Last 6th of February 2018, the Chamber organized a conference about the comprehension and the promotion of the compliance in collaboration with DS Avocats Law Firm. The event was attended by many representatives of Spanish and Belgian companies, as well as EU organization’s representatives, who were interested on the impact this topic could have on them, wanted to know which steps to follow in order to avoid the penalties their companies may suffer.
First, Jean-Marie Salva, partner of DS Avocats, started by pronouncing some welcome words and by thanking the attendees for their participation before presenting the law office’s work around the world. Then, he presented Ángela López de Molina, partner of the law firm, who will set a headquarters office in Madrid on March 1st.
During her presentation, López Molina spoke about the current legislation in Spain, which since the change of the Penal Code in 2015 which allows to impute criminal responsibility to the legal persons, requires the companies to design a crime prevention plan.
The compliance was created in 1970, in response to the corruption experienced by the United States through the legal persons.
The crime prevention plan is set as a series of measures of surveillance and control implemented to prevent the commission of crimes or, at least, to try to reduce significantly the possibility of being committed. To do this, it is necessary to count on the “Compliance Officer”, that is a person in charge of preventing all the possible crime situations and trying to solve them.
Furthermore, it is necessary for all the employees to have access to that plan and to expressly accept it. As a conclusion, Ángela mentioned the prevention, detection, answer and supervision activities necessary to credit that the company acts according to the law.
Later, Michel Debroux, partner of DS Avocats, exposed the evolution of the compliance through the years in Europe, which changed from something voluntary to something mandatory.
Debroux pointed out the existence of cultural differences to show the difficulty in unifying the action criteria, even inside a same company with offices established in different places of the world. Thus, he underlined the necessity of taking into account the local specificities to suit in law.
In the case of a company with offices in different places of the world, it is necessary for all of them to apply to the rules of the headquarter office and to its owns, as they have to fit in the local customs.
Thus, the compliance is a process which requires the organization, integration and verification of the regulatory compliance.
As López Molina explained, the speaker described the main tasks that the “Compliance Officer” needs to accomplish. He needs to establish a list with the potential risks. Therefore, he will need to be totally integrated in the company and has to be able to deal with crisis.
Finally, to conclude, the partner of DS Avocats presented what they call “the 10 rules of the perfect compliance project” in which the main characteristics to respect in order to manage perfectly this project are summarized.
The conference took part in a participatory environment during which every attendee had the opportunity to express their doubts and talk with the speakers.
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