PANDORA’S BOX - It’s probably about time to update the old saying that “nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.” As the Pandora Papers leak has demonstrated, taxes are actually totally avoidable (if you’ve got the right lawyers), but cyber breaches… not so much. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ recent release of information on high-profile politicians and high-net-worth individuals leveraging offshore accounts partially stemmed from the disclosure of confidential client information held by law firms in various countries, according to reports. We’d love to tell you that there’s a foolproof method for protecting your firm from similar leaks. Unfortunately, as Law.com’s Victoria Hudgins reports, it’s not that simple. The threat of a data breach is basically omnipresent, cybersecurity lawyers said, but there are measures firms can take to minimize the risk. The first step, however, is acknowledging that you’re vulnerable to attacks, regardless of the size of your firm. “I think the big firms are doing a good job at putting controls in place, [but] those smaller firms are effectively using their anonymity,” said Mark Sangster, vice president and industry security strategist for detection and response provider eSentire Inc. “They’re in the British Virgin Islands and they figure, ‘No one knows we exist because we have niche clients,’ but criminals are good at this.”
WAR OF ATTRITION - Money talks, but in Big Law, it can be hard to hear over all the chatter. While compensation remains a primary driver for many attorneys making moves (or deciding to stay put), it can be difficult for firms to differentiate themselves from their peers using only cash. So how do you attract and keep top talent in an industry that’s experiencing historic levels of attrition when all your competitors are basically just as rich as you are? As Law.com’s Patrick Smith reports, several industry insiders say firms must demonstrate an ability to keep their people engaged, make their attorneys believe they are playing on a “winning team,” and allow for a level of flexibility around work that didn’t exist pre-pandemic. “Up-and-coming lawyers increasingly want to know the answers to some hard questions, like when there is an economic downturn, what happens to me?” said Kent Zimmermann of Zeughauser Group. “Or if I want to work remotely most of the time, how am I going to be stitched into the fabric of the firm and how am I going to be able to build relationships with partners to get good work assignments that allow me to ascend in my career?”
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