Chief Legal Officers show concern for patent trolls, data breaches, ethics and compliance
Ethics and compliance top the list of issues plaguing the nation’s top in-house counsel and chief legal officers for 2015. According to a survey from The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), 96% of lawyers ranked ethics and compliance as “important” and a quarter of them feel the topic is “extremely important.” ACC officials say the results are not surprising, given the numerous compliance laws and regulations implemented within the last decade, such as The Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The survey collected responses from over 1,200 legal professionals in 46 countries, and examines the practices, trends and changes in the role of the legal officers by key segments such as industry, compensation, gender and region.
Data breaches and intellectual property lawsuits are also critical issues causing concerns this year. Survey respondents said protecting corporate data was their second biggest concern, with 25% reporting that they have experienced a data breach in the last two years. Patent litigation has become a significant threat as well, as patent assertion entities or “patent trolls”continue to buy up patents and go after companies large and small and extract quick settlements. The growth of companies such as RPX, which now offer the same insurance solutions to small, emerging technology firms that were previously only offered to large technology companies, proves that there is a real need for solutions to this industry threat.
Rounding out the list of survey concerns were class-action litigation and mergers and acquisitions and privacy and whistleblower claims.
About the Author
Jamie Balboni is the Property & Casualty Practice Leader at WGA. She is a Principal at the firm with over 25 years of experience in the insurance brokerage industry. Her primary focus includes life sciences and high technology clients, and she assists and guides clients on how to best mitigate risk while helping them to develop comprehensive insurance plans.