Compliance with environmental laws and regulations is an integral part of the internal control system mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley for public companies. One of this month's articles (see page 28) addresses Sarbanes-Oxley's requirements concerning the disclosure of contingent environmental liabilities.Compliance failures, manifesting a breakdown in internal controls, could lead to severe civil and criminal penalties.
An effective internal control system in the new world of Sarbanes-Oxley demands that the corporation have lawyers (either in-house or external) with the skills to identify failures of compliance in highly specialized areas, such as environmental law. They should also have a sufficiently close working relationship with middle management so that they are able to detect and head off emerging problems.This may require a review of the adequacy of legal department staffing and outside counsel coverage.
Robert L. Duncan
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We are pleased to welcome Kelley Drye & Warren LLP as a Supporting Firm for the Midatlantic edition. Kelley Drye was one of the original Supporting Law Firms of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel when the Northeast edition was launched and has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with us. Founded in 1836, Kelley Drye represents some of the world's most accomplished businesses and organizations. The firm provides exceptional legal counsel that reflects the extensive experience, proven capabilities and industry expertise for which its attorneys are known. It has more than 300 attorneys in more than 20 practice areas, including antitrust, broker-dealer, commercial litigation, corporate, employee benefits and executive compensation, financial institutions, government contracts, homeland security, intellectual property, labor and employment, products liability, real estate, restructuring, bankruptcy, site selection, tax, telecommunications and white collar crime.
In the Midatlantic region, Kelley Drye has maintained an office in Washington, DC for 25 years and an office in Tysons Corner, Virginia since 2001. These offices are home to one of the largest and most respected telecommunications and technology practice groups in the United States. The Telecom Group has generated valuable synergies in terms of legal, regulatory, transactional and technical expertise, and in knowledge of industry players in both the domestic and international markets. The Telecom Group's law practice is also supported by a unique consulting subsidiary, The KDW Group LLC, that provides business and financial consulting advice. Kelly Drye attorneys recognize that premium service is inextricably linked with first-rate performance. For more than 165 years, Kelly Drye has helped clients reach their business goals by combining expert legal advice with unparalleled client service. Although the practice of law has evolved with time, the value of preeminent client service, and Kelley Drye's commitment to providing it, have remained unchanged.
Published April 1, 2004.