In terms of tackling white collar crime, a key preventative risk measure in our work as lawyers is providing relevant information, says Francisco Proença de Carvalho, Litigation Partner at Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho. “Although white collar crime is increasingly fashionable, it is a difficult subject to understand, especially for those financial institutions subject to so many risks from consumers and their clients.”
And with risks also facing companies within different fields, in terms of the decisions they make in relation to public authorities, supervisory authorities, tax and crime risk, lawyers such as Proença de Carvalho are increasingly being required to give information that’s not just from a litigation and corporate perspective but a white collar one too.
“As we don’t have a specific department in relation to prevention, while my main activity continues to be litigation, I’m now dealing in both parts as clients need more information in order to understand and be aware of the criminal implications of the many rules,” he explains.
However, in terms of risk prevention, taking into account unknown future factors (such as the economical environment), information can only go so far. “You can’t necessarily anticipate what might arise in five years time, and in what context,” says Proença de Carvalho, “so our clients have to be aware of that”.
The pressure is therefore on for Portuguese lawyers to keep on top of developments to embrace the complexity, in order to anticipate potential issues; “You must remember that white collar crime is a complex arena for both lawyers and clients alike,” he concludes. “For us, it continues to be a learning journey, and that’s why information all round for risk prevention is key.”