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Board of Directors’ survey puts compliance and regulation low on the list of concerns to devote more time to

PwC U.S.’s Annual Corporate Directors Survey assembled the views of 1,110 directors on which topics they would like their board to devote more time to in 2010. Nine of the choices as topics are listed in Corp. Bd. Mbr., First Quarter 2011 at 10. Strategic planning occupies the top spot (59% selected it), and among the other topics four concentrated on knowledge of the business. In declining frequency of selection they were “Meeting company managers,” Visiting worksites,” “Discussing the industry,” and “Discussing the competition” (the lowest one at 38%).

As for legal concerns, the number two area where more time was desired was “Risk management” (57%), which includes litigation and other legal risks, but the broad subject enfolds much more than just legal risks. In the fine print, down in eighth place, above only “Director liability” (10%), straggled in “Compliance and regulation” at 25 percent.

Frequently when law department managers bewail their increased workload they complain of regulatory complexity and the associated compliance burdens. That may be warranted for the legal team, but based on these survey results board members do not chime in with agreement.

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