Our 2017 review continues with developments in the courts.
Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
Edited by Nick Holmes and Delia Venables
To date, the main legacy of the Brexit referendum of 2016 appears to be a country split in half: some badly wish the UK would continue to be a member of the EU and some are equally keen on making a move. Yet, there seems to be at least one thing on which Remainers and Leavers will agree: nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. The same is true of the effect of Brexit on UK data protection. However, as Brexit day approaches, it is becoming imperative for those with responsibility for data protection compliance to make some crucial strategic decisions. To help with that process, here are some pointers about what we know and what we don’t know.
With contributions from Gordon Healiss, Norma Laming and Greig Duncan
When I set up my web page on Transcription www.venables.co.uk/transcription.htm several years ago, it all seemed rather straightforward. I described the methods of input and output, the speed of the transcription, the security of the process and the cost.
Now, the concept of transcription has developed many new strands, in which the original concept of a transcription service from an external company is still present, albeit with great improvements in the input and output process, but with alternative options now also available, including voice recognition as the method of input and a process of automatic document generation, now merging with concepts of artificial intelligence.
In this article, I present three key strands of this topic.
Links are fundamental to the web; without them it would literally not exist. So, it is surprising that legal advice on linking usually starts by counselling the linker that they should first obtain permission. See, for example, Linking and Framing on Out-Law.com (admittedly, that was 2008) and Think before you link on Pitmans’ Insights (2017).
Not only is this impractical, but also most sites are in fact keen for others to link to them for the attendant “eyeballs” and the “Google juice”. So, whilst strictly in law permission is needed, in practice we can assume permission if we link responsibly.
This short article is based on my web page www.venables.co.uk/softwareireland.htm which provides links to the software companies websites.
The “problem” for Ireland, as for any smaller country, has been that the potential market for the sale of legal software is much smaller than for countries with larger numbers of law firms. A few years ago, this often meant that Irish legal software suppliers were in fact subsidiaries of larger UK software companies and others were genuinely small firms, possibly without a very large financial backing.
Cybercrime has dominated the global headlines over recent years, with the NHS suffering a huge ransomware attack, allegations of Russian hacking affecting the American elections and the confidential data of 143 million people being breached after credit ratings company Equifax was hacked. According to Lloyd’s of London a “serious” cyberattack could cost the global economy almost £100 billion.
With the spectre of GDPR looming, law firms will be increasingly called upon by their clients to help them grapple with data protection compliance and understand their obligations surrounding cybersecurity. But legal practices will also need to ensure their own IT infrastructure is secure; as they often hold valuable and sensitive client data, firms can pose a target for cybercriminals. So what are the main types of cyberattack for which firms should be prepared, and how can these be prevented?
A document or record today can take many forms – paper, email, voicemail, SMS, messaging and so on. This, coupled with the continual pace of technological change and ever-growing regulatory demands, the business imperative for a strategic and comprehensive information lifecycle-led approach to document management has now become critical. The traditional approach to document management is no longer fit for purpose.
The following are the most pressing reasons why all law firms, regardless of size, need a robust approach to the function:
This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch December 2017. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.
An interesting post by Richard Tromans on Artificial Lawyer seeks to establish the origin of the term "legal engineer" to describe one who engineers legal processes using technology.
Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) looked set fair little more than five years ago to become a world leader in the commercial provision of access to justice for low income clients.
In 2011, its then newly appointed director, Christina Blacklaws, announced: “we … want to push the boundaries in delivering advice in other ways for people who would rather access legal services in different ways.”
Alas, early optimism has been tempered; Ms Blacklaws has long gone; and now “Recovery stutters at ABS [alternative business structure] standard bearer” reports The Law Society Gazette. The Co-op once offered a world-leading package of external funding, corporate ownership, unbundling and web-based services.
How did it all go wrong and should we temper expectations of the potential role of technology in low income practice more widely? The answer to this crucial question may well be dependent in England and Wales on the digitalisation of the courts.
I see the jobs/recruitment arena as a clash between the expertise of specialist legal recruitment consultants, some of whom have been in the legal market for decades, and the “every job in the world” approach of the automatically generated sites, which hoover up jobs from all the other jobs sites and recruitment companies. The recruitment consultants will get to know you personally, whilst with the automatically generated sites, the candidate narrows the field by specifying the type of job required, the qualifications possessed by the candidate, the location of the job, the salary required, and so on, and is then provided with a filtered list of options.
This clash of cultures has been made more complicated by the widespread use of social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, to locate suitable jobs or (from the other side of the table) suitable candidates.
- Legal Web Watch: The role of technology in legal advice and assistance
- Delia’s legal web picks June 2018
- How to improve your practice using browser-based software
- Outsourced typing services: the answer to your admin woes
- Developments in ODR and the online court
- Re-consenting to marketing under GDPR?
- IT and practice management for chambers
- Cryptocurrencies explained
- When and how to use 301 redirects
- Algorithms in law
- Latest articles feed
- PDFs of the Newsletter
- Legal Web Watch