Efficient organisations conduct regular legal audits to assess risk. Any business manager who has been through the litigation process will understand the true cost: lengthy duration; significant financial investment; wasted management time; and reputational risk.
Well run organisations can and should mitigate litigation risk. Leman Consulting’s legal audit services will enable your organisation to avoid litigation. Our legal audit offering is summarised below.
1. CONTRACTS, SLA’s & LICENCES – INSURANCE, COMMERCIAL, SUPPLIER & CUSTOMER
- Are all key issues provided for?
- Do they deal with risks, describe product specifications, sets out timings, payment terms, delivery terms, costs, remedies, termination events and adequate dispute control clauses?
- Do you give managers a standard form of contract so all key terms will be considered as part of the negotiations?
- Do your managers understand basic contract law issues?
- Is your insurance adequate?
- Do your policies and contracts complement each other?
- Does one invalidate the other?
- Are you familiar with the claim disclosure requirements?
- Are all your contracts live, smart documents linked to current legislation?
- Are your outsourcing and supplier agreements streamlined through BPM?
Our review of contracts includes:
- A review of your standard and customised client and vendor contracts
- Evaluate the adequacy of the documents to protect your interests
- Assess the validity and usefulness of limitation of liability, no consequential damages clauses
- Assess IP ownership, arbitration/mediation clauses
- Advise on new clauses required to achieve operational and business objectives
- Analyse your management of contract non-compliance
- Check loan and debt compliance covenants
2. LOAN AGREEMENTS, SECURITY REVIEW & DEBTOR RISK
- Do you understand the circumstances in which your lender can demand repayment?
- Are you familiar with the security and cross-security provisions of your suite of lending agreements?
- Have you considered the affect of a default or insolvency of one company on your group structure?
- Will your group structure withstand it?
- Have you carried out due diligence on new customers?
- Are your terms of engagement clear and unambiguous?
- Are your internal practices and procedures robust enough to minimise your debtor exposure?
- Is your front line staff trained in minimising debtor risk at the point of sale?
- Are your AML controls; cashflow management; credit control; purchasing policies; supplier contracts; customer contracts; invoice management and debt management adequate?
3. PROPERTY & COMMERCIAL LEASES
- Do the terms of your commercial leases compliment your business plans?
- If you need to exit, can you?
- What are the financial liabilities of doing so?
- When is your next rent review?
- Is it upward only; upward or downward or CPI?
4. WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS POLICIES
- Are your website T&C’s compliant with consumer legislation?
- Are your internal website and social media policies compliant with employee rights?
- Do you have an effective communications policy that ensures that all of your staff are on message and on point?
- Do you properly document the receipt of employment applications and customer information collected on your web site?
- Do you have consents for website links?
5. HR & EMPLOYEE RISK MANAGEMENT PROCESSES & POLICIES
- When did you last consider your day to day HR processes and policies?
- Are your health and safety and employment policies and contracts updated and compliant?
Our HR audit is designed to maximise your human capital, ensure best practice employee relationship management and minimize the risks associated with both. It offers strategic advice in the areas of organisational review and change management, contract management, employee relationship management and compliance.
Our services include:
- Key Employee Risk Management
- Staff Contract Review
- HR Strategy
- Workplace Relations Policy
- Recruitment Policy Review and Amendment
- Staff Training Policy Review and Amendment
- Ongoing Training
- Disciplinary Policy Review and Amendment
- Redundancy Policy and Procedure Review and Amendment
- Holiday and Sick Leave Policy Review and Amendment
- Bullying Policy Review and Amendment
- Social Media Policy Review and Amendment
6. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
Is your IP protected? We will review your IP assets, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets (e.g. customer lists, business processes) and proprietary information to determine that you have adequate legal title to your IP. We will review your internal processes for creating, capturing, using, and protecting IP and create customized guidelines and systems to create, capture, use and protect your IP. Additional services include:
- Review infringement monitoring and reporting practices
- Review key employees’ non-compete clauses
- Assess if your contractors adequately pass IP title to you
- Confirm ownership of web assets: copyright, graphics, and domain names
- Assess your possible infringement of competitors’ IP
7. CORPORATE STRUCTURE & CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
- Are your corporate governance structures, practices and procedures compliant with regulatory requirements and adequately peer benchmarked?
8. DATA MANAGEMENT & CYBER SECURITY
Reliable data is the cornerstone of success.
- Is your data managed properly? Is it improving profitability and reducing risk?
- Is it unmanaged incurring unquantifiable costs in terms of operational losses and potential regulatory penalties?
- Is your data secure?
Good businesses must be able to demonstrate to their customers an ability to operate secure digital systems.
9. PRE & EXISTING LITIGATION
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and time.”– Abraham LincolnPrevention is better than cure. We review your existing and previous litigation to identify trends and risk areas.
- Do you have recurring litigation that can be avoided or reduced through risk management?
- Do you know the cause of main areas of risk within your organisation?