‘A lot of noise without substance’: profession divided on impact of Paradise Papers

‘A lot of noise without substance’: profession divided on impact of Paradise Papers

As the contents of the Paradise Papers soaks up column inches worldwide, the profession has offered a mixed response so far to the revelations, with some welcoming public scrutiny while others dismiss it as un-newsworthy.

On 24 October, offshore firm Appleby confirmed that a ‘data security incident’ took place in 2016, raising fears that client information could become publicly available. Appleby also acknowledged that it had received enquiries from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which had published the Panama Papers in 2016, regarding the data breach. Continue reading “‘A lot of noise without substance’: profession divided on impact of Paradise Papers”

The new front

The new front

As expected – or feared – implementing the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a mammoth task for some companies. ‘It is all-encompassing,’ says Karen Kerrigan, chief legal officer at equity crowdfunding firm Seedrs. ‘The advantage of being a small business is that you can involve all the other departments. Frankly, I would be terrified of GDPR if I was at a large business, because you have to take a much more decisive risk-based approach in terms of what you are physically able to look at. We were able to sit down with our development team, our marketing team and our investments team, and go through every single one of their activities and the service providers they were using.’

To say GDPR will have wide implications for in-house teams is an understatement. It is unlikely that there will be any client or any part of a client’s business that will remain unaffected by the EU regulation, which has a deadline for implementation of 25 May 2018. Continue reading “The new front”

Letter from… Frankfurt: Where political deadlock is fine for business… but not all lawyers

Letter from… Frankfurt: Where political deadlock is fine for business… but not all lawyers

What a difference a few hundred miles can make: an election not resulting in a clear majority; a government polling much worse than expected; a leader weakened; and complicated negotiations ahead. In London, such headlines spell uncertainty, prudence, even panic.

While any poll in the UK fills its legal community with trepidation, the Germans reacted to the results of the federal election on 24 September by either stressing that no-one should overestimate the impact of politics on business or by saying it was good news. Says Georg Seyfarth, veteran corporate partner of German blueblood Hengeler Mueller: ‘Building the coalition will be difficult and it will take time. However, eventually we will see a “Jamaica coalition”, which will be good for businesses. The M&A market will not be affected.’ Continue reading “Letter from… Frankfurt: Where political deadlock is fine for business… but not all lawyers”

Quest to guard privilege begins as ENRC wins right to appeal SFO order

Quest to guard privilege begins as ENRC wins right to appeal SFO order

Throwing a lifeline to the increasingly eroded principle of legal professional privilege (LPP), Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) has this week been granted the right to appeal against a controversial order to disclose documents in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation. Hogan Lovells is the latest in a series of firms to be instructed by ENRC over the SFO investigation.

In May, the High Court had ruled that documents prepared by the mining giant ENRC relating to an SFO probe into alleged fraud, bribery and corruption were not covered by LPP and therefore had to be disclosed. Continue reading “Quest to guard privilege begins as ENRC wins right to appeal SFO order”

Legal Business 100 overview: Your story

Legal Business 100 overview: Your story

This year’s Legal Business 100 coincides with the most inauspicious of anniversaries after a year with the most inauspicious of beginnings. A decade since the start of the global financial crisis and just over a year since the result of the Brexit referendum, the perception is that political and economic uncertainty has ultimately had little impact on the performance of top 100 UK law firms. Particularly on those at the top.

The drama has been well documented. UK and European markets continued to show resilience, mainly aided by foreign investment, despite the last financial year starting off with six to eight weeks of post-referendum impact. By Christmas, transactional practices were upbeat and grew stronger into 2017. Then article 50 was triggered just before the end of the financial year and unease settled in again. Continue reading “Legal Business 100 overview: Your story”

Investment costs force insurer LV= to pull plug on legal services

Investment costs force insurer LV= to pull plug on legal services

In a further setback for insurers hoping to take advantage of the post-Legal Services Act landscape, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (LV=)’s legal arm has been discontinued less than two years after it was created through a partnership with Bristol firm Lyons Davidson.

In January 2016 the insurance company joined forces with Lyons Davidson to offer legal advice at a fixed rate for wills, power of attorney, probate, conveyancing, personal injury and employment law.

Continue reading “Investment costs force insurer LV= to pull plug on legal services”

A first for everything: Ex-Linklaters partner breaks new ground with High Court appointment

A first for everything: Ex-Linklaters partner breaks new ground with High Court appointment

As the profession’s liberal wing casts a sceptical eye over the Bar’s lack of diversity, former Linklaters capital markets partner Clare Moulder has made history by becoming the first female solicitor to be appointed to the High Court without practising as a barrister.

Moulder, who joined Linklaters in 1982 and made partner in 1991, will take her post on 2 October following the appointment of Sir Julian Martin Flaux to the Court of Appeal. Continue reading “A first for everything: Ex-Linklaters partner breaks new ground with High Court appointment”

‘Right to be voluntary’: Litigators respond to Jackson’s latest fixed costs proposals

‘Right to be voluntary’: Litigators respond to Jackson’s latest fixed costs proposals

City disputes partners have responded cautiously to proposals put forward by Lord Justice Jackson to extend the fixed recoverable costs (FRC) regime to a number of different claims.

Lord Jackson had been reviewing whether or not FRC should be introduced to all civil claims with a value up to £250,000. But in the report – published 31 July – he recommended introducing a voluntary capped costs pilot scheme solely for High Court claims valued up to £250,000. Continue reading “‘Right to be voluntary’: Litigators respond to Jackson’s latest fixed costs proposals”

Law firms report record £3.2m cybercrime theft in first quarter but prosecutions have fallen

Law firms report record £3.2m cybercrime theft in first quarter but prosecutions have fallen

UK law firms have reported a record 45 cases of cyber thefts to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the first quarter of this year, with £3.2m stolen through conveyancing and inheritance matters as well as from law firms’ own accounts – mainly through email modification fraud.

The number of crimes reported more than doubled the 21 recorded over the same period in 2016. Continue reading “Law firms report record £3.2m cybercrime theft in first quarter but prosecutions have fallen”