Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse 19 general counsel and corporate secretary at Spin Master Corp., describes COVID-19 as "the greatest single risk factor that's arisen in my working lifetime," citing factors such as growth, supply chain issues and employee engage- ment as areas of concern. A class action lawsuit or a government recall could pose a significant financial risk for his organization. "The way we measure risk is really about the financial effect on the company," says Harrs. Risks to patients is the foremost focus at SickKids, together with risks to staff, as well as financial and reputational concerns. The COVID-19 crisis created additional concerns for frontline staff at the hospital, particularly in view of the shortage of personal protective equipment that medical professionals were facing at the start of the pandemic. "It's a challenging environment, but I think we are taking on an incredible amount of risk in order to do our part to stem the tide," says Megan Evans, chief legal and risk officer at SickKids. "From the CEO of the hospital down through all levels, the question is constantly 'Is this what's best for the patient?' and if it is what's best for the patients, we find a way to manage the risk and to make sure that our staff are safe while so doing." Increased communication between members of the legal team is a strategy being deployed at Mastercard Foundation, together with the implementation of new contract templates to support members. The continued success of the program is a critical risk for the foundation. "If we are not making the impact that we exist to make as a charitable trust, that's a significant concern for our board of directors," says Philip Milley, senior legal counsel at Mastercard Foundation. Reviewing existing contracts and looking more closely at business continuity plans and disaster recovery are strategies used by the legal department at Interac Corp. Reputational risk, regulatory risk and data security risks continue to be key concerns at Interac due to the nature of the financial information being handled. "We cannot afford for information to fall into the wrong hands. We cannot afford for information to be mishandled in any way, and so I would put data security close to the top for us," says Kikelomo Lawal, chief legal officer, ombudsman and corporate secretary at Interac. Our panelists agree that risk is a shared PANELISTS Kikelomo Lawal Chief legal officer, ombudsman and corporate secretary at Interac Corp., a Canadian financial service brand that facilitates secure financial transactions Megan Evans Chief legal and risk officer at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, which is recognized as one of the world's foremost pediatric health-care institutions Chris Harrs Executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Spin Master Corp., a Canadian global toy and entertainment company that markets consumer products for children Philip Milley Senior legal counsel at Mastercard Foundation, a non-profit organization guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. The charity focuses on providing aid to African communities. "It's a challenging environment, but I think we are taking on an incredible amount of risk in order to do our part to stem the tide." Megan Evans, Hospital for Sick Children

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