Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!


GCs speak out on their 2014 risk and compliance concerns

Execs show concern for financial regulation, cybersecurity actions

As the government prepares to crack down on big business in key areas such as financial responsibility and cybersecurity even further in 2014, general counsel are preparing to beef up risk and compliance to keep up.

Following the lead of J.P. Morgan Chase, which has already announced that it would double its compliance budget in 2014, general counsel are prepared to respond to regulations of financial regulations, cybersecurity and other concerns that are expected to pop up this year. One GC says that he expects that the government’s 2014 actions will follow recent trends.

“We've come off three years of an extraordinary amount of rule making,” said Bank of Montreal GC Simon Fish to The Wall Street Journal. “I think we are going into a period of ever more intense scrutiny from shareholders, from the investor community, from regulators and from our customers.”

One of those new rules is the Volcker rule, which creates compliance changes for banks to follow in the hopes of lowering the risk of a 2008-style financial collapse. Along with the new rules come new fines — and if recent bank regulatory fines are any indication, the price of not having an effective risk and compliance program is skyrocketing. However, JPMorgan Chase GC Stephen Cutler believes the government fines are beginning to be too much.

“At what point does this stop?” Cutler said in November 2013. “We should all be concerned, because at a certain point people become immune to the numbers.” He also added that with respect to duplicative regulator behavior, “There has to be a better way to allocate government resources.”

General counsel are also turning an eye towards expected cybersecurity concerns. With LabMD the latest to challenge the Federal Trade Commission’s cybersecurity regulatory authority, many expect the government to beef up its internal cybersecurity regulation standards.

Especially in the wake of the Target hacking scandal, said Amar Sarwal, vice president and chief legal strategist for the Association of Corporate Counsel, to the WSJ, “If you are a company with global operations and any kind of sensitive data, this is top of your list.”

Ultimately, said Clorox GC Laura Stein to the WSJ, the key for general counsel is to anticipate the government’s actions, which makes acting easier later. With respect to privacy in particular, Stein said the key is to focus on “both what is legally required today, and what will be required tomorrow globally.”


For more on the legal world in the new year, check out these InsideCounsel articles:

Intellectual property tips for new businesses in the New Year

Top 5 cybersecurity trends for 2014

The future of software patents, part 1

Legal jobs on the docket for 2014

Assistant Editor

author image

Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.