Corporate Compliance Lawyers
Our lawyers provide comprehensive representation for corporate compliance to small businesses and large ones alike.
From federal statutory and regulatory compliance to corporate structuring and governance, we can make certain that your corporation is positioned for long-term success and stability.
One of the top legal concerns for companies large and small across all sectors and industries is corporate compliance – and if it isn’t, it should be. With the enormous risks non-compliance carry, heads of corporations need to make sure that they’re doing everything they can to mitigate their risk of lawsuits from employees and competitors, federal civil and criminal prosecutions, and regulatory enforcement actions. While a business’ compliance initiatives can (and should indeed) function in the backdrop, the sustaining of compliance needs to be a consistent priority for executive leadership at all times. This is because even “tiny” missteps and oversights could potentially lead to dire consequences.
Our team provides corporate compliance representation that is comprehensive. The scope of our firm’s practice is nationwide, and our clients include physician groups and other professional private practices to major corporations. Among our cadre of senior attorneys are former federal prosecutors who have specific experience in multiple areas of federal statutory and regulatory compliance, and we also work with non-lawyer experts who specialize in a range of matters including but not limited to general corporate compliance, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) compliance and other federal compliance matters.
How Can My Business Stay Compliant?
These days compliance is a constantly-shifting target in the current legal and regulatory landscape. cCompanies’ compliance requirements can vary as much as the products they sell and the clients they serve. As a result, to truly establish compliance – and, just as importantly, to demonstrate that they are in compliance when questioned – companies need to design and launch custom-tailored compliance programs that take into account the unique aspects of their businesses. For instance, some of the factors that affect a company’s corporate compliance obligations include:
- Ownership structure, corporate structure and governance model
- Marketing reach, including the geographic scope of business operations
- Number of employees and organizational chart
- The product and service lines offered
- Impact on the environment
Generally speaking, larger businesses will have to devote more time and energy to compliance. In actuality, many statutes and regulations, including federal data breach response regulations, indicate company size as a factor in determining the lengths to which corporate organizations must go in order to come into compliance. That said, all businesses have compliance obligations; and, the size or needs of a company notwithstanding, the costs of compliance will generally be miniscule in comparison to the potential financial loss and harm to the reputation that can come with a highly-publicized compliance failure.
What does it take to stay compliant? Indeed, every organization will have its own response, but the core components of a well-drafted corporate compliance program generally include:
- Assessment of the Corporate Structural and Organization
Assessing a business’ compliance needs must begin at the entity level. Ideas that made sense when your company was founded three (or thirty) years ago may not make sense anymore. Figuring out what is needed from a corporate structuring and governance standpoint should be one of the first steps toward determining a company’s compliance needs, and your corporate compliance counsel will also have to have a thorough understanding of your company’s organizational and reporting structure.
- Assessment of Risks and Needs
Again, no two companies’ compliance requirements are exactly alike. Because of this, in order to come up with an effective compliance program, one first needs to get a clear picture of your company’s specific needs. Is your business subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)? Is it subject to federal securities laws? How about federal environmental regulations? Or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? If you are not clear about the answers to these questions, you cannot be clear as to whether your business is meeting its compliance obligations.
- Documentation For Your Compliance Program
With a better understanding of your company’s risks and needs, you can go ahead and develop a comprehensive compliance program. Corporate compliance manuals must be detailed, specific, and custom-tailored to their unique compliance obligations.
Many companies will have similar requirements. For example, every large employer is subject to federal anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws. Nevertheless, they will still have to address the obligations in a manner that reflects their unique organizational structure, leadership model, and corporate culture. For the less-ubiquitous obligations, including FCPA and Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) compliance, a corporation’s compliance documents should address the specific provisions of the law that apply directly to their business operations.
- Training and Implementation of the Compliance Program
If it sits on the shelf, a corporate compliance program is meaningless. To mitigate their risk of penalties and liability in the event of a civil lawsuit or federal investigation, a corporation must implement their compliance programs on an organization-wide basis – and they need to document the entire effort. Corporate compliance is far more than just documentation. It is about applying compliance procedures to business functions. In fact, neglecting to properly implement a documented compliance program can be just as bad as not putting a program in place at all, if not worse.
- Monitoring and Enforcement of Compliance
Monitoring and enforcement are also critical details of an effective corporate compliance program. The company’s head compliance officer or oversight board should hold a clearly-defined role, and this role needs to be executed consistently and effectively without the influence of competing corporate interests. Any staff member who violates the company’s code of conduct or compliance policies needs to be disciplined accordingly, and systemic issues that arise should be dealt with immediately.
- Preparedness in Event Response and Execution
Should an issue arise that carries implications beyond employee discipline and internal remediation, the company has to be ready to respond quickly. Numerous federal statutes and regulations address response provisions in their compliance requirements, and a company may be obligated to disclose violations to federal authorities, their clients or customers, or the general public. That said, before taking such measures, companies must be sure that the measures are truly needed, and they need to have a definite and executable plan that entails acting on the advice of the company’s compliance counsel.
The 10 Critical Federal Corporate Compliance Areas
So as to develop an compliance program that works, compliance attorneys need an in-depth understanding of all of the federal laws, rules, and regulations that might apply to a company’s operations. At Spodek Law Group, our compliance counsel and consultants bring centuries of combined experience to assisting companies in meeting their legal obligations. We help our corporate clients with critical areas such as:
- Antitrust Compliance – The competitive aspects of business are regulated by federal antitrust laws. Corporations might face federal enforcement action and private litigation due to a broad range of antitrust violations.
- Consumer Finance Compliance – Federal laws heavily regulate fair credit reporting, credit card rules,consumer lending, and a host of other aspects of consumer financial services.
- Data Security Compliance – An extraordinarily-complex set of data security compliance obligations for small and large companies are imposed by state, federal, and international laws and regulations.
- Employment Law Compliance – Employment discrimination on the basis of an employee’s race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or other protected classifications are prohibited by Federal law. Sexual harassment is also considered a form of discrimination, and businesses can face huge sanctions for the mistakes of their employees.
- Environmental Compliance – Issues related to environmental compliance can arise in a wide array of situations. We are capable of assisting clients with circumstances ranging from hazardous waste disposal to Superfund compliance.
- FCPA Compliance – Many companies are oblivious to the fact that they are subject to the law’s prohibitions and requirements. The compliance burdens under the FCPA can be monumental. We help companies with FCPA compliance in both domestic and international operations.
- FDCA Compliance – The act of establishing compliance with the FDCA comes with a number of different challenges. Our clients who are drug makers, medical device companies, and have other drug-related businesses come to us for all compliance issues falling within the purview of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Compliance – Advertising (including false, deceptive, and unsubstantiated marketing claims), electronic commerce, and certain aspects of consumer finance and data protection are covered under FTC compliance regulations. They actively enforce compliance obligations and violations can lead to very large penalties.
- Industry–Specific Compliance – A wide range of industries, including health care and transportation, are governed by industry-specific compliance obligations. Industry-specific rules and regulations can mean substantial compliance burdens and can directly affect a company’s’ day-to-day operations.
- Securities Compliance – Private placements, equity investments, and other transactions that involve the issuance of securities under federal law can carry substantial risk exposure if not structured and managed effectively. Indeed, public companies are not alone in federal securities law compliance obligations.