52 GOVERNANCE | LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT 2018 RISK MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS CONTINUITY, ETHICS AND CODE OF CONDUCT Good organisational governance is something we often take for granted in Australia but it is critical to delivering sustainability policies and commitments that organisations make. Good governance is also necessary for compliance with regulatory, professional, industry and voluntary standards. The flow of well publicised corporate and political scandals continues in 2018 where poor governance has allowed breaches of the law and also a loss of community trust and organisational reputation. Most of these issues have arisen where systemic governance failures have allowed behaviours and transactions to occur that were in conflict with otherwise documented public policies and values. Good risk management and ethical behaviours based on solid and visible organisational values are key ingredients to a firm’s long-term reputation and its ability to operate. The Australian Legal Sector Alliance assesses the following aspects of governance: • codes of conduct, ethics and grievance mechanisms and • risk management and business continuity planning. A law firm’s code of conduct promotes a good social, ethical and professional culture by documenting how people are expected to act. The process of assessing the behaviour of employees becomes more consistent when a code of conduct is used as a reference point. Codes of conducts for law firms are also reinforced by and regulatory requirements of the legal profession. Risk management not only considers a firm’s significant regulatory, financial and reputational risk areas but also the risk of delivering their commitments and the objectives in their strategic plans. These are all elements that reflect on the overall sustainability of an organisation and the ability for it to meet it social purpose and responsibility. CODE OF CONDUCT CODE OF CONDUCT TRAINING COMPLAINTS & GRIEVANCE PROCESSES 7% 100% 100% 90% 3% No Yes Yes Yes Currently in Development