Opinion: From our Readers - Beware corporate manslaughter law

The corporate manslaughter legislation poses an additional risk for all UK companies and brands from this week.

Since 15 February, Section 10 of the Act allowed judges to make a 'publicity order' requiring a convicted organisation to actively highlight four crucial elements: the fact that it has been convicted of the offence; specified particulars; any fine imposed; and the terms of any remedial order made.

Never before has there been such a requirement for disclosure - and no one is immune, as the legislation covers companies and other incorporated bodies, government departments and other similar bodies, police forces and others. They are particularly looking to highlight failures at a senior level. Fines are unlimited, potentially. Culprits may have to prove, publicly, that they have completed the required corrections and remedies.

Boardrooms of the UK take note - your reputations suddenly need even more protection. Pre-emptive risk management and proactive communication have never made so much sense.

- Chris Woodcock, head of risk and crisis practice, College Hill.

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