At FRA, we take pride in our inclusive and diverse teams, operating in our “one firm” collaborative culture across disciplines and geographies. The fact that women make up almost half of our employees and over a third of our leadership team, is evidence of our collective belief in promoting diversity in the profession.
We not only live by these values but are in a unique position to lead by example. To this end, FRA hosted its inaugural Women’s Roundtable networking event at The Dorchester on 5 September, with a second round following soon after in November.
The dinner brought together 22 accomplished women with a wide range of experience in the white collar space, both from prominent law firms as well as in-house legal teams to discuss key trends in the market.
We had a rich debate covering a variety of topics including:
Data Privacy / Breaches
- The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has recently opened the way to some rather hefty fines, e.g. British Airways and Marriott International
- Regardless of the industry, heavy potential penalties are becoming the key tool of enforcement when it comes to data protection
- Although there is still much to learn about how European data protection authorities will make use of the GDPR fine provisions, there are also many lessons to be drawn from the banking sector’s road to regulation. They have taken many years and been hit with painful penalties to learn the necessity of a proactive compliance culture
- There is heightened anti-money laundering (“AML”) interest and enforcement on a global scale, including interests from regulators and agencies beyond the US, as well as the media (e.g. investigative journalism)
- Recent developments have seen an increase in the focus by regulators on individuals for serious conduct failures as opposed to compliance failure
- Regulators and authorities have been encouraging companies to explore and implement innovative technology that will enable stronger and more efficient AML compliance programme
- On the topic of digital currency, regulators in many parts of the world are still trying to determine their respective position on how digital currencies will be regulated, let alone monitored
Technology in Investigations and Compliance Programme
- Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are current hot topics, including in the area of investigations and compliance programmes
- Based on current data landscape and forward projection, the global volume of data is expected to grow at a steep rate, which adds complexity to investigations and compliance programmes
- Practitioners need to be well versed with the use of technology to overcome the complexity of data collected for investigations and compliance programmes as regulators increasingly expect the use of technological tools and solutions, e.g. Technology-Assisted Review (“TAR”), data analytics, etc to overcome challenges posed by complex data
Hosted and facilitated by Emma Hodges, Weng Yee Ng, June Kelly, Tegan Starr and Nichole Lim from FRA’s London and Paris offices, attendees remarked how valuable it was to connect, network and share ideas in a professional yet informal setting.
We are excited to have kicked off such a successful and thought-provoking series, and proud to be championing the professional advancement of women fighting white collar crime.
“I very much enjoyed meeting everyone and the conversation was refreshing, vibrant and varied”.
– Risk Consultant, Technology Firm
About the FRA Women’s Roundtable
In a profession of increasingly complex legal, regulatory and technological developments, we find it invaluable to create occasions for in-depth sharing of personal experience and building relationships that can be trusted for professional support or advice when challenges or opportunities arise. Our Women’s Roundtable series brings together legal, forensic and data governance professionals, reflecting the current reality in which white collar crime matters require ever closer collaboration between lawyers, forensic accountants and data experts. With more and more women making their mark in each of these fields, we hope that this series serves as a springboard for women professionals to connect and to support one another in their chosen area within white collar crime matters.