The recent introduction of new data protection and money laundering regulations has led to a rise in demand for corporate governance advice, says SRS Advogados partner Paulo Bandeira.
In particular, Bandeira highlights the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and anti-money laundering regulations, which he says have placed significant demands on clients. “The increasing number and complexity of regulations poses difficult challenges for organisations,” he explains. When tackling these challenges, Bandeira argues that a flexible, proactive approach is key as organisations have to adapt “very rapidly to these changes”.
The increasing complexity of the regulatory framework also has an impact on the structure of corporations, Bandeira says. “More complex regulations imply that different corporate bodies share responsibility for these matters,” he explains. “This has an impact on structural governance, and affects the distribution of responsibility within the organisation.”
As a consequence of this environment, law firms are observing an increase in demand for advice on corporate governance matters, and Bandeira believes that lawyers have a key role to play in helping clients navigate these issues. “We are frequently asked to advise on the strategic structuring of boards of directors, and in particular the specification of roles among directors,” he says. “Defining the liability attached to each role and the liability of the corporate body as a whole is a key concern for clients.”
Bandeira has also observed growing interest in auditing and reporting matters. “Clients also demand advice on the relationship between corporate bodies, as well as the reinforcement of powers of audit and supervisory boards.”