August 29, 2019

Grey Matters: Managing risk and compliance – how GCs can become a trusted business adviser | 17 October 2019


There is a whole grey area out there for in-house lawyers. From GDPR, risk and compliance, blockchain and Brexit, all the way through to the gender pay gap, AI, and agile working. These issues are complex and ambiguous adding extra pressure on your role, and what’s more, these problems rarely have a single black or white answer.

The traditional in-house role has evolved from being a transactional formality into a strategic partnership interacting with every part of the business. You are tasked with doing more than ever before and often, with limited resource. You want to be able to identify and handle difficult situations and be seen as a business partner helping your company to grow.

We have set up Grey Matters - our community of in-house lawyers to enable you to discuss these grey areas, share your knowledge, challenges and expertise in a safe and collaborative environment.


You wear a number of hats: crisis counsellor, risk manager, CEO confidant, Board member and department leader. This roundtable will look at risk and crisis management and how you can elevate these issues to the Boardroom agenda.

2.00pm – Registration

2.30pm - Mei-Ling Huang, Partner, RWK Goodman: Welcome and introduction

2.40pm - Polly Russell Stower, Group GC of Ultimate Finance Group: How GCs can turn from being the trusted legal adviser to the trusted business adviser to help shape the Board agenda

Business models are becoming more complex and more global, which means that the legal and regulatory environment is becoming more intrusive to business. In order to help the business thrive, it is important that risk and compliance are heavily featured on the Board agenda. Key to that is making sure that the legal function is at the heart of the business so it can help identify where there are trouble spots and help the Board to manage any legal or compliance risks.

Polly will be looking at the balancing act of engaging with the business on a day-to-day basis, whilst helping to deliver the business’ strategic priorities and identifying and managing legal risk. She will highlight the importance of ensuring that the legal team is a key partner to the business, that its departmental plan aligns with the business and it is seen as central to helping the business make good ethical, legal and reputational decisions.

3.10pm - Emma Palmer, Head of Risk & Best Practice, RWK Goodman: Managing the risk and compliance universe

The risk and compliance universe is enormous. The long list of well-known legislation and regulation, from GDPR to Anti-Bribery and Corruption, SRA regulation to Consumer Credit, gives us our relatively stable and familiar ‘centre of the universe’ of compliance and a long list of topics about which we need to train, write policies and procedures, monitor compliance and report to the Board.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are the never-ending ‘shooting stars’ of regulatory change: new SRA regulation, new tax evasion offences… the list goes on. One of the key challenges for anyone responsible for risk and compliance is keeping on top of everything within their purview and ensuring key risks are on the Board’s agenda. This session discusses the ways that can be achieved whilst exploring  some of the key issues that keep you up at night.

3.40pm - Dan Meadon-Bower, Partner, RWK Goodman: Crisis management - proper planning prevents...

“Can you jump on a call? We’ve got a problem….”

It’s a truism for in-house counsel that it’s not if a crisis might happen, but when. Whether it’s a large-scale data breach, sudden loss of an operationally critical supplier, or an unexpected knock at the door from a regulator, your business will turn to you for the answers.

In this session we explore what practical steps you can take to prepare for (or head off) potential crises and to help you and others within your organisation efficiently mitigate potential damage to your business and reputation. Drawing on real-world examples and our own experiences in-house, we’ll touch upon:

  • Policies & planning – what should these cover?
  • Managing key contacts & ‘ownership’ - who is responsible for taking what steps?
  • Deciding when Legal should/shouldn’t be involved
  • The perils of social media
  • How and what you will tell your employees
  • Managing wider stakeholders and regulators.

4.25pm - Closing comments

4.35pm - Further drinks and networking

5.30pm - Finish

Event details

Date: Thursday 17 October 2019

Venue: No.15 Great Pulteney, 15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4BR


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