The Corporate Counsel Poll: Need for perspective
Companies are swamped with compliance work. Hedge funds and private equity might be creeping up unawares.
(This article appears courtesy of International Financial Law Review, sign up for a free trial on their site)
By Nicholas Pettifer
Company management wants in-house counsel to keep budgets low (while maintaining thorough due diligence). It requires lawyers to keep an eye on the growing trend of dual-track offerings. Most importantly, it expects counsel to plan strategies to cope with the threat of hedge funds and private equity.
There is one problem: European corporate counsel are so swamped with records management and compliance that they don't have time to plan for any lurking dangers. While this might not be an issue for multinational corporations with large budgets and expansive legal staff, there is a lot of concern among smaller companies.
This year, IFLR has undertaken its first Corporate Counsel Poll. It was designed by corporate counsel to survey their peers and was undertaken on an anonymous basis to allow for frank opinion. Preliminary results were then discussed with selected corporate counsel. Among other things, the final results suggest that some European in-house lawyers are overstretched in routine areas, leaving their companies exposed to more infrequent threats.
"You need to have a contract for everything, know where it is kept, who signed it and when you need it.