Herbert Smith Freehills
has launched a new cybersecurity hotline, offering clients who sign up to the initiative five hours of advice per month.
The firm said that the new initiative will significantly improve business for its cybersecurity practice especially as it is seen to lead to more rapport between the global firm and its clients in the area.
“We're able to strengthen our relationships with clients through helping them with their day-to-day enquiries, and to be their trusted advisers on cyber security issues,” partner Anna Sutherland told Australasian Lawyer.
Clients will have direct access to the hotline in any time zone and the ability to either telephone one of their cyber security teams directly, or can email the hotline with any questions they may have. Queries are answered by any one of the firm’s 26 partners operating in the UK, US, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia.
The expansive network gives the law firm the ability to effectively manage the hotline, even if it were to receive a lot of questions.
“We have a large global cyber security team that is on hand to deal with any incoming queries. There are presently 26 partners in our team across our international offices, spanning many different legal disciplines, such as data protection, crisis prevention & management, corporate crime & investigations, financial services regulatory, and disputes,” Sutherland said.
“If a client knows who they need to speak to in relation to any particular cyber issue, or otherwise have an existing contact within the firm, they can telephone that person directly with their query.”
High demand for cybersecurity advice
The hotline was established as a result of an increasing demand for advice regarding cybersecurity.
“We've set the hotline up in response to client demand. Cyber security is a significant issue affecting our clients, and many in-house legal and compliance teams are needing advice in this area,” Sutherland said.
Apart from numerous large cybersecurity projects, however, the law firm said it also receives many smaller enquiries and requests for guidance that don’t justify setting up an individual retainer.
“Through the hotline, we wanted to give clients a forum through which they could easily access our global cyber security team to raise their day-to-day questions whenever and wherever they have the need,” said Sutherland.
Day-to-day questions can be about anything from cyber security policies and procedures, through to employment law, insurance and health and safety.
While they have many hotlines in different practices, the demand for cybersecurity advice prompted them to advertise a new cybersecurity hotline that is available in all their offices.
“We already have a number of hotlines in place with clients in different practice areas. However, they tend to be individual arrangements with clients in relation to specific practice areas for specific types of advice. Given that cyber issues affect all of our clients in all industry sectors, client interest was such that we decided to advertise our cyber hotline as a service available to all clients in all of our offices,” Sutherland said.