LAW FIRM DIRECTORY

Business Protection

Defense without a Hitch

Corporate security is a comprehensive concept that requires the involvement of various experts from security guards to analysts. However, lawyers play a key role in this group too

OLEKSIY NASADYUK

There is hardly a business organization that is perfectly protected. Even the most advanced security system, backed up by an operating compliance program, does not give a 100% guarantee. It is impossible to foresee everything and, finally, there will be a specialist, who managed to take advantage of a previously hypothetical chance.

It is worth noting that the concept of corporate security, at least in our country, has recently evolved from ensuring primarily physical protection to the economic and legal sphere, and instruments are supplemented by achievements of the information technology industry. Accordingly, at present the most typical is the security system consisting of security, economic, informational, and engineering safety services. Formally recognizing the need for an integrated approach, in practice these units operate independently, and in some cases even interfere with each other. Lawyers, both in-house and external consultants, are conspicuous by their absence from the list. Though the engagement of lawyers in ensuring security enables timely identification of potential risks and the taking of preventive measures.

Ensuring corporate security in one form or another has always been on the list of services provided by law firms. However, they have usually been dispersed between different practitioners, and the lawyer engaged in developing a corporate governance system and aimed at eliminating internal threats rarely communicated with the tax and litigation lawyers dealing with external threats. The positioning of this area of activity of law firms as a complex service, which also includes security services (physical, informational, etc.), has become a recent trend.

Demand for this kind of legal support in the current market is high. At the same time, all experts unanimously advise building up the corporate security system, while in practice, it is just the other way round: people turn to lawyers, as a rule, in the midst of a corporate conflict, and the value of legal services in this case increases significantly.

Legal protection of business includes: development of legal security of financial turnover, ensuring information security, protection of property, protection from takeover, anti-raiding, protection from the wrongful actions of regulatory bodies, lobbying interests of clients in public agencies, representation in disputes with tax authorities, and many other methods. Business protection is aimed at ensuring fully effective uninterrupted workflow and maximizing income. Special attention should be given to the protection of assets and confidential information. Each stage has particular legal instruments that are the most efficient for achieving the desired results. In one case, it is audit and recommendations to remove the most obvious threats, in the other a long-term compliance program, while in another establishing communication with government agencies or advocacy in court.

Work to improve the efficiency of a corporate security system or development and implementation of such system a priori assume a comprehensive analysis of the activity of the company and each one of its branches, both from a legal and operational perspective. At the same time, the development of the system by external experts has several advantages. In addition to the notorious outside perspective, it facilitates quick decision-making, effective coordination and an integrated approach to the problem, and often removes a key factor of internal pressure and conflict of interest.

Events in Ukraine had a significant impact on doing business. The issue here is not even the economy. Foreign and Ukrainian businesses note the occurrence of both new risks and new opportunities. Unfortunately, so far the risks predominate, and the effects of introducing the announced reforms, whether it is combating bribery or simplifying the business environment, are still a long way off.

For many years Ukrainian business developed taking into consideration the need to “resolve” issues that arise when dealing with various types of state officials. Society has developed a certain type of “corruption” culture. A change in stereotypes and the formation of a conflict-free communication system involving business and regulatory agencies have become priorities for the protection of business, as the state is traditionally regarded as one of the main threats. Numerous “anti-ratings” of investment attractiveness and simplicity of doing business in Ukraine are the best acknowledgement of this.