Interview with Eulalia Rubio
After 20 years of practicing law in AddVANTE’s Commercial area, we are regularly involved in complex commercial operations, advising from their negotiation to their development and legal execution. What is the added value they bring to their clients?
Our main value is our ability to adapt to an environment that is constantly changing as a result of the advance of new technologies and internationalization, combined with a multidisciplinary vision that is the result of teamwork. We approach all matters from this multidisciplinary perspective, collaborating between areas of the firm and providing rigour and commitment. The current regulatory environment requires that companies have adequate legal advice to evaluate the risks associated with their activity, not only in cases of negotiation and approximation between purchase and sale operations and corporate transactions, but also as a tool for prevention and evaluation of regulatory compliance.
Precisely in reference to the term “compliance”. In recent years we have talked a lot about Criminal Compliance and more recently about Tax Compliance. Are companies catching up and taking responsibility for these issues?
The companies that started to implement a Criminal Compliance management system were from regulated sectors and we have seen how little by little companies from other sectors, such as the pharmaceutical, chemical or automotive sectors, have implemented a compliance management system not only limited to the criminal field. Our experience confirms that companies that already have a regulatory compliance program in place can demonstrate good management and generate confidence to face sales processes, investor entry or financing rounds successfully.
This May has been the first year since the RGPD came into force. What have been the main challenges that companies have had to face?
In this first year, companies have focused on complying with the aspects that affect their external image (privacy policies of their websites, for example), but it is necessary to review internal monitoring and control processes and carry out periodic audits. People are more aware of the value of data and we have seen how in the last year complaints from data subjects to the Control Authority have increased, which confirms the need to adapt not only to appear to comply but to prove that the necessary measures have been taken to guarantee privacy in the processing of data subjects’ data. It should be noted that in the processing of personal data and risk management the scheme of the management system is the same as in criminal compliance. At AddVANTE, as we are a multidisciplinary firm, our advice in this area is provided not only from a regulatory perspective but also from a technological one. In addition to offering risk analysis and management of personal data processing, impact assessment, drafting of security protocols, drafting of contracts and clauses to comply with legal requirements, we offer audits of complex computer environments, computer security and cyber security, which gives the client much more extensive coverage than usual. Finally, it should be added that we advise data controllers and data protection delegates (DPOs) on the management of the exercise of rights, complaints, breaches and security violations.
What should companies take into consideration to face the future with security and peace of mind?
Business strategy and execution by companies must take into consideration regulatory changes, technological updating, protection not only of personal data but also of business secrets, new requirements in terms of ethics, compliance and anti-bribery, in order to protect and give value to their business, brand, reputation and shareholders. In this sense, good commercial advice is critical, from whom a leading role is expected in defining the lines of action of companies, to carry out good management of them and to prepare corporate restructuring processes and M&A operations.
Eulalia has also participated as a speaker in various events and is the author of articles and publications in the press related to Commercial and Civil Procedural Law.