Corporate governance policy review


By Claire Shaw and Deborah Swanwick


Does your company suffer from disparate or out-of-date approaches to law and regulation? If so, we can help.

What is a corporate governance and policy review?

It is a detailed and bespoke statement of a company’s agreed internal policies on specific legal areas from a UK compliance perspective. It can be tailored not only to any technical regulatory requirements applicable in your sector but also to the relevant generic legal compliance issues which are relevant to your business model.

Why would you need it?

The spotlight on companies, large and small, to be model corporate citizens has never been greater, and regulators and law enforcement have never been more active.

Globalisation and Brexit are causing companies to look to new and unknown markets. Companies need to be prepared for a different way of doing business and to bridge cultural divides while at the same time staying true to their values and avoiding exposure to risk under UK domestic law.

Green paper 2017

The House of Commons BEIS Committee Green Paper 30 March 2017 states: “Corporate governance is there to support effective decision making by companies for their own long-term success. It provides a framework of law, rules and practices by which company boards balance the interests of shareholders with other stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, creditors, pensioners and the local community.”

The financial reporting council (FRC)

The FRC has, in February 2017, announced plans for a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code. This will take account of work done by the FRC on corporate culture and succession planning, and the issues raised in the Government’s 2017 Green Paper. The FRC will highlight the importance of extending the FRC’s enforcement powers to ensure that disciplinary action can be taken against all directors where there have been financial reporting breaches.

What are the benefits?

A Corporate Governance and Policy Review creates alignment in objectives, conduct and culture for legal compliance. It is an agreed baseline for managers and in-house lawyers. And it provides reassurance for shareholders. Having a complete, independent third-party assessment of your policies and structure will help board members and General Counsel sleep at night. Knowing you have the fundamental structure and compliance culture right will free up time to concentrate on the commercial focus for your business. What is more, your business processes will have been benchmarked against best practice in your sector and a Review sets a clear and positive standard to which the affairs of the company should be conducted.

How does it protect your company?

Ultimately, it reduces legal and financial risk, thereby promoting the company’s good standing. Having the best solutions to compliance risk and the clearest culture and processes that are easy to follow can set your business apart. In these times where law is being expanded to include wider areas for corporate and board-level liability, with organisations striving to demonstrate their ‘adequate procedures’ in the compliance field, having the best policy could mean that yours is the business to which customers, investors, joint venture partners and supply-chain businesses are attracted.


Examples of sector-specific regulation – make sure you are up to date

  • Financial Services/FCA Compliance
  • Telecoms
  • Pharmaceutical, Healthcare and Medical Devices
  • Transport
  • Construction and Infrastructure

Examples of general legal compliance/risk which are likely to apply to your business:

  • Privacy and Data Protection
  • Anti-Bribery
  • Corporate Governance and Company Secretarial
  • Health & Safety
  • Dawn Raids (Regulatory and Criminal)
  • Whistleblowing
  • Competition

For further information please contact Claire Shaw or Deborah Swanwick at Keystone Law. Tel: 0203 319 3700 or Email: