REUTERS | Michaela Rehle

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has for some time now been trailing its combined interest in, enthusiasm for, and (of course) concerns about, artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of data protection. For the growing number of lawyers who need to advise on the implications of AI for GDPR compliance, as well as for those of us who want to understand AI in the context of data protection, the best starting point is the ICO’s excellent 2017 discussion paper, Big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data protection. Continue reading

REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published its Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 last week which brings together quantitative and qualitative data drawn from an extensive telephone survey and 52 in-depth interviews. The survey shows the continued upward trajectory of cybersecurity as both a risk and near-universal concern for organisations. Indeed, both businesses and charities see cybersecurity as a markedly higher priority than in previous years. Continue reading

REUTERS | Corbis

In-house counsel can be exceptionally valuable internal business partners, providing organisations, individuals and leadership teams with real competitive advantage. For many years, in-house counsel has been seen by some like many other admin and back office functions, however businesses that are switched on are finally giving the legal function the seat at the table they deserve.

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REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

Clyde & Co recently hosted a NEDonBoard panel discussion on the legal duties and liabilities that apply to non-executive directors (NEDs). Laura Cooke, a partner at Clyde & Co, kicked off the discussion by reminding the audience that the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) does not differentiate between executive and non-executive directors: they must all abide by the same duties (sections 171 to 177).

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REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

On 11 March 2019, DWF Group became the first law firm to IPO on the main market of the London Stock Exchange with a market cap of £366 million. The 300-page prospectus includes some interesting information on the intersection of technology and the UK legal services market, and the size and shape of the global legal market. According to the prospectus the global legal services market is growing at 4% per year, and was worth £653 billion in 2017, with the United States (£218 billion or 33% of the market) and the UK (£33.3 billion or 5%) holding the top two spots.

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REUTERS | Mark Blinch

Continued uncertainty surrounding the date of Brexit ensures it remains at the top of the agenda for in-house lawyers this month. Other areas of focus include corporate governance reform and a consultation on the use of confidentiality clauses in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination.

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REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

Third parties (3Ps) can be valuable partners, providing competitive advantage through the supply chain and access to opportunities and markets. However, it is well known that 3Ps can expose businesses to bribery and other regulatory risks, with the OECD’s 2014 Foreign Bribery Report stating that 75% of the bribery cases it examined were carried out by third party intermediaries. Whilst most legal and compliance professionals, and to varying extents our business colleagues, understand this risk, managing 3Ps is a daunting task for those implementing a new 3P risk management process, and an on-going and challenging one for those further along the journey.

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Services of all types are increasingly moving to digital focused offerings. It is a trend that has reached the world of whistleblowing across many companies, with employees now being offered the opportunity to speak-up via digital platforms such as email, a website or using apps on their mobile phones.

Having a variety of whistleblowing routes available is a good thing; however, with the offering of these digital platforms it is important to remember that there is still ‘value in the voice’. Telephone reporting still has its place and a shift to digital-only reporting could have a negative impact not only on the quality of reports but also on the willingness of employees to speak-up.

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