Lee ChengChief Legal Officer, SVP of Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary
Lee Cheng is the Chief Legal Officer for Newegg.com, the largest online only retailer focused on electronics. Mr. Cheng was named one of America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel and one of the top 50 IP Pioneers and Trailblazers by the National Law Journal and was selected as a Top In-House Counsel by the Daily Journal. Mr. Cheng is active in the community, serving on the Boards of the Consumer Technology Association and ACC Socal.
Mr. Cheng received a BS in History and Science, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and a JD from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.
14:40 Scaling the Legal Department for Global Regulatory Demands without Breaking the Bank: Are Maturity Models Even the Model?
According to the narrow model GC’s have budget pressures to manage risk, improve compliance, save time, increase efficiencies and achieve the best legal outcomes. Typical pathways are increased through the use of data and technology to improve processes, increase productivity and deliver budgeted results.
Benchmarking against Maturity Models and consistently optimizing the operations are necessary processes to function in a data-driven world and the function has to have the dedicated talent to drive all of that forward all of the time; it can’t be a secondary or tertiary duty for someone who has the time once or twice a year as it will never happen. But given the backdrop of seemingly out of control company cultures, like e.g., Walmart’s expansion in Mexico, BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and most recently VW’s emissions manipulations, perhaps it’s time to invert the circumstances and make the legal function a for-profit subsidiary tasked with generating revenue and allowed to keep whatever returns it can generate on its budget.
How the C-Suite can continue to demand budget cuts and treat the legal function as a loss center while simultaneously engaging in multibillion dollar fraud and corruption on the other hand demands some introspection on the part of GC’s:
- How well is your legal department benchmarking against maturity models?
- Do you have dedicated talent for this ongoing process?
- What is the company culture regarding fraud and corruption?
- Is the legal function compromised, or subject to ‘business capture’ in the sense of regulatory capture, meaning subservient to business outcomes regardless of the risk to individuals and the enterprise?
- How can/will you manage the conflict between narrow maturity models and business capture of the function and impact on your budgets?