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Survey shows ‘shift’ in corporate governance
Pic: MHC

01 Nov 2023 / business Print

Survey shows ‘shift’ in corporate governance

A survey carried out by law firm Mason Hayes & Curran (MHC) has shown that six out of ten business leaders believe corporate crime is still not adequately legislated for in Ireland.

The survey of 150 people took place at the firm’s webinar on recent developments in white-collar crime.

Claire Lord (MHC partner and head of corporate governance) described the establishment of the Corporate Enforcement Authority (CEA) in July 2022 as “a significant change to the Irish company-law landscape”, adding that it had “greatly enhanced” the State’s capacity to investigate and prosecute breaches of company law.


Lord (pictured) stated, however, that the survey findings indicated “a disconnect” between the advancements in regulation and the industry perception or awareness of these changes.

“As regulatory bodies like the CEA evolve and strengthen their capabilities, it becomes equally important to bridge the knowledge gap and foster a comprehensive understanding of these changes amongst business leaders,” she said.

The survey also found that 40% of respondents at the event felt inadequately resourced to deal with corporate-enforcement actions, such as dawn raids, search warrants or production orders.

MHC partner Liam Guidera (head of investigations and corporate crime) said that the results underscored the need for “robust internal policies and protocols”.

“It is critical that companies invest in developing such comprehensive frameworks and that they have a well-structured plan in place,” he stated.

Engaging with regulators

More than eight out of ten business leaders said that the possibility of engaging with a regulator played a ‘significant’ (37%) or ‘moderate’ (46%) role in shaping their decision-making process.

According to Lord, these figures demonstrated a shift in the dynamics of corporate governance, with legal and ethical considerations becoming central to business strategy.

MHC, however, described as “surprising” a finding that 17% of business leaders said that regulatory engagement had very little influence on their decision-making.

The firm said that this raised questions about whether these businesses were potentially underestimating the risks associated with regulatory non-compliance.

Gazette Desk
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