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Potential interactions between the law and compliance departments (or staff)

In its massive study of 73 internationally active financial institutions, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported in Protecting the Brand (May 2005) on “areas of potential interaction with the compliance function.” (See my post of Feb. 7, 2006 on the reporting lines of these compliance functions.) The report lists seven areas (at 49) of legal department interaction with compliance, under the rubric of “collaborative and supportive”:

1. Keeps abreast of developments in legislation and case law and helps interpret the consequences for the organisation
2. Collaborates with Compliance in advising management (new products, new markets, etc.)
3. Represents the organisation in legal matters and in terms of compliance incidents
4. Collaborates with Compliance in cultivating relationships with regulators
5. Supports Compliance with training of, and communication with, staff
6. Participates in investigations into compliance weaknesses and breaches
7. Provides advice on disciplinary matters.

What’s missing is “evaluates for legal adequacy procedures that Compliance checks.” Also, the second point spreads everywhere, and could move lawyers far beyond practicing law (See my post of Feb. 7, 2006 about lawyers on a continuum.).

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