In her recent “Compliance Strategist” column, the well-respected and knowledgeable Donna Boehme describes as “fatally flawed” a relationship in which the compliance officer reports, for hierarchy purposes, to the general counsel. She presents this model (Compliance 1.0) as antithetical to effective compliance programs, the byproduct of the self-interested, and suggests that those organizations that continue to apply such a model are “ridiculous.” She argues, in essence, that the only acceptable model is one in which “compliance is freed from the legal department” (e.g., Compliance 2.0).

I don’t agree. There’s another perspective—one less extreme in its approach, one that is less corrosive to the compliance officer-general counsel relationship, one that accurately represents the totality of recent developments. Simply, the answer is just not as black and white as Boehme’s column contends, and I think it is misleading to suggest otherwise.

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