Corporate Governance for In House Legal Counsel

Julie Thompson-James, Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel, Corporate Secretary, The Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited, Jamaica

In recent times, it has become commonplace for in house Counsel (“General Counsel”) to assume additional responsibilities within a Company or Group of Companies such as the Corporate Secretary and/or Chief Compliance Officer. The reasons for this approach are very clear. Businesses are now operating in an increasingly regulated environment. The role of the corporate secretary (or company secretary) has evolved in the 21st century beyond its formative highly administrative role, to assume a heightened focus on corporate governance. Compliance, as a major risk area of any organization, now has greater prominence and therefore the heightened focus. Regulatory compliance requires knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework and ensuring that businesses operate within that framework. Anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing is even more important than before requiring greater understanding of the laws as they evolve and implementation of robust Anti Money Laundering policies. This is the environment in which a General Counsel operates and a legal background is often times leveraged in each of these three distinct areas.

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Jamaica Corporate Governance Banking & Finance August 2015 Vol. 8, No. 32, Summer 2015

Julie Thompson-James

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Mrs. Julie Thompson-James is Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel and Company Secretary of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited and its subsidiaries, a position she has held since November 4, 2009. Prior to this appointment, she served as Director, Corporate & L

The Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited

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The Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited is a subsidiary of the Bank of Nova Scotia Canada. BNS is the second largest Bank in Jamaica with 2500 employees and has been in existence in Jamaica for 125 years. It has as its two main subsidiaires, a building

Jamaica Corporate Governance Banking & Finance August 2015 Vol. 8, No. 32, Summer 2015