European law firm Eversheds has launched a consultancy service for its clients, designed to help them find the right balance between risk and reward in the development of their businesses.

The launch comes after increased concern among public and private clients over corporate governance issues in the face of a rising tide of legislation.

The rationale for the new service lies in the ever-growing recognition that the value of a business is more than the sum of its physical assets and traditional "balance sheet items": people, brands, information and intellectual property are also crucial elements of commercial worth.

Eversheds believes that in this context risk management can no longer be seen in terms of financial risk alone and that many risks cannot be addressed through insurance.

The aim of the service is to:
- Reduce risk of disputes and enhance internal and external relationships
- Ensure compliance with customer or joint venture requirements
- Reduce the cost of risk and premiums or increase the prospects of insurance recovery
- Contribute to a safer working environment
- Assist forward planning and inform decision-making
- Provide operational stability and continuity
- Build the confidence of lenders, investors and shareholders
- Leave clients free to concentrate of developing their business
- Protect and enhance their corporate image , brand and reputation
- Generate value for shareholders

It builds on two key principles: that the business is a complex network of internal and external rights and relationships and that in risk management, as in many other areas, prevention is better then cure. Jonathan Sinclair, head of Eversheds Business Risk Services team, said: "While other advisers also give their clients strategic advice, lawyers can do something about it – by structuring a transaction or drafting contractual provisions to transfer or limit risk, by registering a trademark or establishing an employee disciplinary procedure, and so on."

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