The government published its Online Harms White Paper in April 2019, which set out a range of proposals to reduce illegal and harmful online activity.

Back in June, I wrote about the long delayed COVID-19 app, which was supposed to form a key part of the contact tracing system, famously hailed by Boris as “world beating”.

Constantly working on branding and IP projects means that I’m always coming up with new ideas on what I can offer clients to help them get more from my service. One example of this is my newest product and forthcoming book, provisionally called Brand Tuned – How to Create an Inimitable Brand to Win Business in a Noisy World.

However, one niche that always seems to be hit or miss for people when it comes to return on investment is social media. That’s not to say, I haven’t had some major successes personally, but, on other occasions, a piece of content will only secure a few hits.

The question arises – “Is social media even worth it?” The obvious answer is “yes”, but only with the right type of content – content that really reflects your brand and makes an impact with your target audience.

The Court of Appeal recently handed down its decision in the case of R v Bridges [2020] EWCA Civ 1058, the first case of its kind in the world dealing with law enforcement use of live facial recognition.

In July 2020, the Law Society Gazette reported that legal industry revenue had dropped to a four year low. With everything else on the decline, this is no surprise. However, not all of the trends initiated by Covid-19 are negative – and some are giving the legal industry a much needed boost, one of which is online reviews.

The Internet Newsletter for Lawyers was launched in the late 90s as there was at that time a thirst for guidance on what this new thing called the internet was and what it could offer the lawyer.

Today we all take the internet for granted and few concern ourselves with what it actually is, even fewer how it works. In fact a 2019 survey by HighSpeedInternet.com found that, although 86 per cent of respondents said they understood what the internet was, in fact only two-thirds of those gave a reasonable answer; in other words half those questioned did not understand.

Nick Holmes highlights a number of new resources and publications of interest to lawyers on the web – FutureLearn, The Future of Courts and LawtechUK.

The gig economy has garnered heavy criticism since it became an integral part of the world of work over the past decade or so. On the one hand it has been credited with providing flexible work for millions of people unable or unwilling to secure full time employment. On the other hand, it has been likened to a modern form of slavery, with the tech giants as the masters of an online version of Victorian workhouses.

Currently, each social media platform has its own set of policies regarding what kind of content can be published by its users. Since many politicians are now heavily reliant on these platforms to bolster their support and reach out to new voters, the ability for the big tech deities such as Zuckerberg to decide on the political discourse which can or can’t take place on their networks is highly significant for democracy. Facebook, Twitter et al, may claim to be agnostic platforms rather than publishers, but the reality is that they are de facto gatekeepers of political (and social) debate.

There have been a couple of interesting developments recently relating to apps on the Apple and Google app stores, both of which potentially threaten self regulation of these platforms.

Remote hearings are here to stay, thanks to Covid-19. That might have happened anyway, sooner or later, but the pandemic has made it both sooner and more certain.

On 3 March 2020 the government’s coronavirus Action Plan declared that “The Ministry of Justice’s HM Courts & Tribunal Service have well-established plans to deliver key services to protect the public and maintain confidence in the justice system.” By 23 March the Coronavirus Act 2020 was on the statute book, enabling rules and directions to be made permitting public and media access to remote hearings broadcast via the internet.

Alex Heshmaty asks Belinda Lester, founder of Lionshead Law, and Annie Joseph, a trainee solicitor at a top 100 UK law firm, to consider some of the key opportunities and challenges that remote working poses for lawyers.