What is corporate governance?
Corporate governance refers to the system and processes by which companies and other organisations are controlled. The principles of good governance guide organisations, their officers, and all their people on how to behave and how to discharge their responsibilities to a range of relevant stakeholders.
How is corporate governance relevant to in-house lawyers?
In-house lawyers are one of many participants in the governance arena. Because of their positions and training and the multiplicity of duties they have (and may be perceived by others to have), their role is a unique one and resists easy categorisation.
The key areas in which in-house lawyers may contribute to corporate governance can be divided broadly into three categories:
- Advising the Board on corporate governance issues, including helping to organise the Board and its committees, and providing independent advice to them on corporate governance, whether as a company secretary or otherwise.
- Ensuring that the organisation’s contracts and property rights are valid and enforceable, and are enforced, as legal advisor and as part of the risk management process.
- Managing regulatory risks, including the identification, design and implementation of quality procedures to enable good compliance, and the management of issues resulting from non compliance.
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