On May 1st Wolters Kluwer hosted a half-day event, “The Changing Role of the GC: A Proactive Approach to Challenges in Legislation & Technology,” for over 20 in-house professionals at the BMA House in London. Subject-matter experts shared best practices on dealing with regulatory issues including Brexit and how technology can help GCs assess Brexit-related risks and boost their effectiveness. The event was a success with in-house professionals sharing opinions about one of the last 12 month’s most discussed topics.
Brexit will inevitably impact regulation, but the long-term impact largely depends on the relationship between the U.K. and the E.U. There’s been much speculation about how this relationship will take shape, but it’s also possible that the result will be “bespoke” and unlike any model that exists. Keynote speaker, Guy Lougher, Partner & Head of Brexit Advisory at Pinsent Masons explained there will be a change in regulators and regulatory functions in the U.K. For example, regulators may face pressure to remove legislation imposed by the E.U., which requires careful coordination.
Whatever the outcome, GCs are expected to play a pivotal role in helping the business prepare for regulatory changes such as Brexit. Given that there’s no roadmap to follow, it’s important that GCs are equipped with insights on potential risks so they can inform stakeholder and take action in a timely manner.
In addition to the presentations given, Helen Swaffield, Head of Contract Law Chambers, led a workshop on updates in contract law. She covered latest cases and gave her own invaluable tips for applying them in practice.
The event explored three ways technology can help support GCs when preparing for Brexit and other regulatory changes in a timely manner:
Efficiency: There are a number of tools available to help legal professionals increase efficiency by automating manual processes. Ivan Darby, Vice President of Legal Software Development at Wolters Kluwer shared some time-saving tools the company has developed so legal professionals can focus on valuable, strategic work. An end-to-end solution for contract document collaboration has been developed for Legisway, which allows in-house lawyers to draft, modify and execute the signing process without ever leaving the security of the cloud.
Risk assessment: Brexit has left businesses scrambling to plan for a range of scenarios – including restrictions on data transfer, obligations when exporting goods to the E.U. and the difficulty to attract new employees – which is why the GC should be aware of the risks brought on by Brexit. With so many options to consider, they cannot afford to ignore the impact it will have. During a live demo of Legisway, Shay Ogunsanya, Manager U.K. & Ireland shared how in-house lawyers can use smart tools to store, track and share information and generate insights to take a proactive approach and monitor the impact of regulatory changes.
Data security: With the deadline for GDPR fast approaching, the question remains how E.U. regulations such as GDPR will apply to Brexit. For instance, data protection rules for non-E.U. countries will need to be reviewed given that the E.U. rules may no longer apply. With many questions still left unanswered, it’s important that legal departments know how their data is managed so that they can take swift action as soon as any changes are enforced.
Regulatory changes like Brexit have left businesses with more questions than answers. This means it’s even more important for businesses to assess their exposure to Brexit-related risks and be prepared for a range of scenarios. In order to deal with regulatory changes like Brexit, in-house lawyers can leverage technology to structure information, generate insights and communicate the impact to stakeholders.