Mapping out a plan that incorporates social responsibility will allow firms to manage risks sustainably, compared with a purely legal approach, a legal expert said Friday.
“It is popular among law firms today to launch a risk management team,” Lim Sung-taek, managing partner of Jipyong LLC, said during The Korea Herald’s Biz Forum “Korea in crisis: How to survive in an era of trade wars and industrial risks” at the Hotel Shilla in Seoul.
“Risk management is resolving issues tied to relations in the client’s community with a perspective that supports not only legal responsibility, but also social responsibility,” added Lim, who is Jipyong’s co-founder.
Lim Sung-taek, co-founder of Jipyong LLC, speaks at The Korea Herald’s Biz Forum “Korea in crisis: How to survive in an era of trade wars and industrial risks” at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Friday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
As an example, Lim cited SK hynix’s risk management in response to reports of its employees developing illnesses after working at its factories.
“SK hynix was mired in controversy surrounding its employees strongly suspected of having developed cancer after being exposed to toxic chemicals at its semiconductor factories, in 2014,” he said.
“The news wasn’t covered aggressively by the press because SK hynix came up with a great risk management resolution -- it swiftly established a committee for the victims and followed its advice to go beyond legal causation through a humanitarian support or resolution.”
According to Lim, the chipmaker’s follow-up measures made a big difference, as it “launched a separate committee to resolve the issue in a sustainable manner and later a center that provides aid and support not only for its employees suffering from work-related diseases, but for the entire community as well.”
As an example of a firm that ignored social responsibility in risk management Lim cited a Swiss-based multinational food company.
After being attacked by an environmentalist group for destroying rainforests, the company chose to stay silent, which prompted stronger public backlash.
Citing copyright infringement, the company took legal action against the civic group’s campaign, but this only made the case go even more viral, Lim said.
Lim ended the lecture with advice on finding the right attorney to help counter threats and manage risks.
“Most attorneys nowadays have areas of expertise they’re well-versed in, but a risk-management lawyer needs to have a great sense of balance and communication that can help one see the whole picture.”
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org