Corporate governance

The aim of good corporate governance is to find a way in which the interests of shareholders, directors and other interest groups can all be satisfied. It is concerned with the use of practices and procedures to help the company to achieve its objectives, while at the same time, ensuring an element of control..

There are various corporate governance codes that help companies to put in place the correct structures and practices and that, in some cases, companies have to apply.

The Wates Corporate Governance Principles for Large Private Companies is for application by large private companies - they have to include a corporate governance statement in their annual reports. A large private company is defined as: “Any private company which in the reporting year had: (1) more than 2,000 employees; or (2) turnover of more than £200 million and a balance sheet total of more than £2 billion (in each case globally).

Listed companies have to apply the UK Corporate Governance Code. This is aimed at listed companies and companies in the financial sector.

There are also governance codes for charities, one for large and one for smaller charities.

However, all companies should apply good governance. We can draft policies to cover areas of operation to ensure that adequate controls and checks are in place.

We can also advise on new requirements – recent ones for large companies being annual Modern Slavery statements and six-monthly Payment Practice reports. Another new requirement coming through is the SECR (Streamlined and Carbon Reporting) policy.

We work with internal auditors to ensure that the business is properly controlled and is transparent and open, but at the same time is at a sensible level to allow and support the business to operate effectively.

A strong part of good governance is good change management, allowing a company to be more agile and flexible to changes in the marketplace. We can help you by running Change Management programmes that are transparent and open, yet controlled.

For more information on corporate governance download our fact sheet.