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Spotlight: Company secretary & general counsel SIG

Each month Airmic News will be showcasing one of the Association's communities to highlight the growing networking and knowledge sharing groups focused on particular topics or disciplines. This month we take a look at the Company Secretary & General Counsel Special Interest Group.

The Company Secretary & General Counsel SIG was launched in 2019 and has quickly built up a loyal group of professionals from a range of industries. Topics discussed at meetings to date have included directors and officers insurance and legal and insurance implications from COVID-19.

Colin Barker is Company Secretary for the Bayer companies in the UK & Ireland region. He tells Airmic News that the diversity of participants has brought a lot of value to the meetings.

“One of the advantages of such SIGs is that the attendees come from a variety of organisations and industries,” he says. “That enables participants to gain a wide variety of expertise and experience from fellow members who are in industries or business segments that deal more regularly with issues that you, yourself, may only deal with very infrequently or hardly ever at all.

“It also gives you the opportunity to pick up knowledge of a range of different practical approaches to dealing with a variety of issues, from which you can pick out areas of best practice that you can use to further refine and improve your own practices. What is especially useful is that unexpected moment when you suddenly learn that there is a potential risk or issue, of which you were up until that point blissfully unaware, that another member has identified and found a way of managing.”

As professionals are expected to competent in their general daily duties, the group’s focus tends to remain on those items that might typically fall outside of the day-to-day responsibilities but have the potential to significantly impact on their ability to perform their duties or for their organisations to function.

“Future topics of the Company Secretary & General Counsel SIG could be such issues as – international litigation risks, getting the board to adequately address I.T. security risks, corporate fraud risks etc,” Barker adds. “The topics for future discussion will be whatever the members of the S.I.G. want them to be so the range of potential future topics is as wide as the members of the S.I.G. want it to be.”

Special interest group meetings are currently taking place virtually as Airmic transitions to a virtual association during the coronavirus epidemic and the restrictions in place. For more information on the Company Secretary & General Counsel SIG, please contact Julia Graham, Airmic’s Deputy CEO & Technical Director: Julia.graham@airmic.com