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I have recently attended two events organised by Thomson Reuters. The first was a day dedicated to knowledge management – specifically management of legal know how; the second was devoted to analysis of trends and developments in insurance law.
Despite their different subject matters, significant portions of both days were given over to the common theme of “the impact of technology” and methods of planning for and capitalising on new technologies available – with consideration being given to the longer-term consequences of computers’ increasing ability to outperform humans for the future of roles in the legal profession.
Key developments in March included the government triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and publication of the government’s White Paper: Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Businesses should review their competition risk assessment in light of new measures announced in March. These encourage individuals to recognise and anonymously report anti-competitive practices at both the European and the national level. If they are a success, these measures could lead to an increase in investigations and reduce the availability of leniency programmes.
Key items on the agenda for businesses in April include the start of the first reporting periods for large companies on payment practices and performance, the countdown to go-live for the Small Business Commissioner’s complaints function and data gathering in anticipation of the first gender pay gap reports.
April is typically a busy month for employment and tax developments, and this year is no different with, among other things, the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.
Reviewing how social media is being used to profile individuals and whether individuals are being disadvantaged by this.
In addition, the ICO plans to publish guidance on data protection officers within the next six months. This guidance will be particularly useful to organisations that need to appoint a DPO as part of their accountability programme for GDPR compliance.
Alternative suppliers comprise a new and fast-growing sector of the legal market.
According to a study by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) now account for $8.4 billion dollars in legal services spend globally.
The report, based on research from over 800 law firms and corporate legal departments worldwide, highlights several themes that in-house lawyers who use or are contemplating using an ALSP should consider.
Key developments in February included publication of the White Paper setting out what the UK government seeks to achieve in negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU and the progress of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017 through Parliament.
On 14 February Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, and his team held the first of ten town hall events designed to gather evidence for the Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices, which was launched on 30 November last year.
Fittingly, for a review inspired in part by concerns about the status of those working in the “on demand” economy, the town hall was held at Google Campus London‘s “plug and play” events space and ticketing was managed through Eventbrite. But the discussions did not always propose “modern” solutions to the issues that have been identified in the “gig economy”.