Law firms to grow cyber teams while failing to bolster own security

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Law firms to grow cyber teams while failing to bolster own security
Forty per cent of law firms with a cyber practice expect to increase their headcount in the next year according to a survey by ALM Intelligence.

However, the report also highlights weaknesses in law firms’ own cyber security with more than half failing to carry out regular tests on their defence systems.

"Many firms' confidence in their own cyberattack preparedness seems misguided. Our research indicates that most remain surprisingly unprepared for the threat," says Daniella Isaacson, co-author of the report and ALM Intelligence Senior Legal Analyst.

"For example, many never test their cybersecurity protocols. This means that on the day of a breach, those firms are using an unproven response plan."

Almost three quarters of respondents said that clients had exerted pressure on them to increase internal data security.
Small deals, ‘mash-ups’ among trends driving M&A
Mergers & acquisitions are expected to grow in 2017 with smaller deals and cross-sector ‘mash-ups’ set to play key roles according to a poll of more than 1,700 executives in 45 countries.

The latest Global Capital Confidence Barometer from EY reveals that 57 per cent of companies are expecting to actively pursue deals in the coming 12 months with 90 per cent of respondents forecasting a stable or improving M&A market.

Joint ventures and alliances are also part of the picture with businesses keen to drove incremental growth.

“They are screening a wider number of targets and doing more, smaller deals that extended their reach beyond traditional sector borders,” said Steve Krouskos, EY Global Vice Chair — Transaction Advisory Services at EY.

With new entrants disrupting competition in many industries, cross-sector deals are set to become more prevalent as businesses seek to diversify their portfolios.

The sectors showing the greatest appetite for M&A deals are: consumer products & retail; diversified industrial products; life sciences; technology; automotive; and oil & gas. More than half of respondents in each of these sectors are expecting to be involved in deals in the next year.

Krouskos says that despite “fundamental changes” in M&A, the first half of 2017 is expected to see an uptick.
Brexit challenge lawyers argue for parliamentary vote
A challenge to the British prime minister’s authority to begin the process by which the UK will leave the EU is taking place this week in London.

A number of constitutional law experts believe that it would not be lawful for Theresa May to use Royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 without a vote in Parliament but the Attorney General disagrees.

"As a matter of general principle, withdrawal from a treaty is a matter for the Crown ... This is totally within the expectation of Parliament ... Royal prerogative has not been eroded," argued Jeremy Wright QC.

The case is due to be concluded in the High Court on Tuesday but the verdict will not be given until November and may then result in a challenge in the Supreme Court.