As the proponents of policy and creators of contracts, it’s well understood that the legal department’s job is, first and foremost, to manage risk. This involves identifying potential legal and regulatory issues as soon as possible, developing a profile of potential legal risks, avoiding those risks with compliance programs, and dealing with the ones that slip through the cracks.

What is perhaps less well understood is how dramatically the concept of “risk” has evolved in recent years. Between digital transformation and technological innovations, new data privacy laws, cyber vulnerabilities, and an increasing spotlight on corporate culture, values and diversity practices — risk management today is not your grandmother’s limitation of liability clause. For today’s legal departments, risk management goes hand-in-hand with data stewardship. What type of information is retained or destroyed is becoming just as important as how information is organized and leveraged. Yet, data disparity is on the rise.