Event Report

Leading in-house counsel from across the UK gathered at the Freeths Mayfair offices in London for the first Risk and Litigation Roundtable discussion. On the agenda were the latest findings from the Risk and Litigation Survey 2019 report, published by GC magazine in partnership with Freeths. The report documents the thoughts and opinions of more than two hundred UK-based general counsel on assessing risk, as well as the various roles their companies expect them to play in managing risk, and the structures in place to support them.

Participants represented a diverse range of industries, including technology, energy, media and property – just to mention a few. Also on hand to offer their valuable insights were Philippa Dempster, managing partner and James Hartley, partner and national head of dispute resolution at Freeths.

‘I thought last night was a great event, especially listening to the challenges (and possible coping mechanisms!) the GCs have in the risk management area,’ says Robin Chalmers, general counsel of all3media International.

Discussions began by highlighting that litigation and regulatory risk ultimately rested under the purview of most attendees. Although some general counsel viewed risk as an opportunity to prove their business value, others challenged their scope of responsibility. Some attendees revealed that it was very helpful when departments within their business, actively worked with general counsel to manage and understand their own risk.

Overall, attendees agreed that the key to successful risk management rested in business culture and transparency. A common approach endorsed by the participants was to ‘lean in’ during times of crisis and assign support as opposed to blame – this, it was agreed, was pivotal to managing risk. Yet, as one attendee eloquently explained, when it comes to risk management there is no right or wrong, it is not black or white – risk and litigation can be red, grey, green and all the colours in between.

Nevertheless, as the political climate continues to evolve, with looming Brexit concerns and increasingly strict data protection regulations, risk and litigation continues to be a primary concern for general counsel across the UK. To find out more about how in-house teams are managing risk, you can view the full Risk and Litigation Survey 2019 report findings here

Thank you to all those who attended The Legal 500 and Freeths Risk and Litigation Roundtable. We would like to give a special mention Freeths for their expertise in planning and hosting the event.

Please scroll down to view pictures of the event.

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