Some 240 general counsel responded to a survey conducted by FTI Consulting, the results of which are in Corp. Bd. Mbr., Vol. 12, 2nd Quarter 2009 at 50. When asked what area of risk their company most needs to work on, 45 percent of the general counsel picked “Understanding operational risk.” Another 18 percent of them picked “Understanding financial risk.” In the same survey, around 310 board members gave operational and financial risks 31 percent of their votes each.
By implication, bet-the-company litigation – the most cited legal risk – is not perceived by top lawyers and directors as nearly as dangerous as operational and financial risks. Then again, perhaps “operational risks” includes the litigation and law-related tar pits companies step into.