REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)
REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

Practical Law has recently launched a survey to help in-house legal departments benchmark their approach to technology. The survey looks at how technology is impacting the working lives of in-house lawyers across the board covering everything from the impact on their day-to-day work, the changing needs from the business in terms of advice on technology-related procurement and development, to the use of legal tech within in-house legal departments themselves.

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

Brexit: Finding certainty

Brexit readiness for businesses has slowed considerably.  A combination of uncertainty and GDPR preparation has pushed it to the back of the agenda for in-house lawyers. But with only seven and a half months to go before the leave date (and a potential no deal scenario) we must find some certainty before we run out of time to make decisions and enact contingency plans.

In our recent survey with Acritas, Attitudes to Brexit – In House Lawyer Perspectives Across Europewe found that three quarters of European in-house lawyers are spending less than 10% of their time preparing for Brexit, with some spending none at all. A huge 63% of respondents are expecting Brexit will be business as usual for them with no increase in legal work. But in the UK we cannot assume it will be business as usual and we do not have the luxury of waiting for certainty on the legal framework of Brexit.

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REUTERS | Gloabl Creative Services (no copyright)

The development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues its inexorable momentum. Investment in AI is skyrocketing. However, with a few exceptions, how AI relates to the work of in-house lawyers on a day to day basis remains somewhat distant and confusing. This post aims simply to provide some food for thought on future governance in this area which can seem at once extremely exciting and utterly overwhelming. Continue reading

REUTERS | Corbis

The new rules for the tax and class 1 NICs treatment of termination payments took effect from 6 April 2018. Nearly four months on and, even with the benefit of HMRC guidance, it is fair to say the application of the new rules remains uncertain in many, relatively common, termination scenarios. This blog post is intended to highlight some of the issues causing problems in practice. Continue reading

REUTERS | Mike Blake

This month, in-house lawyers will be continuing to digest the new version of the UK Corporate Governance Code, which was published in July, together with the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) revised version of its Guidance on Board Effectiveness.

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REUTERS | Phil Noble

Life in the law can be tough. At LawCare, the mental health charity for lawyers, we receive hundreds of calls every year from lawyers who are feeling stressed and struggling with the pressures of work.

In our experience, many lawyers are not great at self-care. Although they know they should look after themselves (for example, by going for a run or taking regular lunch breaks) they are just too busy, working long hours and don’t want to be the person who gets up from their desk when everyone else has their head down.

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At Practical Law’s GC Leadership Summit last week, one demand was repeatedly made of external counsel by in-house lawyers: know our business. This doesn’t just mean knowing what a company sells, its share price, or where its offices are, which some firms still fail to familiarise themselves with. These are important, but in-house counsel want and expect more than that; they want their retained lawyers (or those pitching to them) to really understand their business and their sector.

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An in-session poll at Thomson Reuters’ recent GC Leadership Summit revealed in-house lawyers’ top concerns when handling internal investigations. On a show of hands, many felt that they lacked the necessary understanding of the technology software options available for internal investigations and document review. How to decide the right people for an internal investigation, how to retain confidentiality and privilege, and how to be fully prepared and resourced for e-disclosure, were also high on the agenda.

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REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

I attended Practical Law’s GC Leadership Summit last week. A recurring theme throughout the day was change and we explored some of the broad range of challenges businesses and workers – and, in particular, lawyers – are facing in a time of turbulent disruption and transformation driven by technology, economics, politics and societal change. Resilience became a watchword of the day, offering us a large part of the antidote.

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