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British companies are failing to keep up with financial criminals

In-house lawyers working in major British companies are becoming increasingly concerned that the firms they work for are failing to keep up with the methods being used by criminals to carry out financial crime.

More than two-thirds of in-house lawyers surveyed by law firm Ashurst said they have concerns about their companies’ abilities to keep on top of the ways financial crime is evolving.

Meanwhile, 88 per cent of in-house lawyers polled said they are concerned their company will experience some form of financial crime over the coming year.

Lawyers polled said they anticipate their companies will face new threats, such as cybercrime, but warned they are often unable to prevent those threats or plan ways in which their firm’s will respond.

The situation is made worse by the mounting pressures in-house lawyers currently face, with more than a third of those lawyers polled admitting heavy workloads had seen them fall behind.

They warned new laws, making top-level executives more accountable, have seen increased pressure placed on in-house legal teams.

These pressures were further intensified by the regulatory challenges posed by Brexit and the wider economic uncertainty facing the UK and the rest of the world, the in-house lawyers said.

Ashurst Risk Advisory partner Nisha Sanghani said: “The research findings highlight the pressing need for c-suite executives to engage with their in-house legal team.”

The partner at Ashurst’s consultancy business said “truly effective risk management” acts to “manage current risks” while also “pre-empting and preparing for future ones.”

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