Meeting The Dual Challenges Of The Post-Enron Reforms

Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 01:00

Al Driver, Editor
The Metropolitan Corporate
Counsel

The scandals that gave rise to the post-Enron reforms have triggered two
consequences of great significance to corporate counsel and their clients. The
first brings about healthy changes in corporate governance and greater emphasis
on compliance with law. The other exposes corporate America to a variety of
regulatory and prosecutorial overreactions and to exploitation by those seeking
monetary, ideological or political advantage. Corporate counsel must cope with
both consequences.

As to the positive governance and compliance aspect, we again focus attention
on compliance readiness. You are urged to attend the seminar to be given by
Lowenstein Sandler on June 15 (see details on page 34). It is the third in the
series of seminars being given by our supporters. We document the substance of
each of the seminars in the two Special Sections preceding the seminar (in the
case of the June 15 seminar, in this issue and our June issue).

The contents of the Special Sections and related articles and interviews are
archived on our web site. They provide corporate counsel with the intellectual
ammunition to justify their need for the staff and tools they require in the
post-Enron era. Go to www.metrocorpcounsel.com and click on "Compliance
Readiness" on the home page.

The scandals have generated actions by a broad spectrum of organizations,
courts, legislatures, public and private regulatory bodies, federal prosecutors,
state attorneys general, and the plaintiffs bar - some of which, by going far
beyond what is necessary to curb corporate wrongdoing, impose unreasonable
burdens on the private sector. By now most corporate counsel have had the
opportunity to give thought to what might be done to mitigate unnecessarily
harsh requirements, preserve the attorney client privilege and other traditional
legal protections and reduce exposure to unmeritorious legal proceedings. But
they cannot take effective action without working with others. Recognizing this
need, the National Legal Center provides an opportunity for corporate counsel to
participate with corporate counsel leaders and key government officials (like
Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow and U.S. Attorney General Alberto R.
Gonzalez) in a program designed to provide insights and potential solutions to
the unintended consequences of the post-Enron reforms on Tuesday, May 10 and
Wednesday, May 11 in Washington DC. For details see page 57.