Hunting titans – the disputes outlook as watchdogs and claimants target banking giants

As banks remain in the crosshairs of regulators and claimants, Legal Business teamed up with Stephenson Harwood to seek the views of the in-house banking community on attitudes to disputes and risk.

If you needed confirmation of just how challenging the litigation climate is for many of the world’s banks, then JPMorgan Chase’s results for the third quarter provided it, in all their billion-dollar detail. Announcing a $400m loss for Q3 in October, the bank revealed that it had set aside $23bn for litigation costs arising from a series of regulatory investigations, resulting litigation and economic crisis-related suits.

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Getting proprietorial – the client view as the battle to secure IP rages on

From smartphone patent wars to online piracy, companies have never been more focused on protecting their intellectual property. In this special report, Legal Business teamed up with Bristows to gauge client attitudes to IP

It’s been a truism of the business world that protecting your intellectual property (IP) is an important part of success since the first laws on copyright were inked in the early 18th century. IP has not suddenly emerged as a key to a company’s long-term prospects. But, undoubtedly, numerous forces have emerged in recent years that have driven companies to more carefully consider how they protect, enforce and monetise their IP. Whether talking about the world of ‘hard’ IP, ie patents, or the ‘soft’ areas – trade marks, copyright and designs – the IP landscape has never been so dynamic or high impact.

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Knowledge is power – the future of legal tech

Effective use of technology and knowledge management tools are higher on a law firm manager’s agenda than ever before. Here we track the key developments that will shape the future of legal tech

For insight into how important the role of the IT specialist is to the modern law firm, just ask Balfour Beatty’s head of group legal Keely Hibbitt. The infrastructure giant made a significant splash in April, when it announced a radical overhaul of its panel arrangements, selecting Pinsent Masons as its sole adviser for all its ‘business as usual’ legal work.

The three-year contract, which will cover all repetitive and predictable legal work that the client faces on a daily basis, is a major coup for the law firm. But while the mandate reflects Pinsents’ ability to offer a single-supplier model effectively, it would have floundered were it not for the work of IT director Colin Smith and his team.

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