The most significant developments in July were the publication of two government white papers: the first on the future UK-EU relationship, and the second on legislating for the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.
The development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues its inexorable momentum. Investment in AI is skyrocketing. However, with a few exceptions, how AI relates to the work of in-house lawyers on a day to day basis remains somewhat distant and confusing. This post aims simply to provide some food for thought on future governance in this area which can seem at once extremely exciting and utterly overwhelming. Continue reading →
The new rules for the tax and class 1 NICs treatment of termination payments took effect from 6 April 2018. Nearly four months on and, even with the benefit of HMRC guidance, it is fair to say the application of the new rules remains uncertain in many, relatively common, termination scenarios. This blog post is intended to highlight some of the issues causing problems in practice. Continue reading →
This month, in-house lawyers will be continuing to digest the new version of the UK Corporate Governance Code, which was published in July, together with the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) revised version of its Guidance on Board Effectiveness.
Life in the law can be tough. At LawCare, the mental health charity for lawyers, we receive hundreds of calls every year from lawyers who are feeling stressed and struggling with the pressures of work.
In our experience, many lawyers are not great at self-care. Although they know they should look after themselves (for example, by going for a run or taking regular lunch breaks) they are just too busy, working long hours and don’t want to be the person who gets up from their desk when everyone else has their head down.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Key developments in June included the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 being given Royal Assent and the government’s publication of a UK proposal for an Ireland border backstop option in the withdrawal agreement.