The programme lawyers and compliance advisers in the legal & compliance department are enablers with considerable expertise in dealing with issues of media law, regulatory compliance and editorial ethics. They advise on all content-related legal and compliance issues in the making and broadcast of programmes and other content on all Channel 4 platforms, before and after broadcast. In addition, they provide guidance on issues of editorial ethics and best practice in relation to the making and broadcast of programmes.
The legal & compliance department also provide training to internal staff and programme-makers, assist in the drawing up of specific guidelines and protocols for programmes and series, and are instrumental in defending Channel 4 content where complaints are made to Ofcom and where litigation is threatened. They are also the first point of contact with Ofcom and are involved in proactive lobbying on legal and regulatory changes affecting programme content.
The legal & compliance department is contactable during working hours. In addition, a designated programme lawyer is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ('the Duty lawyer'). A Duty Lawyer memo is circulated at the end of each week and this contains the name of the following week's Duty Lawyer and their full contact details. The Duty Lawyer’s details are also circulated in the weekly Duty Rota by the Facilities Management Helpdesk.