Law firm cyber attacks hit record high warns regulator

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Law firm cyber attacks hit record high warns regulator
The sensitive data handled by law firms is increasingly the target of cyber criminals and incidents of cyber attacks against the profession is at a record high.

That’s the warning from the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the UK which says that it received more than double the amount of reports of cyber theft in the first quarter of this year compared to last year, with triple the amount stolen (equivalent of AU$5.25m).

Most of the attacks involved altered emails and bank details, and half involved real estate transactions.

"We have included one new priority risk this year – questionable investment schemes. We know that the numbers of solicitors who would willingly get involved are very small, but the harm to the public and potentially the reputation of the profession is significant," said Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive.

He added that while most lawyers act properly, a small minority are taking risks with clients’ money.

Kennedys launches tech innovation lab
International law firm Kennedys has launched Ideas Lab as part of its drive to find innovative solutions for legal services.

It’s mostly client-focused and allows any member of the firm to put forward their ideas for future products and solutions, anchored to the firm’s core principle of helping clients to use lawyers less.

“The thinking behind the Ideas Lab is designed to keep us at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurialism – ensuring all staff, whatever their role or location, have a route to future careers that will emerge as the provision of legal services develop,” said Richard West, Head of Kennedys’ liability division, who came up with the idea along with head of research & development Karim Derrick, and solicitor Tom Gummer.

Law firm wins case against Michael Jackson company
US law firm McKool Smith has won a breach of contract and royalties case against the late Michael Jackson’s production company.

The case was brought against MJJ Productions Inc. by legendary music producer Quincy Jones who produced some of the singer’s most famous albums including ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘Thriller’.

The claim for royalties relates to a documentary made after Jackson’s death which included several hits produced by Jones.

At a jury trial this week, McKool Smith secured U$9.4 million in unpaid royalties from MJJ Productions, now controlled by the late singer’s estate.

The law firm’s chairman and lead counsel on the case Mike McKool commented: "As we have maintained throughout trial, based on contractual obligations and a long standing agreement with Mr. Jackson himself, Quincy Jones is clearly entitled to his fair share of royalties based on his significant contributions to many of Michael Jackson's most iconic pieces of work. We are very pleased with the jury's decision."