Practice Area

Compliance law focuses on staying within applicable governmental laws and regulations for your unique industry. Compliance keeps your company and business out of trouble.

Public companies and others, such as government contractors, must have corporate governance and compliance programs in place, which are reported in Security and Exchange Commission filings. However, even if your company is privately held, there are many benefits of having protocols in place for employees and managing risk with a compliance program.

A Philadelphia corporate governance and compliance lawyer can advise on best practices and help seek solutions for your company. The seasoned attorneys at the Jacobs Law Group can assist you with various issues, such as helping your company comply with federal securities and employment laws or state statutes for issues like wage and hour violations and corporate procedural matters.

Why Philadelphia Companies Need Compliance Programs

Compliance programs are sets of policies that govern company procedures to ensure state and federal laws or regulatory rules are followed. They cover a broad range of topics depending on the company’s needs. Compliance programs are safeguards to cut down on lawsuits and government investigations.

For example, raising capital is a complex highly regulated area. A private company seeking to go public must follow Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules when issuing private placements and targeting investors, who must meet wealth thresholds.

Further, healthcare is also a highly regulated area with significant compliance issues. For example, medical practices must comply with the Stark Law, an anti-kickback rule from the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395nn). Healthcare providers cannot refer Medicare patients to other providers for financial interest, or steep penalties may apply.

Employment is another highly regulated area. Employees must also comply with rules in the workplace since their behavior can embroil the company in lawsuits and regulatory agency problems. Our local corporate compliance attorneys can prepare employee handbooks, a set of policies governing workplace behavior and training to help you try to avoid these issues. Employees should also be presented with the company’s Code of Ethics accompanying any policy manual to understand what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable.

Elements of a Compliance Program

Along with policy and ethics provisions, companies should consider establishing a Compliance Committee or designating a Chief Compliance Officer to attend to day-to-day issues, including those from Human Resources, regulatory investigation queries, or lawsuit service. Employees, officers, and directors should be offered training about corporate policies and laws that affect the company. All involved should have the ability to safely report any observed infractions, even anonymously, so the Compliance Officer or Committee has a chance to rectify problems before they worsen.

All employees, officers, and directors must be committed to the compliance program for it to work effectively. Risks should be evaluated promptly, and changes to protocols made as necessary. Problems should be fixed, not just noted. The lawyers at our Philadelphia office are familiar with corporate issues and could assist in putting a compliance program in place.

Corporate Governance

Compliance programs are part of corporate governance, which addresses how a Board of Directors and executives manage a business in compliance with laws. This begins when corporations establish bylaws, adopt shareholder agreements, and designate the corporate secretary to draft and compile minutes and resolutions determined by the Board.

Corporate governance involves working uniformly with outside contractors and making decisions based on sound law, whether federal or state. Our skilled attorneys can help executives chart a course for success by ensuring the Board adopts crucial documents like buy-sell agreements, employment contracts, and vendor agreements.

Corporate Governance – Board Evaluations

Public, private and non-profit boards of directors seeking to practice good governance or conduct an effective peer review often turn to board advisors to conduct a customized evaluation process. However, using outside advisors raises the question of the level of confidentiality of the process. Jacobs Law Group’s board service addresses that concern.

Jacobs Law Group’s board review service comes with a strengthened claim to confidentiality; the attorney-client privilege. Jacobs Law Group process is attorney driven and overseen and the Board self evaluation is a component part of the overall legal review of the Board and its activities.

What makes the Jacobs Law Group board review process particularly effective is for the directors to have a confidential structured conversation without attribution and with the entire process subject to the claim of attorney-client privilege. This makes what is already an effective board leadership tool into a fully candid conversation on combined business and legal issues that can provide a true self-assessment of board function, drive improvement or other needed changes.

Jacobs Law Group provides attorney led corporate board evaluations in conjunction with The Tomorrow Group. When the Board retains Jacobs Law Group to oversee this process, we then engage the Tomorrow Group, whose principals have extensive experience in serving on corporate boards, to assist Jacobs Law Group in crafting a custom board evaluation process for each engagement.

By combining Jacobs Law Group’s corporate and business lawyers’ skills with The Tomorrow Group’s expertise, we are able to offer the board a confidential process run by independent counsel to strengthen itself, to identify any issues in its component members, and to give the board the information needed to make any necessary changes.

Consult a Philadelphia Corporate Governance and Compliance Attorney

Running a public or private corporation requires definitive rules to head off lawsuits and regulatory agency investigations that can occur if the company is not complying with federal and state laws. Your company should consult a Philadelphia corporate governance and compliance lawyer to help put a program in place and periodically assess your risk.

At the Jacobs Law Group, we understand the issues that corporate boards face in today’s business climate. Our legal team offers a proactive solution that includes policy and procedure manuals, ethics protocol, and complaint resolution. We could explain what you need to know about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the SEC. Contact our firm today to discuss your situation.

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