25th May 2018 saw new legislation in relation to Data Protection – yes, I know you have heard or seen nothing but GDPR on social media.
Over the last few months I have been visiting firms of all sizes and disciplines and in the lead up to GDPR some of those firms have been organisedin working towards their project time line for becoming GDPR compliant and being able to deal with issues as they arise. GDPR is a work in progress which must form part of their ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
Interestingly, what I have found and talking to other compliance professional, it is apparent that firms are continuing to fall below the levels of where their overall compliance must be. Is GDPR the catalyst for firms re-evaluating their internal systems and processes?
There is still a reluctance from some of the legal industry in the approach to compliance. It is not something that you can simply pay lip service to and it must be taken seriously. Time after time we see what can go wrong which are then published in the Law Society Gazette, Legal Futures etc., but are you reading them and still thinking “it could never happen at our firm”. Let’s be honest here, it can happen at any firm where the visibility, leadership and foundations of compliance are not there.
The value of taking a step back and reviewing what you are currently doing is invaluable. This is sometimes difficult and as compliance professionals we are equipped to assist firms by reviewing things from a different perspective. We have all faced situations where we think the issue may “go away” and the best advice we can give is to deal with the given situation as soon as practicable and that may need outside assistance.
No matter what role you have in any industry and both on personal and professional situations, we all need sounding boards and assistance from an external source. What’s the worst that can happen if you seek that assistance – the problem can be dealt with and you will get some sleep! You will be equipped to deal with that problem, put measures into place so that the same situation does not happen again.
What’s the worst that will happen if you do not deal with it? I think we all know the answers. As individuals we make up our firms, we all need to be on point and be the best versions of ourselves to make the firm, the best version of a firm that it can be.
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