With cyber-crime making the headlines more and more frequently, it is becoming increasingly important that law firms of all sizes understand how to handle such a situation professionally and keep their reputation intact. Here are some steps any law firm can take to help ensure that a cyber-attack or data breach doesn’t cost them their client base.
What are our considerations when looking to buy home or car cover? I would imagine price would certainly be amongst the considerations, but I’m confident that we would each weigh up whether or not our chosen insurer could meet any claims we might bring, and perhaps as importantly, whether they’d provide us with a hassle-free claims process were the worst to happen. Legal expenses insurance should be no different.
Had Isambard Kingdom Brunel been a lawyer and not an engineer, suspension bridges might have remained the domain of orthodontists and we might still be rowing wooden boats to the Balearics for our summer holidays. As it turned out, his engineering genius helped shape the Industrial Revolution and put the Great into Great Britain – in much the same way my colleagues say I put the bone into bone idle. There is much evidence to suggest that the legal sector is now at the forefront of the Professional Revolution.
With all residential and commercial property transactions, limiting clients’ exposure to contractual or other legal risks relating to the purchase is a key goal. This includes the consideration of any possible environmental risks or damage relating to the property or site, such that they can be managed appropriately both at point of transaction and in future, in order to maximise the value of the investment. From a solicitor’s standpoint, analysis of this nature is vital in order to demonstrate that full and thorough due diligence has taken place.
Steve Jobs once said that innovation distinguishes the leaders from the followers, but in the legal market how many firms are true innovators, and how many are just following the pack? How many really understand the needs of their clients, and are prepared to innovate to meet those needs and offer a top-class service? Clients require a high-quality, value-for-money service from their law firm, with good communication across multiple channels.
When the charge for single-use plastic carrier bags was introduced in England on 5 October 2015, Tesco reported a 78% drop in number of single-use carrier bags taken from its stores in England in the first month. According to a panel of environmental experts, if the government is to meet its targets for sustainable planning and development, a similar initiative could be the key to addressing some of the barriers.
Law almost exclusively used to be the preserve of individuals who had studied the LLB or humanities subjects. Ex-scientists, engineers and mathematicians who are switching to the legal sector bring with them a range of new skills and ways of thinking that have not been seen in the industry before. As a result, individuals with a deeper understanding of technology and data, as well as the law, are changing the way the law is done. We can see this in the uptake of new technologies in the last year alone; Kira Systems, the brainchild of a lawyer and computer scientist, has already been adopted by Clifford Chance. Ross Intelligence was similarly created and is being used by Dentons, Latham & Watkins and BakerHostetler.
The final CPD year under the hours-based system drew to a close last week, with the new continuing competence regime now in place. This is likely to have been the last year when CPD providers could rely on a flurry of last-minute course registrations, as lawyers looked to ensure they completed the required 16 hours. It’s time for change, and there’s never been a better time for firms to review how their lawyers learn, so that effective personal development becomes an essential part of every firm’s recruitment and retention strategy.
YouTube is now one of the first places people turn to if they are looking for an answer to a question, whether they are trying to fix their dishwasher or fill out their tax returns. Buying a house is no exception. By building up a collection of useful YouTube videos, your firm can become a first point of call for people setting out on their house-buying journey and put you on their radar before they even begin to think about selecting a conveyancer.
One subject I am regularly asked about by our legal clients is whether they should use US-owned ‘public’ or ‘shared’ cloud platforms such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Azure or Amazon’s AWS. Usually the questioner is actually asking three questions in one: Am I allowed to use these platforms from a compliance point of view? Is it the best way to access cloud services? And finally, is it the most cost-effective way of accessing cloud? With the recent announcement that Microsoft’s new UK data centres are up and running, it is time to revisit the subject.