Legislative Decree 231 and the corporate lawyer
With the legislative decree 231 of 2001, the system of administrative liability of the body was introduced in Italy, for which the company can also be condemned to suffer sanctions in the event that one of its employees or collaborators commits a crime to the advantage of the company. herself, in addition to the person who actually committed the crime.
In particular, among the crimes for which the company can be held accountable, according to Legislative Decree 231/2001, there are corporate crimes, the undue receipt of state funds, or other public bodies, as well as the European Community, the crimes of extortion and corruption, self-laundering, computer fraud to the detriment of the state or a public body, the unlawful processing of data, the employment of illegal foreign workers and environmental crimes, as well as manslaughter and serious or very serious injuries committed in violation of accident prevention and health and hygiene regulations in the workplace.
However, the company can be exonerated from administrative liability if it proves that it has adopted and effectively implemented an organization, management and control model to prevent specific crimes, before the crime in question is committed.
In these cases, the role of the jurist or business lawyer becomes fundamental, a figure generally present within medium and large companies, often at the management level, or as an external lawyer, with skills both in the field of labor law, law banking, commercial and financial, and in corporate economic strategies, with a main role of overseeing legal risks and identifying opportunities to be seized by the company, to beat the competition, interpreting the internal and international legislative provisions to be applied.
The corporate lawyer is the person who deals, within a company, with corporate contracts, both nationally and internationally, for both legal and fiscal and commercial aspects, in addition to company policies. In addition, the professional figure of the corporate lawyer has an economic-legal background that allows him to intervene in disputes between employees and the company, formulating legal opinions.
In the specific case of the administrative responsibility of the company, provided for by decree 231/2001, the intervention of the company lawyer will be, especially at a preventive level, to identify, within the company, the potential risks and identify the activities at risk, create a correct organizational model and define the code of ethics, prepare the internal procedures for the various company processes, organize the company system of delegations and responsibilities, define the disciplinary system, specific training and correct information for company employees and collaborators .