Cyber risk moving up the in-house agenda

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General counsel (GC) are increasingly involved in handling cyber security issues at board level, reflecting a more comprehensive shift towards effective risk management, research from Legal Business and PwC has revealed.

In a survey of corporate attitudes to cyber security risk this autumn, which garnered more than 800 responses from a broad mix of senior corporate managers, owners, legal and IT, nearly half (46%) of all GC respondents said they had delivered advice to the board on cyber and data security matters in the last year. Thirty five percent of GC respondents said this occurs on a quarterly basis.

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Systems overhaul required as Treasury Solicitor’s Department falls foul of Data Protection Act

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Whitehall’s largest legal department, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol) is to improve its data protection practices after an independent investigation found it had breached the Data Protection Act four times between 2011 and 2012.

The investigation by the UK’s independent data privacy authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), found that TSol failed to comply with the act after it released the personal information of individuals to third parties on four separate occasions between August 2011 and November 2012.

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National Grid conducts wholesale review of internal and external legal function

Energy giant to analyse in-house team and links with UK and US counsel National Grid’s group general counsel (GC) Alison Kay has launched a wholesale review of the FTSE 100 energy giant’s in-house and external legal function, which will look at whether the internal legal team is delivering the right services and adding value to the business, as well as a potential shake-up of both its UK and US external law firm panel.

The current UK panel, which was put together in 2011 when National Grid cut its roster of firms by 25% to 16, includes Allen & Overy, Linklaters, DLA Piper, Eversheds, CMS Cameron McKenna, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Field Fisher Waterhouse.

Kay, who has been with National Grid since 1996 and was promoted to her current role in January 2013 when Helen Mahy left to pursue outside interests, said she is responding to rate pressures across the business and the energy sector as a whole.

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