Compliance is of growing importance in the context of regulatory environments which are becoming increasingly complex and exacting. In the face of greater activism by regulators, the development of effective compliance programmes is becoming an increasingly important tool for businesses to protect against the adverse consequences which may flow from regulatory breaches. A&L Goodbody have the experience and expertise to help.
Sanctions associated with anti-competitive or abusive conduct can be significant and can include financial penalties (of up to 10% of worldwide turnover) as well as terms of imprisonment and the disqualification of directors. Businesses may also face broader institutional risks such as reputational harm and loss of shareholder value, as well as the costs and logistical burdens associated with the defence of complex investigations and/or proceedings. Follow-on damages actions are also of growing prominence.
A&L Goodbody can assist companies in assessing contracts, processes and practices and identifying areas of business which present the most material compliance risks. Our team is adept at devising measures and controls to mitigate the risks faced by individual businesses, without limiting the pursuit by companies of legitimate commercial objectives. We are also practised in the establishment of monitoring and reporting structures and the delivery of training to staff members.
By taking steps to create robust compliance structures, educate employees and foster a strong internal compliance culture, businesses can reduce the risk of enforcement action. Moreover, the putting in place of appropriate compliance measures can help facilitate early detection where infringements do occur, allowing for a more timely response (including the possibility of applying for leniency, which may result in full or partial immunity from fines).
Businesses with queries about existing compliance structures, as well as new entrants seeking to put in place appropriate measures, are encouraged to contact A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement team.
Development of targeted compliance programmes
to minimise risk in areas such as competition law and public procurement
Delivery of bespoke, industry-specific compliance training
to employees and senior management
Drafting of dawn raid guidelines and protocols
and advising on how to handle dawn raids
Updating of internal compliance protocols
to reflect legislative and regulatory developments
Review of template agreements and internal processes
to ensure better alignment with competition law and regulatory rules