Expect 2009 to be a hectic year for international corporate governance and compliance.

In Britain, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere, many companies are still adjusting to the reforms ushered in by the corporate failures of 2002. Now they’ll also need to brace themselves for the expected new wave of regulation, aimed at fixing problems exposed by the financial crisis of 2008. The depth of the current global economic crisis, and the huge stake taxpayers now have in the problem thanks to government bailouts from Berlin to Beijing, has made corporate governance an incendiary issue.

“The public, investors, shareholders, and regulators will no ...