Controversy leading clients to form compliance committees – Baker & McKenzie

The controversy that surrounds the role of compliance officers means that there is a trend for companies to create compliance committees, according to Baker & McKenzie partner Cecilia Pastor.

“The position of a compliance officer is controversial and can be confrontational because he or she would be assuming a lot of responsibility,” she says. “One trend we´re seeing is companies trying to move away from compliance officers and moving towards compliance committees, so they´re trying to move into collegiate bodies who will be responsible for compliance on the basis that it is the joint responsibility of a number of departments that need to have a say.”
Pastor adds that compliance programmes are “built into the DNA” of the subsidiaries of big multinationals already operating in Spain. “They speak the language of compliance,” she says. However, Pastor argues that this is often not the case with Spanish companies doing business in other jurisdictions. “Spanish companies doing business outside Spain are discovering a whole new world out there that speaks FCPA, and speaks UK Bribery Act, for example – for them this is a complete revelation and it´s a revolution.”