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What’s putting your company’s reputation at risk?

New research from a global law firm reveals interesting discrepancies, between board members and GCs, in perceived threats to a company’s reputation.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 10 December 2019 Corporate Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright
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The “Reputational Risk Australia 2019 Survey Report”, published by global firm Norton Rose Fulbright, was compiled based on responses from 132 senior business and government responses across Australia. It found that board members and C-level executives perceive different risks as having the most deleterious impact upon a company’s reputation compared to those risks identified by general counsel and risk professionals. 

When asked about the risks most likely to impact upon reputation, C-suite and board respondents identified cyber risk (62 per cent), corporate governance (48 per cent), regulatory investigations (39 per cent) and health and safety (29 per cent) as the four most prominent risks they face. 


Legal and risk professionals took a slightly different approach. For this group, there is much greater concern about regulatory investigations (63 per cent), and also sales and customer practice (33 per cent compared to 24 per cent), but their quantum of concern on cyber risk (68 per cent) and corporate governance (43 per cent) is relatively similar. 

Interestingly, GCs and risk professionals see environmental and climate risk issues (30 per cent) as a much bigger issue than board members (9 per cent), but conversely, the latter is much more worried about workplace behaviour (33 per cent) compared to the former (20 per cent).

Speaking generally about the report’s findings, NRF head of employment and labour Jason Noakes and head of risk advisory Scott Atkins said: “Signs of maturity can be seen in a recognition that reputational risk is the responsibility of many stakeholders in an organisation, not just the problem form a chief executive or other single leader to solve”. 

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