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The UK is (still) in a state of uncertainty about the precise impact of Brexit. But that shouldn’t stop in-house legal teams preparing themselves, indeed the more uncertain Brexit looks the more preparation is required.  A resilient and efficient in-house legal team will be a vital asset both for defending businesses against Brexit threats and supporting them to make the most of Brexit opportunities. But the work of preparing needs to start as early as possible.

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REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

When the business calls for shorter and more user-friendly contracts, how many lawyers think “I’ve always used this clause” and “Who knows what may happen if I stop using it”? But, where there’s a business need to reduce contract terms, we need a good business reason to include each clause, not just fear of an unidentified risk.

To help identify that risk, we reviewed 37 of the most common clauses in business-to-business contracts. We looked for the effect and value of each clause and the legal position without it, and published the results in a new practice note: Boilerplate: do I really need this clause and why?

As expected, we found some clauses that could easily be cut, and others that would be useful in most contracts.

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REUTERS | Andrew Winning

Key items on the agenda for in-house lawyers this month include digesting the second tranche of no deal Brexit technical notices, the launch of a consultation on electronically executed documents, and a key decision on litigation privilege in internal investigations.

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REUTERS | Michaela Rehle

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently opened a consultation on the establishment of a regulatory sandbox. The idea draws inspiration from a similar scheme undertaken by the Financial Conduct Authority and was first proposed by the ICO in its Technology Strategy 2018-2021, published in March. The proposal foresees a “safe space where organisations are supported to develop the innovative products and services using personal data in innovative ways”. Continue reading

REUTERS | Kacper Pempel

In the last few years, General Counsel ‘Barometers’ on legal management, technology trends and digital transformation have started to appear, assessing in-house responses to these key and overlapping issues. One of the areas they all focus on is contract life-cycle management (CLM) software, which is identified by Wolters Kluwer as “the most common type of work where legal teams use technology” and by EY as “transforming and vastly accelerating time-consuming detail work”.

Although the range of CLM software providers can seem bewildering (two recent reports by Forrester and Software Advice each identified over 20 different providers with remarkably little overlap) they can be segmented into three types.

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REUTERS | Amit Dave

Practical Law recently spoke with Yasmin Sheikh, founder of Diverse Matters, a consultancy that helps people have confidence around disability, both visible and non-visible. She is also Vice-Chair of the Law Society’s Lawyers with Disability Division.

Across a series of three videos, Sheikh discusses diversity and inclusion in the workplace, breaking down what disability means and providing practical tips for employers and employees on how to address and normalise disability in the workplace.

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REUTERS | Christian Charisius

An in-house lawyer’s edict when negotiating a contract is simple: “make sure our risk exposure is as low as possible” and of course, “let’s sign this as soon as possible!”

How can a business translate its risk exposure into its contracts and how can the in-house lawyer facilitate the business with this?  Practical Law Commercial’s new Practice Note, Allocating and controlling risks in commercial contractsexplains how contractual clauses can be used to allocate and control risks between the parties.

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REUTERS | Mike Blake

It’s that time of year again. Many of us are currently facing the music, getting back to our desks and trying to work out what we’ve missed. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a short digest of some of the key pieces of current awareness covered by Practical Law over July and August. These centre on Brexit (inevitably), corporate governance, data protection, modern slavery and the gender pay gap.  Continue reading