Many businesses today face mounting regulations, making a chief compliance officer (CCO) more and more necessary. However, what many CEOs don’t realize is that your outsourced general counsel can wear both hats. This is not only an economical approach to managing compliance issues, it may also be more efficient for your company.
Combining the CCO Role with your Outsourced General Counsel
There are several reasons why having your corporate lawyer serve as your CCO may be a great option for your business. First, many compliance issues are also legal issues. Your outsourced general counsel knows the legal consequences of non-compliance. Therefore, often your company may need counsel from a legal standpoint for compliance questions. Also, for many middle market firms it may be more economical to have one person performing both sets of duties.
Legal and Compliance Advice from your Outsourced General Counsel
In many instances, legality and compliance may overlap for your company, which is why many institutions choose to have their outsourced general counsel serve both as a business lawyer and chief compliance officer. Where compliance and legal issues bleed together, it can be beneficial to have one person offer advice with both legality and compliance in mind.
The role of your corporate lawyer is generally to provide legal counsel on a wide range of issues. This includes how you can comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The CCO’s role is generally to design and enforce a compliance program for your company to help prevent compliance issues. As you can see, these two roles can often go hand-in-hand. One potential benefit to making your outsourced general counsel also be CCO is that they can provide guidance from a legal standpoint as well as a compliance standpoint. A separate CCO may not have this background to draw from.
Therefore, because your company’s attorney and the CCO have similar responsibilities, it can often make a lot of sense to combine roles. Your lawyer can utilize legal and business understanding as well as knowledge about compliance regulations to help provide advice for your business.
Another reason many companies choose to have an attorney serve as CCO also comes down to economics. Hiring a CCO involves offering a compensation package as well as any benefits your company offers to full-time employees. With an outsourced general counsel, you simply pay a flat fee each month for our services. Therefore, it may be more cost-effective for your company to have your business attorney also perform the duty of CCO.
At G. Ortega Law, we provide legal services for community banks and mid-market businesses. We get to know your business to provide relationship-driven legal counsel. We can help you with legal matters from regulatory compliance to contract drafting.