The Legal Services Act ten years on – still waiting for the Big Bang

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the 2007 act has so far had surprisingly limited impact on the dynamics of the industry.

Leader |

It has been ten years since the Legal Services Act gained Royal Assent, ushering in the most liberal services market in the world by some margin. Given that span of time, and the five years since the most radical elements of the act came into force with the regime for alternative business structures (ABS), it is natural to ask if it has lived up to billing. [Continue Reading]

Significant matters – Winter 2017

Agenda |

National Grid renews roster

National Grid, which carried out its last full panel review in 2015, has reappointed 12 firms to its roster including Norton Rose Fulbright, Addleshaw Goddard, Irwin Mitchell and Herbert Smith Freehills. These firms, which were newly appointed in 2015, join CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, Linklaters, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Bircham Dyson Bell, Dentons and Shakespeare Martineau on the panel. Since 2011, the British utility giant has cut its advisory panel by half.

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  • The In-House Lawyer, , The In-House Lawyer

Profile: Mark Maurice-Jones, Nestlé

The food and drink giant’s safe-guarder of reputation charts his journey from chemicals to KitKats

Profile |

Unusually for the current UK and Ireland general counsel of Swiss multinational and famed KitKat creator Nestlé, Mark Maurice-Jones’ career started in teaching. Armed with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Cambridge that he was unsure how to utilise, Maurice-Jones opted for a year-and-a-half-long stint in Hong Kong teaching maths, physics and chemistry. But ultimately he found the pull of a career in the law more alluring.

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Fresh starts

The In-House Lawyer delves inside Startup@BerkeleyLaw, a pioneering initiative that trains law students, entrepreneurs and investors on the realities of the start-up community

Training and development |

Look out law schools, there is a disrupter in town. Naturally, that town is Silicon Valley, the home of innovation. And the innovator in question is University of California Berkeley, which includes a leading US law school, renowned for its prowess in technology and IP.

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Nowhere to run

Self-reporting, plea bargaining and expanding liabilities – the pressure builds for corporates as watchdogs sharpen their claws

Commercial Litigation Summit |

A key session of the Commercial Litigation Summit tackled aspects of global investigations from an in-house and external adviser perspective. Clifford Chance partner Judith Seddon began by looking at deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) and self-reporting. She posed the question: ‘How effective are DPAs in changing corporate behaviour? From a corporate-governance perspective, does the failure-to-prevent offence focus the board’s attention on the importance of ensuring it has adequate or reasonable procedures?’ [Continue Reading]

The cutting edge

Big money patent battles between tech companies have been grabbing the headlines. The In-House Lawyer meets the IP litigation specialists on the front line

Litigation |

During Apple’s earnings conference call in May, chief executive Tim Cook discussed the company’s long-running and bitter dispute with Qualcomm, a company that manufactures internal components for the iPhone.

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Joining the dots to manage data risk

DAC Beachcroft’s Hans Allnutt investigates the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation

The Risk Survey - The In-house Lawyer and DAC Beachcroft |

The In-House Lawyer’s earlier survey with DAC Beachcroft in the Spring 2017 issue, ‘Managing Risk: The In-House View’ identified these key points:

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  • Hans Allnutt, partner, DAC Beachcroft, The In-House Lawyer

    partner, DAC Beachcroft

AG Integrate in action

Addleshaw Goddard outlines how it has incorporated flexible resourcing models into how it does business, and how it works for their consultants

Addleshaw Goddard Advertorial |

Innovation in legal services remains the buzzword of the moment, yet what clients require from their law firms remains the same – a true understanding of both their legal and business needs. Firms continue to explore the cost and time-saving benefits that AI and legal technology bring, as well as employing flexible resourcing models as a way to offer greater choice and control, yet what clients demand more increasingly is a collaborative, integrated approach to legal service delivery. [Continue Reading]


The new front

As the deadline for the GDPR approaches, The In-House Lawyer assesses if general counsel are ready to do battle

Data security |

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.’

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Internal affairs

Being a cost centre, embracing technology and getting irritated with external counsel – a roundtable discussion at the Commercial Litigation Summit assessed the lot of the in-house litigator

Commercial Litigation Summit |

The final session of the 2017 Commercial Litigation Summit sought the views of senior in-house counsel on managing disputes. Chairing the panel, Stephen Moriarty QC of Fountain Court Chambers kicked off the debate by tackling the perception of an in-house department as a cost centre – effectively, a necessary evil – citing the CV of Hausfeld’s Laurent Geelhand as an anecdote. Prior to joining the law firm, Geelhand was the European general counsel (GC) of Michelin, credited with turning ‘Michelin’s European legal department into a profit centre by systematically pursuing actions against third parties’. Moriarty asked the panel whether that is a realistic approach to running an in-house team. [Continue Reading]