46 GOVERNANCE | LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT 2016 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. In the last 12 months there have been a range of well publicised corporate scandals where poor governance has allowed breaches of the law and but also a loss of community trust. 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 are important 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 code of conduct promotes a good social, ethical and professional culture by demonstrating how people are expected to act. The process of assessing the behaviour of employees becomes more objective when a code of conduct is used as a reference point. In law firms codes of conduct are also reinforced by the 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 9% 100% 100% 88% 3% No Yes Yes Yes Currently in Development