The rise of the multi-disciplinary lawyer: A challenge for legal education

Catrina Denvir

The legal profession has been on the receiving end of much hype regarding the impact of technology. Recent commentators purport that the aspiring lawyer must be a triple threat, possessing knowledge of the law, coding expertise, and in-depth knowledge of legal technology. Yet, focusing on legal technology risks overlooking the need for skills that transcend latest fads. Legal technology is a means by which to handle data: to organise it, record it, extract it, analyse it, predict from it and leverage it. Quantitative and statistical literacy – the ability to understand, apply, visualise and infer from data – underpins technological literacy and yet receives very little attention from those who encourage innovation in the legal curriculum.

May 26th, 2017

How to protect your firm from ransomware

Adam Curtis Hoowla

One news item has dominated the headlines over the last week – cyber-attacks and, in particular, the WannaCry ransomware. It is a well-known and well-documented fact that the legal industry, and conveyancing in particular, can be a vulnerable and high value target. This ranges from property hijacking – where fraudsters pose as legitimate owners of a property and sell it on without the real owner’s knowledge – to ‘Friday afternoon fraud’, with criminals contacting a busy law firm to ‘update’ their bank details to redirect funds.

May 22nd, 2017

Predictions on the future of marketing for law firms – part 2

social media

Social media marketing will die out. The signs are already there. The companies that succeed on social media are those that use it to listen, to assist, to empower, to inform, to respond and to connect to people as individuals. That just can’t be outsourced, automated or pre-packaged. We urge those lawyers who enjoy social media and who use it in interesting and meaningful ways – to connect with peers, to post interesting insights and to engage in debate – to continue to do so. It isn’t social media that will die; it’s social media marketing.

May 18th, 2017

Predictions on the future of marketing for law firms – part 1

David Kerr

The ‘brand resonance’ of the terms ‘lawyer’ and ‘solicitor’ is fading. The traditional lifelong solicitor-client relationships of the baby-boomer generation simply don’t exist for generations Y and Z and millennials. Generation Y, those born post-1980, are more sophisticated, discerning, and technology-savvy than previous generations. From a marketing perspective, they have grown up with a constant stream of intrusive marketing and have become inured to it. As such, they are more likely to proactively seek out the services they need online than respond to ads.

May 16th, 2017

Top tips on combatting fraud

Julian Bryan 3

The well-publicised Mishcon de Reya £1m fraud case, when its client was duped into buying a London property from a seller dishonestly posing as the owner, has sent ripples of alarm throughout the legal community. Although conveyancers are an obvious target for the increasing threat of rogue house-owner and buyer deposit redirection fraud, it’s not just conveyancing practices that need to be on their guard. As a legal practice, you’re tempting prey for cyber criminals, not only because you hold large sums of money, but also vast volumes of valuable client information. The number, variety and sophistication of cybercrime grows daily, ranging from distributed denial of service attacks and phishing scams to hacking and ransomware.

May 10th, 2017

The Do’s and Don’ts of social media for lawyers

Ross Weldon, EMEA Marketing Manager, Clio

Where are your potential clients? They’re probably on social media. With Facebook alone having over 1.86bn monthly active users, businesses need to be on social media to connect with potential clients. When it comes to social media for lawyers, however, they must follow advertising and ethics rules within their jurisdictions. They also need to be careful about interacting with specific clients – or potential clients – over social media. Here’s a few tips to help keep your law firm compliant when using social media – and some tips on what you can do to market your law firm using these networks.

May 4th, 2017

McKenzie Friends – a storm in a teapot

Legal Futures Conference 2011Photo by Jonathan Goldberg

If the recent furore about McKenzie Friend Marketplace shows anything, it is that the profession remains acutely sensitive to the apparent threat of competition by unregulated entrants into the legal landscape. But for an outside observer, the whole McKenzie Friend debate remains curiously overblown: if not a storm in a teacup, a storm at least in a teapot. For all the characteristic sturm und drang of the Law Society’s response to last year’s senior judiciary consultation, there was pretty widespread agreement among most respondents that McKenzie Friends are here to stay.

April 28th, 2017

The importance of being expert

Steve Rowley 3

I recently sat on a panel debate in Manchester, with the debate entitled – ATE insurers and sub-£250k claims. Whilst the title of the debate was probably written ahead of the government’s consultation paper to introducing fixed recoverable costs in lower-value clinical negligence claims, where £25,000 rather than £250,000 is being recommended, it nevertheless raised an interesting point on how after-the-event insurers can make premiums proportionate to damages, especially for cases worth less than £25,000.

April 26th, 2017

GDPR and the rise of ‘datanapping’ – the new threat to the pockets of law firms

Nigel Wright

You’ve heard about ransomware – a hacker infiltrates your IT systems, locking them down until you pay a ransom. Some studies now estimate that over 50% of businesses have experienced this type of attack in the last year, and it’s particularly prevalent within the legal sector. Previously, firms could protect themselves by having a solid disaster recovery plan in place to ensure they can get back up and running in the event of a disruption. However, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the new EU-wide regime which comes in effect on 25 May 2018, irrespective of Brexit – means that this approach alone is no longer adequate and security measures must be strengthened to prevent attacks.

April 21st, 2017

The open data revolution has just begun

Mark Riddick Search Acumen chairman

The legal and property industries have, arguably, been slower than most to take up technology and embrace big data in the digital age. But the reality is that, for many years, they didn’t have to. Compare the traditional conveyancer or estate agent with some of their high street neighbours, such as retailers, banks or building societies; the internet forced many of them to start shifting their business online over a decade ago. Meanwhile, professional property and legal services were largely insulated from the online revolution. But now we are seeing digital and data-driven competition heat up, with technology an essential tool of productivity.

April 18th, 2017