The In-house blog has published numerous items on aspects of whistleblowing over the past few years, but whistleblowing’s geekier cousin, training, has received less attention.

Training is like rewiring your house when you move in: it costs a lot of money and, when it’s done properly, nobody really notices. It doesn’t generate the headlines that compliance breaches do, but it’s a crucial way of reducing the likelihood of those costly events. Continue reading

REUTERS | Nikola Solic

MOSAIC: the mentor

MOSAIC stands for Mentoring Opportunities Amongst In-house Counsel and is the global mentoring programme for in-house legal professionals. The second in our series of posts looks at how our mentoring matching works, the different types of mentoring relationships, who makes a good mentor, and also provides tips on how to be a good mentor.

How our mentoring matching works

The decision to move to smart technology to match legal professionals was a game-changer for MOSAIC as the programme is no longer limited by human capability. Time, resource, geography, knowledge and familiarity of other jurisdictional challenges are no longer constraints and in-house legal professionals all over the globe can connect with each other.

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REUTERS | Lucy Nicholson

On 3 July 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published its updated guidance on the rules that apply to the use of cookies and other similar technologies (see Legal update, ICO publishes new cookies guidance). The ICO has also changed the cookie control mechanism on its own website to mirror the changes in the new guidance.

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REUTERS | Amit Dave

I am delighted to announce the launch of our new Practical Law In-house Privacy and Cybersecurity Community, a space where in-house counsel can come together to support and learn from each other through Practical Law.

Practical Law subscribers can access the Practical Law UK Community by following the “Community” button in the banner at the top right of the Practical Law page. After the simple sign-up process, including setting up your profile, you will be able to enter the Practical Law UK Community where you can find the In-house Privacy and Cybersecurity Community. By “following” this group, you become a member and can start participating. Take a look at our guidance to help get you started with some of the features and my top tips on Community netiquette set out below. Continue reading

REUTERS | Jorge Adorno

Nearly one in three employees have witnessed some form of misconduct in the past year, but nearly half did not speak up or report it, according to the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) European Ethics at Work survey.

The freedom to raise concerns is a core component of a supportive ethical culture where employees are confident they will be supported to ‘do the right thing’. Yet, despite increasing encouragement from organisations, employees still remain reticent. The reasons they give in the IBE survey range from a belief that nothing would be done (28%); feeling that they might jeopardise their job (27%) or a belief that it was none of their business (23%).

Speaking up is often an experience that provokes a mix of emotions; it can be complex and feel daunting, which is why the IBE has developed its IBE Speak Up Toolkit, to empower employees by demystifying the process and managing expectations.

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REUTERS | Molly Riley

At LawCare, the charity offering emotional support to legal professionals, we have listened to thousands of people tell us about the stress, anxiety and depression that they are experiencing, which is often caused or exacerbated by a difficult working environment. Lack of support or supervision, an overly critical manager, being undermined after a career break, an unreasonably heavy workload, long hours and sleep deprivation are all common issues we hear about.

Organisations need to do their best to create a healthy and happy place to work, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because there is a strong proven business case for it. Happy employees lead to greater productivity, better morale, better retention of valued and experienced staff, and reduced sickness absence.

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REUTERS | Ricardo Moraes

It’s been shown repeatedly that diverse workplaces make business sense (McKinsey made the point in its “Women Matter” report back in 2007; a World Economic Forum blog by Vijay Eswaran repeated it in April this year). Yet there is still a long way to go before big businesses will be in a position to challenge the “pale and male” stereotype. The business of law is no stranger to that label. As regards gender equality, the consultancy “20-first” has produced research showing that of the top 10 UK law firms, only one has 30% female partners and therefore (just) makes it into 20-first’s “Progressing” category (the other nine are either “Asleep” or “Starting” to make progress).

The Law Society’s International Symposium on “The power of gender equality to transform the business of law” took place on 20 and 21 June and was the launch event for its “Women in Law Pledge”, which aims to tackle gender inequality in the legal profession. A message which surfaced loud and clear throughout the two days of Symposium discussions was the power held by law firms’ clients to “move the needle” on this issue. I was also struck by how much support the usually divisive subject of quotas received from both panellists and attendees.

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

MOSAIC stands for Mentoring Opportunities Amongst In-house Counsel and is the global mentoring programme for in-house legal professionals. People frequently ask us how MOSAIC came into being and where it’s going in the future, and why it’s set up as a not-for-profit company. We are always happy to talk about the philosophy behind MOSAIC’s creation as it’s very much part of the strategy for the future.

Having been in-house lawyers ourselves for several years, we understand the benefits and the challenges that working in-house can bring. Thankfully, the tired old cliché of a nice, comfortable 9-5 sleepy job has passed, and in-house lawyers are able to give our private practice confreres a run for their money.

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

With the announcement of a new Prime Minister due in July, Brexit remains at the top of the agenda for businesses. This month there are also some corporate governance developments to keep an eye on and Thomson Reuters is hosting its annual GC Leadership Summit.

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