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Delivering the 
compliance message

Tracey Calvert gives tips on what strong foundations for a functioning compliance culture should look like

1 March 2016

I am often asked for tips
about the ways in which a compliance culture can be created. I usually respond by asking: how many emails are generated by the firm on a daily basis? A busy firm will be sending out a great quantity of emails and some of these may be sent to the wrong recipient. No one is perfect, after all. However, what happens next will be of interest to the firm's compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) and partners, as the response of the individual who makes the mistake is a good indicator of the existing compliance culture within
the firm.

Creating a compliance culture where the knee-jerk reaction is to make the COLP aware of such issues should be the goal. A COLP who is not recording examples of wayward emails should be questioning why not. Are colleagues unaware of the possible ethical and legal issues; do they not realise the COLP's interest; or is the culture one of blame and shame, rather than accountability and respons...

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