Published on 26 May 2020, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has approved the first international standard on the Management of Legal Risk – ISO 31022. In 2017, CMS Technology and Outsourcing partner Dr Sam De Silva joined the-then newly established ISO Working Group as Co-Convenor, acting as a representative of the British Standards Institute (BSI), and played a leading role in the development of the new ISO standard. All of Sam’s work was done on a voluntary and pro-bono basis.
ISO 31022 represents the culmination of nearly four years of work by the Group, which required consensus and agreement from nearly 60 member countries and member bodies of the ISO. Although a general risk management standard ISO 31000 already existed, specific guidance relating to the management of legal risk had not previously been addressed at an ISO level. ISO 31022 provides an international framework outlining good practices, supplementing the general risk management standard ISO 31000, and is designed to guide companies in the management of legal risk in relation to all their operations and activities.
Sam comments: “It has been a pleasure to act as Co-Convenor on this important ISO Working Group and I am delighted to see the efforts and hard work of all involved come to fruition with the publication of this new standard. Legal risk is gaining a higher profile in light of increased regulatory scrutiny and cross-jurisdictional legislative updates such as the GDPR. The guidelines and best practices outlined in ISO 31022 offer companies a framework to help them implement risk management processes suited for their specific situations and needs. My aspiration is that it should encourage a more structured and consistent approach to the management of legal risks.”
Sam’s work on leading the development of this standard has been recognised by the BSI, conferring on him the prestigious award for “Representing the UK” in late 2019.
Dr Russell Price, Chairman of the BSI Risk Management Committee, says: “Legal risk has steadily become a more prominent issue for businesses worldwide. The publication of ISO 31022 offers a much needed framework for businesses to navigate and manage their legal risk. As Co-Convenor of the Working Group, Dr De Silva played an important role in the development of this new ISO standard ensuring that what was created was practical and focused on delivering real world value. His leadership and extensive expertise encouraged substantial collaboration from stakeholders around the world to develop this new international good practice standard.”