COVID-19 returned to the top of the business agenda this month, with the possibility of further restrictions on commercial activity in January. In-house lawyers should also take note of two significant fines for anti-money laundering failings and a large fine for a data breach.

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REUTERS | Sergei Karpukhin

The autumn agenda highlighted two key themes that remain at the top of the agenda for in-house lawyers with a data privacy remit. These are: the potential outcomes of the ICO consultation on international data transfers post-Brexit; and the possible repercussions of the DCMS consultation on potentially far-reaching reforms to the UK’s data protection regime. Both of these topics are dealt with in some depth in our blog post, What’s keeping data privacy professionals busy? Continue reading

REUTERS | Jorge Adorno

Join me on 14 December 2021 for a live webinar. I’ll be talking to selected experts from across Practical Law’s editorial team as they look back on 2021 and ahead to 2022. We’ll be talking about key developments in ESG, data privacy, employment and compliance and what to look out for on the horizon. Meet the speakers and register for free.

REUTERS | Northern Spire Bridge lit up in yellow light, as part of a day of reflection to mark the anniversary of Britain's first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, in Sunderland, Britain March 23, 2021. REUTERS/Lee Smith - RC27HM9IQ77H

The Centre for Legal Leadership’s final webinar of 2021, hosted in conjunction with Thomson Reuters, considered working effectively across the organisation. This post highlights the themes raised by the panellists and via questions from the audience.

Understand the business

Get out into the business so that you can really understand it. Your aim as an in-house lawyer is to become a trusted adviser who can be relied on to provide a confidential ear in challenging times. Get to know your clients and key stakeholders, and learn about their goals and motivations.

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REUTERS | David W Cerny

As we approach the end of 2021, and after yet another rollercoaster year for data privacy, it seems a good time to reflect on what is currently on the plates of data privacy professionals and areas on which to keep a watching brief, notably the recent DCMS and ICO consultations. (For our summary of the DCMS proposals see Article, DCMS data protection reforms: summary of consultation proposals and for more on the ICO data transfers consultation see Article, ICO consultation on international data transfers: what to do now.)

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REUTERS | Mike Segar

In-house lawyers should be aware of several key climate change announcements made during COP26 and of the publication of the Environment Act 2021. In addition, this month there have been noteworthy developments in diversity and inclusion, and corporate governance.

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Legal panel reviews are a well-established way for corporate legal teams to formally appoint a group of law firms to their panel, establish common ways of working and benefit from more competitive rates and volume discounts. While the purposes of a panel review may be well understood, panel reviews are complex projects that require thoughtful planning and handling.

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REUTERS | Tulips are pictured in a public park in Vienna, Austria, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

At the beginning of the month, I attended The Economist’s General Counsel (GC) summit in London, which brought together a cross-section of senior in-house counsel from a range of industry sectors. Here are some of the themes discussed across the day.

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REUTERS | Ognen Teofilovski

The Centre for Legal Leadership’s latest webinar, hosted in conjunction with Practical Law, looked at leading and managing in-house legal teams. This post highlights the main themes covered in the discussion.

Leadership is a mindset

Being a leader is about more than simply being a manager; it’s a mindset. Leaders need to be curious and show interest in both their colleagues and clients as they set the tone for their team’s culture.

A contributor mentioned a senior executive who reminded them that they should be showing up as a leader in their organisation every day. For example, if they got into a lift in the morning, they should be saying hello to everyone present. If they were not saying anything, they needed to question why that was.

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