Ensuring corporate governance and regulatory compliance especially when the business is growing and has operations globally, can be tedious. Not only do you need to adhere to laws, policies and regulations across different nations and jurisdictions, you must also deal with diverse corporate forms. This can make legal entity management a major challenge for legal departments, especially for those with limited resources. With the pressure to do more with less, it is upon general counsel to find innovative, low cost methods to better manage entities.
This is where improving collaboration with your colleagues in different departments, divisions and/or jurisdictions comes into play. When your colleagues are not informed and involved in entity management processes, this can make it difficult to identify and mitigate corporate and compliance risks associated with various corporate forms. Interestingly, as per the KPMG’s CCO Survey 2017, 32% of CCOs do not agree or do not know if management in business units, operations, and IT are involved in the assessment of compliance risk within their units.
Whether it is for regulatory compliance, administrative maintenance, monitoring of insider trading or internal record keeping, you and your colleagues must have an expansive view of entity management and its needs. Here are 4 ways legal departments can facilitate collaboration across the business, improve communication and dialogue among stakeholders, and be more effective in entity management.
1. Consolidate all your corporate information in one place.
Centralising information can help you better manage and share information with the colleagues who need it. By managing the inflow and outflow of information, policies, reports and documents that inform the organisation’s transactions and filings, you can ensure controlled access for the internal departments, managers, board directors, audit committees and even regulators who need them.
Whether someone needs to retrieve Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Association, share certificates, stock transfers, appointments, or Directors’ service contracts, you and your colleagues can find historical or current information and see the changes over time. For example, if someone needs to know who was on the board between April 1, 2016 and September 15, 2018, finding this information is easy and does not require having to open multiple files or sending countless emails to try to track it down.
2. Centralise your meeting information
Let’s take a typical scenario. Your organisation just conducted the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and as the Legal Counsel, in a limited time period, you must ensure that the resolutions are followed up meticulously and, in the time frame, required by This allows directors and colleagues to view upcoming meetings, open agenda topics and action items, and information about past meetings.
3. Set up automatic reminders to colleagues for key dates
Defining who is responsible for tasks is key to effective collaboration. Whether you need to submit annual returns, renew a license on time or have a colleague carry out a delegated task, having tools to send automated reminders to relevant team members will ensure things are done by the right person at the right time. Automatic alerts notify you of impending due dates related to all tasks so that you don’t have to miss a deadline.
4. Share legally accurate data across the business
Once you have all relevant legal entity information centralised, you will control one of only true sources of legal truth within your organisation. By sharing this information with other key business solutions such as SAP or SalesForce via API integrations, you can increase efficiency and accuracy beyond the legal department, increasing the value of the work you and your legal department do.
In conclusion, collaborating with internal and external stakeholders can help you overcome many, if not all legal entity management challenges. Facilitating collaboration across the business and senior stakeholders can help Legal identify and mitigate legal risks across the organisation and in the event of crisis, takes actions quicker while saving time to better serve your CFO and the board.