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Editorial: Compliance Newcomer Teaches the Basics

Matt Kelly | September 1, 2010

Early one Friday afternoon last month, I had the opportunity to meet a newly minted chief compliance officer. She had been in the job only one month, was passing through town, and wanted to talk about the current events in compliance over lunch. We settled into a restaurant near my office and began chatting.

“So are you a lawyer?” I asked.

“No, I spent 12 years in the HR department,” she told me. “I'm also a licensed private investigator, and I assume that will help too.”

I thought about that for a moment. “Actually,” I said, “ compliance departments want lawyers in the role mostly so they can exercise attorney-client privilege when that legal protection might be necessary. But really, on a daily basis, most of the work is finding the facts behind...

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