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Separating compliance and legal, Part 2: Best practices for an effective compliance program

Jack Rovner ( is an attorney and the co-founder of Health Law Consultancy, a Chicago-based boutique law firm.

Part 1 of this article (published in the January 2020 issue of Compliance Today) explored cautionary tales that illustrate the peril to effective compliance programs of assigning the compliance function to the organization’s chief legal officer (CLO), instead of engaging an independent chief compliance and ethics officer (CCEO) as a senior executive in charge of compliance.

Part 2 reviews practical considerations why a compliance function separate and independent from legal is the “best practice” for serving an organization’s interests and success. Part 2 examines the federal health industry regulators’ views on separating compliance from legal, and explains why cooperation and collaboration between separate, but equal, compliance and legal leadership put an organization on a solid foundation for legal and ethical conduct. Part 2 closes with “Murphy’s List” of 10 concrete reasons for keeping compliance separate from legal. The goal is to stimulate organizations in general, and especially those operating in the healthcare sector, to give careful consideration to how best to structure their compliance and legal functions to optimize these critical components of an ethical, successful enterprise.

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