In the wake of growing data protection concerns around the turn of the century, a framework dubbed “Safe Harbor” was agreed between the EU and the US in 2000, which essentially permitted transatlantic free-flow of personal data.

Towards the end of 2015, as a result of one of several legal challenges brought by prolific Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems, the European Court of Justice declared the Safe Harbor framework invalid on the grounds that it did not provide adequate safeguards for personal data.

Risk management is an essential part of running any law firm.

The costs – monetary and otherwise – can be substantial if practices don’t identify risks, and do everything they can to mitigate them.

Different types of challenges can present themselves depending on the exact nature of your firm, and the work you do.

Here, we’re going to look at those who specialise in conveyancing.

The exact risks posed to those who work in this field can be managed with Proclaim, Eclipse’s Case Management software. We explain exactly how below.

One of the key changes brought about by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25 May 2018, was a substantial increase in the maximum fines available for data protection breaches, to the higher of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover. Any breaches which occurred prior to this date were subject to a maximum of £500,000 set by the Data Protection Act 1998 – and this former upper limit was only invoked once, in the case of Facebook and its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Many commentators pointed out that half a million pounds was “chump change” for the likes of tech giants. The same couldn’t be said of the £183 million fine which the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) levied on British Airways (BA) less than a year later.

The new EU copyright law that copyright lawyers, artists, management and media companies have been waiting for was passed on 17 April 2019 as Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC. The directive is not law as is (although some of its provisions are mandatory); most of its provisions will have to pass into the local law of member states by 2021. Other provisions will need to be implemented by 2022.

The diverse cultural differences across EU member states will mean its implementation is likely to be different across the EU.

Some commentators have been asking whether law firms and other legal service organisations should adopt an Uber-like model for legal service delivery.

From a narrow technological point of view I think is safe to assume that this could well happen.

Looking at some of the less benign aspects of the model in practice, it seems regulators will need to ensure a good standard of ethics is adhered to if the model is to work fairly for all concerned (and there are signs they are prepared to do so).

Does legal project management facilitate the Uberisation of law? I don’t think it does. I think it helps promote a more co-operative approach to progress, competition and innovation.

I also think we should put aside fixation with the Uber model and look to other approaches instead.

Information overload is defined by Wikipedia as “the difficulty in understanding an issue and effectively making decisions when one has too much information about that issue” – although, ironically, it offers alternative definitions based on multiple sources!

There is often an assumption made that young lawyers (Millennials) entering the profession have the technology skills that my generation (Generation X) and the one that went before me (Baby Boomers) lack. A life brought up with a smartphone in hand equips them to tackle legal technology in a law office standing on their head. Or does it?

The internet is now not something used only by younger generations but by all ages as the digital world continues to grow apace. The ONS also reports that, since 2011, the percentage of adults aged 65 years and over who had never used the internet has declined by 27 per cent.

The digital world now influences almost every facet of our lives. But what happens to our digital assets after our deaths? Is there a “digital afterlife”? How should this be regulated?

This is an area which is increasingly being given attention by the media, internet service providers and others.

Airbnb has been a phenomenal success since it was launched just over a decade ago, arguably creating more choice for travellers seeking accommodation while providing a user friendly platform which allows homeowners to rent out a spare room easily. However, it has also faced mounting criticism from various quarters: city officials claim that investors snap up rental properties to add to their Airbnb portfolio, making it more difficult for local residents to find homes to rent; neighbours often complain that Airbnb properties are continuously let out to noisy tourists in residential areas; and hoteliers and regulators argue that Airbnb simply offers a way for unscrupulous businesses to act as hotels whilst avoiding the overheads or regulation.

Internet regulation has been very much in the public eye lately, particularly following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the government recently published its Online Harms White Paper which seeks to address some of the concerns surrounding the ‘Wild West Web’. One of the key issues regularly raised is the protection of children from exposure to online pornography.

In the film Minority Report, Tom Cruise, as the head of a “pre-crime” unit, apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by psychics. This results in low crime levels, but also in a world where knowing the future limits choice and access to justice.

The reality of case prediction practice is very different from this dystopian vision.

At the end of March 2019 Justis was acquired by vLex, a legal technology company founded in Barcelona with offices across the world. While we are at the beginning stages of planning what this means for both JustisOne and the vLex platform, we are able to speculate as to how Justis, a vLex company, might look.

Since the launch of JustisOne in 2017, we have been continuing to enhance the range of features available to our users. Most recently, we have been updating our Browse feature and adding Alerting to enable our users to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in areas of law that are relevant to them. Alongside this, we have increased the range of content on the platform, with the launch of the Human Rights collection.

These developments are covered in detail below.