26 June 2013

In-house lawyers must lead whistle-blowers

In-house lawyers must be prepared to speak out against their company's management and protect whistle-blowers, the former risk management head of HBOS has claimed.

By James Barnes

Paul Moore – a former barrister who was sacked by HBOS in 2004 after raising concerns about it taking excessive risks – told The Lawyer that in-house counsel must become more ‘visible’ in light of amendments to UK legislation which will provide for greater protections for whistle-blowers.

Risk managers

Mr Moore said that legal departments must be ‘involved right at the front end of the equation’. He added that in-house lawyers in the UK will have to learn to become risk managers – something their US counterparts have already taken too.
Mr Moore added that the legal, risk and compliance roles at many companies should become unified and report to the non-executive ‘for the obvious reason that if a whistleblower raises the red flag and the board doesn’t like it, they chop heads off’.

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