Since the introduction in Spain of the criminal liability of legal persons, it has become essential for companies to be able to prevent, detect and mitigate criminal or irregular situations occurring within their organization. Our compliance lawyers can advise you or your business on a wide range of Spain and EU regulatory issues.
As regulatory compliance lawyers, we can help you
What is regulatory compliance?
Compliance can be defined as a set of procedures and good practices that organizations adopt in order to identify and classify the legal risks they face, and thus establish internal mechanisms for preventing, managing, controlling and reacting to them.
In Spain, with the reform introduced by Organic Law 5/2010, of 22 June, amending the Criminal Code, a model of vicarious criminal liability of legal persons was introduced, through a double channel. On the one hand, criminal liability is attributed to legal representatives and de facto or de jure administrators who, in the name and on behalf of the legal persons they represent or administer, commit a crime. On the other hand, criminal liability is attributed to the legal person itself for crimes committed by employees or subordinates who have committed criminal acts, due to a failure to exercise due control over them.
Case law shows that there have been a dozen convictions exceeding one million euros, some of which have also led to the dissolution of the legal entity. Technological and innovative companies are not exempt from these risks.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that companies have adequate regulatory compliance plans that identify the criminal risks to which they are exposed, implement policies and controls to mitigate such risks, and if they occur, know the procedure to follow.
Why you should invest in legal advice on regulatory compliance?
There are a number of benefits that can be summarized as follows:
- Obtain exemption from punishment if the crime was committed by a member of the organisation’s leadership and the implementation of compliance plans prior to the commission of the crime is proven.
- To achieve mitigation of punishment when compliance plans are implemented after the crime has been committed.
- Avoid the disqualification or prohibition to contract with the public sector (with the State, Autonomous Communities, City Councils, public companies, etc.) that occurs with legal persons convicted of a crime or sanctioned for having committed infringements considered very serious (in the areas of foreigners, environment, competition, people with disabilities, etc).
- Avoid loss of competitiveness. More and more companies (and not only multinationals) require compliance plans to be in place in order to be hired.
- Reduce the risk of damage to corporate reputation. Criminal (and even immoral) conduct can cause consumers to withdraw their confidence in the company’s products and the value of the sanctioned company to decrease in the market. An emblematic case is the Dieselgate scandal, which caused Volkswagen’s shares to depreciate significantly, to the detriment of its shareholders.
Regulatory compliance lawyers for technology-based, digital and highly innovative companies
The complexity of state, local and sectoral regulations can be a challenge for companies and other organizations, which often do not know whether they are complying with all the required obligations or whether they are applying the existing regulations correctly.
Our team of compliance specialists can help your company identify the legal (including criminal) risks it faces and draw up a regulatory compliance policy that is appropriate to this reality. And this with a view to avoiding the negative consequences arising from the commission of possible criminal and administrative crimes within the organisation.
We accompany companies in all phases of the implementation of the compliance plan, ensuring that all programmes meet the legal requirements. We draw up tailor-made compliance plans for innovative organisations; we know well the crypto sector and blockchain technology; we work with software companies and with companies that use artificial intelligence systems. We have successfully advised companies that have been admitted to the Spanish financial sandbox in 2021.
What services do we offer you as regulatory compliance lawyers?
- Criminal risk assessments and the development of prioritization, analysis and management matrices.
- Drawing up personalized compliance plans. Monitoring and adaptation.
- Implementing crime prevention programes within the organization.
- Advice to the company’s organ responsible for the regulatory compliance function or compliance officer.
- Implementation of communication, evangelisation and image management actions.
- Good corporate governance policies.
- Personal data protection.
- Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.