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What is keeping chief legal officers up at night?

Regulatory or governmental changes, data breaches and protection of corporate data are the issues most concerning for corporate counsel, according to new research.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 19 February 2019 Corporate Counsel
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The ‘2019 Chief Legal Officers Survey’, conducted by the Association of Corporate Counsel, sought feedback from 1,639 CLOs across 55 countries. Among its findings was that regulation and security ranked as the two most important issues over the next 12 months, both in Australia and globally.

Regulatory or governmental changes are most concerning for Australian-based CLOs for the coming year, with 87 per cent of respondents listing it as very or extremely important, while 65.7 per cent of CLOs globally said the same.

Data breaches and protection of corporate data was the second-most concerning issue for Australian CLOs, with 66.7 per cent of respondents noting it as being very or extremely important. It was the most concerning issue for CLOs globally, with 67.6 per cent calling it very or extremely important.


Responding to the findings, ACC wrote that “the timing fits”.

“The past year saw significant regulatory changes enacted, for example, the European General Data Protection Regulation came into effect, new regulations on cryptocurrency were passed in countries including France and Australia.”

Concerns about the protection of data are “warranted”, the AC continued.

“Breaches directly affect company brand and reputation, top decision drivers for organisational leadership. CLOs are becoming an experienced group when it comes to data breaches,” it wrote.

Other issues that Australian-based CLOs saw as being very or extremely important included: information privacy (65.2 per cent of respondents), technology developments (56.7 per cent), ethics and compliance, including anti-bribery issues (51.8 per cent), M&A (44 per cent) and protection of intellectual property (39.7 per cent).

Interested in the issues shaping the in-house legal landscape? Don’t miss your chance to hear from local and global in-house legal powerhouses at the 2019 Corporate Counsel Summit!

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