June 24, 2013
Several months ago I helped prepare a preview of the “Top Ten” issues that were likely to be on the plates of in-house counsel during 2013. It’s now almost half way through the year and a good time to look back and see how things have been going and remind folks about a couple of the items that were listed.
Preparing predictions of this sort is always a risky move and it is now clear from recent events that in-house counsel will be wresting with difficult data security and privacy issues for years to come and that social media use by companies and their employees has also become a fertile area for compliance activities. As it turns out, both cyber security and social media were on the “Top Ten” list. But, let’s not forget some of the other issues that you, as in-house counsel, should be following as 2013 moves along.
First of all, while proxy season is basically over, shareholder activism remains important and in-house counsel should continuously monitor the pronouncements of shareholder advocacy groups.
Second, I mentioned in my Top Ten list that “as the economy improves, companies face a more competitive landscape for key employees and executives” and in-house counsel needs to continuously work with human resources professionals to make sure that they avoid problems with non-poaching agreements.
Finally, if I had to pick one other item to hammer home it would be to remind in-house counsel about disaster preparedness. As noted in the “Top Ten” article: “Some companies task the general counsel or in-house counsel with analyzing and mitigating risks to the business, including the risks posed by serious weather events, changing climate, and the possibility that at least part of the losses sustained in a storm will not be covered by insurance.”
Since the article was written we’ve seen tornados and flooding that have led to devastating results and, unfortunately, we’ll see more of this in the future and in-house counsel needs to be ready to support their company’s contingency plans. Please take a moment to use the Top Ten: In-House Preview for 2013 as a tool for reviewing, and perhaps updating, your in-house counsel work agenda for 2013. (When you reach the page, scroll down and select the featured white paper).