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Covering all bases: Implementing a holistic risk-management approach

Where budgets are stretched to cover such essential elements as IT and HR, risk management can fall far down the list of priorities. With risk affecting all areas of the business, however, John Verry, a risk manager at Charles Russell, argues that a risk strategy is essential, especially as new regulations come into force.

11 June 2004

Risk management is a lot more than simply setting up a diary system and ensuring that a retainer letter is sent on every new matter (although even these basic concepts are beyond some firms). It is about adopting a risk-based approach to managing your business effectively. There are various categories of risk affecting your business: operational, strategic, disaster, regulatory and statutory.

What is meant by adopting a risk-based approach? This simply means that the level of risk involved in a particular area will dictate how you manage it. Hence, a low level of risk needs a minimal response from management, while greater risk will require additional resources, such as IT and management time.

Effective risk management will mean that the partners and staff are:

  • Working in an environment that is compliant with statutory and regulatory requirements;
  • Providing an effective service delivery to clients at an affordable price;

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