REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

In our day-to-day lives adopting new technology is generally easy, non-contentious and something that most of us enjoy, whether it be using a fitness watch, watching a new “smart” tv, shopping online or booking a holiday. Yet in business, where the benefits are arguably larger, there is still a resistance to technological innovation. However, we have now arrived at a new technology tipping point and companies that fail to recognise and react to this shift risk undermining their strategy and being left behind by their competitors.

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REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

Technology has revolutionised industries from retail to communications and tourism, but despite lawyers embracing LinkedIn, the legal services industry is still relatively resistant to forming new client relationships online.

When it comes to choosing law firms for one off instructions or to pitch for a panel, General Counsel (GCs) at major international companies still overwhelmingly rely on personal networks and close contacts. A new Globality survey (Global Trends in Hiring Outside Counsel) of more than 300 GCs and senior in-house lawyers at businesses with over $1 billion in annual turnover found that 68% rely on their existing network of contacts to identify law firms to work with.

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REUTERS | Mark Blinch

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include the countdown to implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) and the government’s response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

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REUTERS | Chaiwat Subprasom

Bruce Macmillan, Founder Director of The Centre for Legal Leadership, answers questions on the personal development of in-house lawyers.

I’ve recently accepted the role of GC in a medium-sized legal team which I’m due to start in May. What steps should I be taking now to ensure that I am up to speed when I start my new role?

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In February’s vlog, I discuss ongoing preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the consultation on amendments to the UK Corporate Governance Code, the government’s response to the Taylor Review,  the feasibility of virtual-only AGMs, the government’s new Office for Product Safety and Standards and other developments on the horizon for April 2018 and beyond.

Practical Law In-house Sara Catley
REUTERS | Pillar Lee

Developing a higher level of emotional intelligence (EQ) can enhance not only performance and professional success; it also helps individuals to feel more fulfilled, have more effective relationships with others and is a key skill in the maintenance of wellbeing.

As team leaders and individuals look at their goals and development areas for 2018, this is a good moment to consider this particular skill and whether it is sufficiently considered and developed for them (and their teams) or one to ‘work on’ this year.

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REUTERS | Stephen Hird

As many of us have learned this winter in the UK, the problem when preparing a vaccine for the seasonal influenza virus is that the medical professionals must guess which strains of flu will be most virulent six months after the vaccine is being prepared. The drafter of the financial contract faces a similar problem.

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REUTERS | Louafi Larbi

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) will be implemented in the UK and across the EU from 25 May 2018. The build-up has been characterised by noise and scaremongering about fines and an endless supply of new GDPR ‘experts’.

However, whilst the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Article 29 Working Party have some useful resources, there has been a notable lack of practical guidance. So, unless you have spent the past six years following data protection reform and especially if you are feeling like a GDPR straggler with only 100 days to go, you might need some practical tips. Continue reading