KPMG Forensic moves to better support GCs

By Jerome Doraisamy|21 July 2020
Dean Mitchell

A new “one-stop shop” has been launched by KPMG Forensic with 18 offerings including regulatory investigations and anti-bribery compliance.

The 18-offering strong service – called “General Counsel support powered by KPMG Forensic” – has been launched with the intention of delivering “rapid support” to in-house legal teams.

“Today’s organisations are facing a more complex regulatory environment, changing demands from shareholders and a focus on trust, integrity and culture,” the firm said.

“Increasingly, the GC is at the centre of these critical governance issues for their organisations. Clearly, the role of the [general counsel] is becoming increasingly [multifaceted] and more is being asked of those who perform it.”

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As such, KPMG Forensic has developed its dedicated support service to help GCs navigate such new challenges, it noted.

Such offerings are critical for GCs moving forward, the firm continued, at a time when in-house counsel are being called upon to assume broader and more strategic roles within their businesses.

“We can see this demand growing, as organisations respond to the changing landscape during COVID-19 and companies took action to address spikes in fraud, corruption, cyber and regulatory risks,” said KPMG partner Dean Mitchell.

“Organisations reported that the rise in integrity risks was driven by a perceived insider threat, particularly from suppliers and employees. When integrity issues arise in this space, they typically land on the GC’s desk.”

The global firm said it believes this is the first time any professional services business in Australia has “brought together all of the forensic services into one space to support the general counsel”.

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“This means rapid expert advice is available, covering areas including anti-bribery, fraud, cyber intrusion – and expert forensic accounting support,” said Mr Mitchell.

For clients with a fraud or regulatory issue reported in an offshore region, Mr Mitchell said as an example, GCs will be able to utilise investigators, computer forensic professionals and accountants “deployed locally and very quickly”.

“The service is coordinated in Australia with instant document review via secure platforms – all with complete transparency in [real-time]. Current COVID-19 travel restrictions make this approach even more important,” Mr Mitchell said.

KPMG Forensic hopes, it added, that the service will help Australian corporations deal with the increase in integrity challenges.

“There is a strong trend we’re seeing with in-house counsel being asked to do much more. They are responding to COVID-19 specific issues as well as managing already full schedules. Increased regulatory change has also increased the workload of in-house counsel significantly,” Mr Mitchell concluded.

KPMG Forensic moves to better support GCs
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