Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

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

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26 www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse COVER STORY measures been ramped up as people are working remotely during the pandemic? Harrs: Given that everyone's working at home, we've escalated the layer of protection on unwanted emails and phishing attempts. I'm sure everyone has seen that there has been an increase in phishing attempts and scams going on with COVID-19. Thankfully, we've been spared from that. We have a pretty good IT department in terms of their approach to security. You must make sure everything goes through the firewalls and you've got appropriate protections in place, you've got a good internet policy, usage policy and you're working over a virtual private network that's controlled and monitored. We've increased our monitoring of people's usage of data as well. Evans: Our primary programs are Zoom for Healthcare and Teams. At the beginning, there was a bit more variation and we had a challenge in that we had to stop bringing patients into the hospital whose care could be managed from outside. So, notwithstanding that, they still did need regular contact with their care providers. It's just another example of an area where we, at the initial outset of all of this, assumed some additional risk because we decided we needed to keep interaction between the health-care providers and the patients going. In the informed consent process, we explained that this is the platform we're using and this is what we understand about its security and this is how it would compare to an ideal state. We've managed over the course of the last several weeks to get ourselves on to the platforms that we consider to be more compliant with the various requirements from a provincial health information perspective. INHOUSE: What is the role of external counsel partners with regards to risk management and in what situations do you seek their help? Lawal: I would say the primary areas for us would be in terms of contracts; making sure that we've embedded the right provisions into our contracts, specifically in terms of contract in project governance and then also change management. Milley: We are a very small legal team at Mastercard Foundation and external counsel partners are very critical for us, particularly across the different jurisdictions within which we work. So, we really rely on them for expertise in many areas and sometimes support where we don't have capacity to turn around requests as quickly as possible. Really, for us in terms of ensuring that we are right- sizing our approaches to risk management and getting some benchmarking information, external advisors have a bit of an advantage of seeing what industries are doing rather than specifically what individual clients are doing such as us. Whenever we're engaging in change management, it's always great to have external support and advice. Evans: There's a huge differentiator between a decent, solid external counsel and a great one. Where external counsel have an industry practice that they're focused on or a practice area that they focus on, their ability to see risk — because they're advising hundreds of clients in an industry or in a particular subject matter area — and to bring that to you as the in-house counsel proactively where it might be harder for you to see it because all you have is your company's experience, I think, is a really important thing. "You must make sure everything goes through the firewalls and you've got appropriate protections in place . . ." Chris Harrs, Spin Master Corp.

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