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For the most part, well-drafted laws do and should not suffer from unintended consequences. But occasionally they can have side-effects that legislators would struggle to have foreseen.

The GDPR is generally acknowledged by right-thinking guardians of privacy to be a good law that is having a material positive impact on the protection of personal data and the systems and processes connected with ensuring privacy. Should it now be changed to cover the following scenario? Continue reading

REUTERS | Louafi Larbi

Remember GDPR?

No doubt your organisation has been delivering a significant amount of GDPR training over the past couple of years, but has it worked? Your GDPR training should deliver frontline impact, helping your staff to protect your organisation against data breaches and to protect the rights of individuals. However, a recent personal experience suggests that this might not always be the case.

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REUTERS | Christian Charisius

Social and emotional support and the role of individuals, families and communities in providing this are vital to managing wellbeing. We all need someone to talk to about personal matters without judgement and in confidence, and to listen to us and offer help when we need it. When we are in a difficult situation we lose our problem-solving abilities, it can be impossible to focus and it can seem overwhelming to choose what action to take. Sometimes a listening ear and a nudge in the right direction is all we need to move on.

For some it’s not as easy as talking to a friend or family member. Perhaps you don’t want to worry them. Maybe they have their own problems going on. You may not have spoken to them in a while because you’ve been so busy at work. They may not understand what your work environment is like or the particular issues you are facing. You might be afraid to unburden yourself or let go in front of them. Some of us just don’t have people we can turn to in difficult times for a variety of reasons.

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Every now and then, a judgment emerges that threatens – or promises, depending on your perspective – a sea change in data protection litigation. The recent Court of Appeal judgment in Lloyd v Google [2019] EWCA Civ 1599 is the most recent example, with particular relevance to large-scale class actions seeking compensation for the fact of a data protection breach alone, without needing even to assert distress or pecuniary loss. Continue reading

REUTERS | Dominic Ebenbichler

Crunch time for cookies?

On 1 October 2019, the CJEU ruled that the organiser of an online lottery, Planet49, did not get consent for cookies as required by the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) because the consent box was pre-ticked. Most privacy lawyers would have been expecting this conclusion – not least because it follows the March 2019 opinion of Advocate General Szpunar. Continue reading

REUTERS | Jorge Adorno

Two recent surveys have highlighted the prevalence of stress in the legal workplace. Insurance firm, Protectivity, has surveyed 1,000 British workers and found that, after those in human resources, lawyers are the most stressed professionals in the country: 63% of respondents active in the legal industry reported stress on a daily basis (https://www.protectivity.com/stress-in-the-uk/).  In addition, the latest findings of the Law Society Junior Lawyers Division’s  annual resilience and wellbeing report reveal that one in 15 junior lawyers have experienced suicidal thoughts. Of more than 1,800 respondents, 48% said they had experienced mental ill-health in the last month, up from 38% last year.   93% of respondents said they experienced stress in their role and a quarter of those experienced severe or extreme levels of stress.

In this context, I spoke with experienced executive coach Katie Rowland, of Rowland & Associates Ltd, about Havening Techniques, a relatively new psycho-sensory approach, and how it can be used in the legal profession to alleviate stress, strengthen resilience and promote wellbeing.

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

MOSAIC: mentoring and wellbeing

MOSAIC stands for Mentoring Opportunities Amongst In-house Counsel and is the global mentoring programme for in-house legal professionals. Our fourth and final post on mentoring looks at mental wellbeing in the legal profession and considers how having a mentor, or being one, can help emotional health and mental wellbeing.

MOSAIC tackles mental wellbeing in the in-house legal profession head on. To understand what we mean by this please watch our short video. We show this video wherever we go to talk about MOSAIC and the benefits of mentoring because it speaks for itself. The video resonates with most viewers, either because they have been there themselves or know a colleague or friend who has been there.

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REUTERS | Vasily Fedosenko

Practical Law’s compliance training survey is still open [survey now closed]. Enter by 8 October 2019 to benchmark your organisation’s own approach and (for UK residents) the opportunity to enter a prize draw for a chance to win one of ten £25 Amazon vouchers (subject to terms and conditions).

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

Since our last quarterly horizon scan, attention for in-house lawyers is inevitably returning to Brexit and those focused on privacy and cybersecurity will now need to be gearing up seriously for a no-deal outcome. As many will not need reminding, following the agreement to extend the Article 50 period, if the withdrawal agreement is not ratified by 31 October, the Article 50 period will end at 11pm on that date and the UK will leave the EU with no deal unless a further extension is agreed or the Article 50 notice is revoked. Continue reading