REUTERS | People gather at a popular viewpoint in front of the Moscow International Business Center also known as "Moskva-City" during sunset in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - RTX2EY0L

I grew up in the old Soviet Union and for me, as for many other Soviet citizens, the three Baltic republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) were a strange island of relative liberalism in the USSR. They had medieval towns, signs in Latin alphabet letters, cosy cafes serving real coffee, glossy magazines and far greater numbers of young people wearing jeans. Locally manufactured magnetic tape-recorders and cassette-players, though highly desirable, were often unattainable for most Soviet households as they were regarded as items of “non first-necessity”.

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At the time I wrote the Spring agenda piece COVID-19 was still a rather a remote and abstract force. It’s no understatement to say the whole world has changed since then as the pandemic has ravaged healthcare systems and economies across the globe. This includes the place in the world occupied by data protection, privacy and cyber security. Continue reading

REUTERS | Amit Dave

Legal tech has undoubtedly proved its value in recent years, helping law firms to become more efficient, cost-effective and agile, and also realise the benefits of advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data and automation. But what role can a law firm play when an in-house team is in the process of considering, choosing, implementing and finally using legal tech?

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

The government’s publication of its COVID-19 recovery strategy, together with guidance on working safely during the pandemic, has at least provided business with a starting point for planning a return to work. However, companies in many industry sectors remain unsure when and how they will be back in business. Brexit has been understandably overshadowed recently but in-house lawyers should also track the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship as a no-deal Brexit remains a possibility.

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REUTERS | Pillar Lee

Networking during a lockdown sounds like a contradiction in terms. And it is in many ways – for most of us our social circles have been reduced to immediate family, with the most exciting social events being online friends-and-family quizzes. Now does not feel like the time to go looking for business, or to suddenly embrace e-marketing for developing your client portfolio.

However, this is not to say that your networking efforts must come to a halt with the advent of working from home.  There are many things you can do to stay relevant, to keep your connections alive and interested, and to demonstrate the angle of your professional persona that will favourably set you apart from others in your field.

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REUTERS | Mark Blinch

In 2019, the UK Office for National Statistics calculated that just over 5% of the UK labour force worked mainly from home. In the US, the percentage is even lower. A recent survey estimated that, prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, only 3.6% of the US labour force worked from home at least half the time. Coronavirus has radically altered these figures, with a study by MIT estimating that, of those who had previously been commuting to work, 34% are now working from home.  And it looks like this trend could outlast the pandemic, with Global Workplace Analytics estimating that:

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REUTERS | Ricardo Moraes

I recently sat down to talk with three experts about COVID-19 and the economic implications of the crisis. In particular, we explored how this relates to lawyers, the legal industry and the implications for our future. You can listen to the recording as part of the new series of The Cross-Examination episodes for The Hearing podcast.

Every recession has its own starting point and character, and some industries will be hit harder than others.  But the COVID-19 recession is unique, coming from a sudden, global, flattening of economic activity. The normal rules have been utterly changed and this podcast starts to unpick what that means for the legal industry and provides some hope for the future.

REUTERS | Eliseo Fernandez

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections, most companies have had to send vast numbers of their employees to work from home. This has generally happened over a very short timeframe with perhaps sub-optimal planning and, as a result, businesses are now facing a range of data security, privacy and compliance issues. Continue reading

REUTERS | Toby Melville

COVID-19 has decimated supply chains for goods and labour across the world. It is inevitable that many businesses are now facing the same dilemma: what to do when they have enough resources to fulfill some of their contracts, but not all.

What do you do when you have orders for 50 pallets of toilet roll, for ten different customers, but only 25 pallets have been manufactured and delivered? Do you give everyone 2.5 pallets, or give your biggest customer their full 25 pallet order and hope that the other nine customers won’t sue you for breach?

There is no principle of English law that tells you how to make this decision. Rather you will need to conduct a careful balancing act based on your organisation’s specific circumstances. This balancing act will need to consider dimensions of risk, profit, relationships, ethics and the public good.

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REUTERS | Dominic Ebenbichler

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our daily lives. Many of us are adapting to government-issued restrictions, remote working, and other measures designed to combat the spread of the virus. Andy Gilman, President and CEO of CommCore Consulting once said that “the secret of crisis management is not good versus bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse.” Continue reading