Compliance / Risk Management
In recent years, corporations have been subject to increased scrutiny, resulting in an increasing number of scandals coming to light involving corporate wrong-doing. Such scandals have in some cases had serious repercussions for affected corporations, often resulting in lawsuits to collect damages, criminal and/or administrative punishment, or simply damage to corporate reputation. Recent cases involving Japanese corporations have involved large fines being imposed by regulatory authorities and petitions for damages being filed. Given this climate, developing effective compliance systems and risk management/crisis strategies becomes all the more important for any corporation hoping to grow and succeed.
An effective compliance system should provide a method for mutual supervision/surveillance, as well as having in place appropriate corporate rules, compliance training courses, and a definitive declaration by a top-level executive that all directors/officials and employees be in compliance with applicable laws and ordinances. We have a good deal of knowledge and experience in working with corporations in developing compliance systems that meet the above criteria, such that we are in a position to provide immediate and appropriate advice to clients, depending on each respective client’s needs and unique situation.
In the event a scandal occurs to a particular corporation, such company should be prepared to immediately set up an appropriate task force under a top-level executive’s supervision to identify the cause, develop measures to prevent the expansion or reoccurrence of the event, as well as initiating public relations damage control by explaining and rectifying the situation to customers and consumers (whether through a press release, recall, preparing Q&A materials, or other means) as well as to mass media and investors. This is on top of any response that may be needed to address inquiries made by judicial or administrative bodies (including any negotiations with regulatory authorities that may be required). Failure to implement the proper measures in the event of a corporate scandal would result in, at minimum, a loss of corporate reputation, and could potentially result in criminal and/or civil liability. Given the stakes, it is important for corporations who find themselves in such a situation to receive proper counsel. Towards this end, Hashidate Law Office has lawyers on its staff with considerable experience and knowledge in risk management/crisis response, including a lawyer who had previously worked within an administrative agency tasked with regulating corporate behavior, as well as a lawyer qualified as a certified fraud examiner. The credentials of these lawyers, as well as the many years of general experience in corporate affairs possessed by the other attorneys at our firm, make Hashidate Law Office uniquely positioned to offer accurate legal and strategic advice to any of our clients who may be subject to accusations of corporate wrong-doing.
In addition to the experience found within Hashidate Law Office itself, our office can draw on a broad network of longstanding alliances with many of the world’s leading law firms, such that our ability to provide advice to corporate clients is not limited purely to the Japanese regulatory landscape. This is useful for our internationally minded clients, as international companies may also be required to be familiar with provisions of the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US), the Bribery Act of the UK, and the anti-competition laws of the US and the EU.