Information Security is one of the most important issues for all businesses and it’s only going to become more important. The threats from the proliferation of data and information are both internal and external and present challenges for all businesses but especially small businesses in terms of resource to adequately address the issue. Research indicates that most businesses first line of defence in terms of data protection and IP protection is policies and procedures and appropriate use of confidentiality agreements. In addition to services offered by lawyers in this respect, we can also assist. With the threats being so wide ranging and so fast changing, many larger businesses are bringing in designated full time Information Security specialist staff. This is certainly a growth area with excellent career prospects, especially for someone with appropriate accreditation and experience.
One of the major problems I encounter on a daily basis is that I am marketing a proverbial “elephant in the room”, something akin to selling the need to make a will – we all know we are going to die but none of us want to think about it, hence the rather surprising statistic that about half the UK adult population don’t make wills. The same principle applies to business risk – we know it’s there, but we don’t really want to think about it and when we do, we like to give it short shrift, to dismiss it without giving it full attention. In short, when I mention “business risk” there seems to be immediate negative connotations, but should that be the case ?
In our experience of working closely with clients and also often with lawyers, the major frustration clients often have with lawyers is not necessarily cost – instead, it’s a sense that the lawyers are looking for reasons not to follow a course of action or proceed with a transaction rather than finding a way to find a solution which is perceived by the client as being positive. From the legal perspective, a lawyer will argue that the client may be looking at matters through rose tinted spectacles and/or they simply don’t have the experience to understand that relationships that may start off full of excitement and potential advantage for both can later become very difficult and costly. Of course there is truth in both points of view.
Employers understandably regard trade secrets, suppliers, customers, knowhow and their staff as vital, which in turn means that many employers include restrictive covenants in employment contracts. This excellent article on restrictive covenants summarises most of the main considerations for employers when seeking to enforce restrictive covenants. We will focus in this post on the evidential issues. Litigation solicitors will generally advise that by far the most effective way to enforce a restrictive covenant is by threatening an injunction. An application for an injunction is a high risk/high reward tactic and often, where successful, represents the equivalent, in boxing terms of a first round knockout. The threat of an injunction, bearing in mind the costs involved and potential costs consequences of the defendant if the application is successful, may be sufficient to ensure an undertaking to desist is forthcoming before an …Read More
Mention the word “forensics” to most business and even law some law firms and they initially tend to think of Silent Witness or to those a little older than me, I am told that Quincy M.D was a particularly popular medical forensics TV programme. However, investigative forensics are becoming increasingly important in evidential terms in the digital age, with 2 branches being particularly important, IT forensics and Forensic Accountancy. When it comes to fraud cases, there can often be an overlap between these 2 disciplines and it is vital that the right people are utilised. This is because there are 2 primary roles for experts in these fields for fraud or theft issues. The first may be asset tracing – trying to establish, especially where a lot of money has gone missing, where that money may have been moved to …Read More
One of the most fascinating aspects of the tragic events in Boston last week was the way in which the collective power of the internet and digital resources come into play. This excellent piece by the BBC explains that various social media sites quickly became the hub and repository for pooled resources and information which could well have proved valuable to law enforcement. In fact, so-called crowdsourced investigations have on occasion in the past led to the correct identification of a suspect being sought for a serious crime as reported in this article.
I was interested to read the article in today’s Telegraph (articles in other papers also) about a dispute between Vincent Tchenguiz and an Israeli investigative agency, Black Cube. I am sure that Black Cube have thought very carefully before starting litigation. The public nature of litigation means that the important issue to many clients of absolute discretion has been spectacularly destroyed overnight. However, as a business, if the company is correct that they are owed a potentially significant sum by Mr Tchenguiz, they seem to have taken the view that they need to protect their interests notwithstanding the potential risk that future clients could be put off (others may take a different view and respect the fact they are defending their position and are being transparent).
In today’s connected world, more and more business is being undertaken internationally, which is fantastic, whether it’s traditional import/export, business agents or distributors, supply chain relationships or trading online. However, it is always worth remembering that when dealing with a supplier or customer abroad, if things go wrong, a whole new set of problems arise. Many businesses will know that even in the UK, it’s one thing having a contract and another thing enforcing that contract, if breached, via the court system. Perhaps the biggest problem of all is in enforcing any judgment obtained. If the other party does not have the funds or doesn’t care about a judgment, you may well not get your money. This problem is compounded when dealing with a limited company, where it’s all too easy, many would say, to simply close the company and …Read More
In some situations and in dealing with individuals who deliberately set set out to lie and deceive, surveillance can be a useful and wholly legitimate tool for obtaining evidence. In addition, where evidence is obtained by lawful surveillance, the quality of it can be extremely high and can make the difference between winning a losing a case. In legal terms, there is much confusion as to what is legal and appropriate when it comes to surveillance and what is not, and we deal with this below. The key point when considering surveillance is to instruct professionals who are not only competent in obtaining the necessary evidence but who know the law and are committed to abiding by it.