call-centre business Atento, added: ‘Compliance is not easy. It’s not just something you do on paper, you need to imbed it into the culture of the company and ensure that your protocols actually work in practice.’



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