Another year, another spate of scandals about huge data breaches, sexual misconduct and gender inequities. Such events swept up companies such as Facebook, CBS and Marriott, and many of the companies faltered in the court of public opinion for how they handled the events.
Davis Graham & Stubbs made the looming legal risks and regulatory scrutiny that come with these types of scandals the focus of its yearly public company update Thursday at the Four Seasons in Denver.
Below are a few highlights for how companies can mitigate their legal risks in shifting regulatory environments.
The 5 ‘Ws’ (and ‘How’) of Internal Investigations
There seems to be a clear message for companies looking to mitigate regulators’ wrath for mishandling an internal investigation into misconduct: Regulators are more likely to look favorably at a company’s proactive efforts to look into what may have happened, and there are steps to combat the appearance that a company covered something up.
“I think a lot of times … the question comes up: Do we really have to do this? The likelihood of someone finding out is slim. It’s probably just a complainer who had a bad day at work,” said partner Jackie Roeder. “It’s better to know than not. … When you get to a situation where there is something wrong, you want to know before the government knows; you want to know before a public report is made.”