Handling the job of chief legal officer (CLO) for corporate companies in Latin America is not easy. In a global survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), more than 40% of the legal officers at large Latin American corporations have reported being the target of regulators over the last two years.
More and more corporate companies are employing legal officers in-house rather than outsourcing the job to a legal firm. More than one-third (36%) of the chief legal officers in Latin America said they were creating new positions for compliance lawyers.
In the survey, a quarter (27%) of CLOs in the LAC region said they anticipate the amount of work they send to outside legal service providers will increase next year.
“[General counsel] who invest in chief operating officers or other legal management professionals enable their departments to employ innovative strategies to reduce costs, use technology in new ways, and restructure work flows, freeing the GC to focus more time on contributing to business strategy,” said Veta Richardson, ACC president and CEO.
Chaotic political climate and an increasing rate of corruption are forcing governments to enforce wide verities of anti-bribery laws, making the job of complying with regulation far more difficult.
Corruption is a big issue in Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Nearly all of them are enacting and enforcing newer anti-corruption laws. For multinationals, the worry is facing different challenges as they expand to more countries.
“An astounding one-in-three general counsel told us that their companies have been targeted by regulators in the past two years, reflecting the additional risk companies are exposed to as they increase their cross-border work and face a wider range of government scrutiny,” said Richardson.
Data breaches were the lawyers’ third most concerning issue this year, and the percentage of respondents who said their companies had experienced a breach dropped slightly, from 27% to 22%.
Globally, the healthcare industry remained most likely to have experienced a data breach, with 49% of GCs/CLOs from the industry answering that their companies have experienced breaches.
Washington-based ACC represents 40,000 members in 10,000 corporate legal departments around the world.