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


The mornings are getting lighter and reasons to be cheerful increase, including even in the world of data protection. “Steady on” I hear some say but a few headaches may subside at least with the news that the ICO has recently enhanced its guide to the GDPR. In doing so, it has shone some much needed light on a number of previously murky areas of the Regulation. These include:

  • More detailed explanation of the ICO’s expectations in relation to the documentation of processing activities (under Article 30).
  • Further clarity on what is expected in the event of a personal data breach (under Articles 33 and 34).
  • New guidance on what constitutes lawful processing, in particular in relation to performance of a contract with the data subject (Article 6(1)(b)), compliance with a legal obligation (Article 6(1)(c)), protection of vital interests (Article 6(1)(d)) and performance of a task carried out in the public interest (Article 6(1)(e)).

For more information on these developments, see Practical Law Data Protection’s recent legal update.

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REUTERS | Jon Nazca

Several Brexit-related Bills continued their passage through Parliament during January, including the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19, the Trade Bill 2017-2019 and the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. Near the end of the month, the General Council (Article 50) adopted a Council Decision and supplementary negotiating directives for the Brexit negotiations, which set out the EU 27’s negotiating position on a transition period.

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REUTERS | Kacper Pempel

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not new. Cognitive scientist John McCarthy coined the term in his 1955 proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence Conference, which gave birth to the field of AI.

In recent years, however, vast improvements in computing power and heavy investments by giant technology companies have brought about a revolution in AI which is rapidly gaining pace, creating a challenging new landscape for brand owners and the legislation they rely upon for protection.

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REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

Described by some as the “new oil” for the digital economy, there is no doubt that data are now seen as critical for organisations to succeed. Data affect all businesses and industries, and dealing with data is an issue for the whole business as it affects every team within an organisation. Continue reading