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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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If you are a senior in-house lawyer and want to try something new it is easy to lock yourself into a “Head of Legal or bust” mentality (in the same way that private practice can be fixated on partnership) without looking at the other career options that are on offer. There is a lot more choice than working as a freelance or part-time lawyer.

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REUTERS | Ricardo Moraes

The revised Corporate Governance Code and updated Guidance on the Strategic Report are  due in July. Other key items on the agenda this month include consultations on personal liability for directors for nuisance calls, and on periodic financial information and inside information. Thomson Reuters is also hosting its annual GC Leadership Summit on 3 July 2018.

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REUTERS | Corbis

On 9 June 2018, the UK’s Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) implemented into UK law the 8 June 2016 EU Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure ((EU) 2016/943) (the Directive).

The Directive aims to harmonise the approach to trade secrets across the EU, which has been inconsistent between member states, with some providing a high level of protection for confidential information and others none at all. The Directive ensures businesses benefit from a minimum standard of protection against the misuse of their trade secrets by preventing the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secrets, and banning any dealings in goods which result from trade secrets theft.

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REUTERS | Nikola Solic

Robert Ivens, a member of The Centre for Legal Leadership Advisory Panel, answers questions on the personal development of in-house lawyers.

Do you have any tips for a senior lawyer who has worked in-house for the majority of their career and is now looking for a new challenge?

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REUTERS | Kacper Pempel

Lawyers aren’t known for their passion for change. However, driven by the awareness of the accelerating pace of technological change facing the legal market, Allen & Overy (A&O) launched Fuse in September 2017 to provide a venue for tech companies, A&O lawyers, technologists and clients to collaborate, develop and test legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions.

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