New Article Published in NYSBA's Corporate Counsel Section Journal
November 5, 2015
John Wood's article, Beyond Compliance: Corporate Counsel Should Drive Sustainable Business, was recenty published by the New York State Bar Association.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual provides that companies promoting the adoption and implementation of corporate-wide effective compliance and ethics program can enjoy reduced fines in the event they are levied for exposed wrongdoing. By laying out the ways fines are increased and decreased, the guidelines aim to create incentives for corporations to self-police its own conduct
through an effective compliance and ethics program.
There are three problems with the incentives created by the Compliance Program. First, it is an uninspired approach to corporate ethics.
Second, the relationship between compliance and ethics is complicated and the two are not equal. What is legal is not always what is ethical.
Third, it is not clear that inside counsel are prepared to lead ethical culture changes within organizations, as this is not the typical job description of inside counsel.
The article concludes that corporate counsel should be the conscience of an organization, not merely its advocate.
For the full article, see Fall 2015, Vol. 33, No. 2 of "Inside," a publication of the Corporate Counsel Section of the New York State Bar Association.