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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Should Scottish Judiciary be more Diverse?

The Law Society of Scotland believes the country should have a more diverse judiciary, and to allow for such, has made a series of suggestions of how best that is achieved.

The Law Society’s suggestions, which are listed in a paper responding to a judicial appointments diversity steering group report (Merit and diversity – Compatible aspirations in judicial appointments?), include: Continue reading

Lawyer-client Communications to become Protected by Statute?

With the fast approaching Investigatory Powers Bill, the Law Society of England and Wales together with the Bar Council, is calling for privileged communications between lawyers and their clients to become protected by statute. The UK professional bodies are paper on the topic, which specifically focuses on balancing privacy and security.

The joint statement from Law Society and Bar Council suggests that:

1. Legal professional privilege is a vital principle of the administration of justice. It is the mark of a democratic society that citizens can consult a legal adviser in absolute confidence that the information they exchange will not be disclosed without the client’s authority. There are safeguards to prevent the abuse of legal professional privilege for criminal purposes.

2. The current legal framework for the exercise of investigatory powers is not fit for purpose. Next month’s Investigatory Powers Bill is an opportunity to consider and debate a new law.

3. The new law should expressly protect legal professional privilege from the activities of public authorities seeking to use investigatory powers, including the acquisition of communications data.

4. The new law should make clear that the deliberate targeting and use of legally privileged information is unlawful.

5. Protecting legally privileged communications would not pose any risk to legitimate investigations because legal professional privilege does not apply where the lawyer-client relationship is being abused for a criminal purpose.

6. More generally, the new law should include a system of prior judicial authorisation for all covert information-gathering by a public authority.

7. Bulk interception of communications or retention of communications data is questionable in a democratic society, but if such powers are approved by parliament, there should be special provisions to protect privileged communications between lawyers and their clients.

Commenting, current Law Society President, Jonathan Smithers, stated:

‘Legal professional privilege protects a client’s fundamental right to be candid with their legal adviser without fear that someone is listening in or that what they say will be disclosed to their prejudice.

‘The absence of explicit protection for legal professional privilege in earlier surveillance legislation has been of long-standing concern to the Law Society. Documents released before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal earlier this year illustrated the inadequacy of the existing legislation.

‘The government now has the opportunity to debate legislation that gives statutory protection to the client-lawyer relationships that a civilised society depends on, while including safeguards against abuse for criminal purposes.’

Also commenting, Bar Council Chairman, Alistair MacDonald QC, stated:

‘Intelligence agencies must not be allowed to spy on communications between clients and their lawyers. When you are defending yourself against the state or find yourself in a dispute against a public authority, it would be grossly unfair for them to listen in on conversations with your lawyer.

‘We have seen too many examples of prosecutions wrecked because it was found that a public authority had eaves-dropped on a conversation that should have remained private.

‘This is not special pleading for lawyers; the privilege is that of the client. Legal professional privilege has existed for centuries to enable clients to have a fair trial. We will be studying the draft Investigatory Powers Bill closely in the hope that it provides sufficient protection for privileged communications and the associated meta-data, which reveals information such as who sent it, when, where and from which device.

‘No argument at all has been made as to why privilege should be revoked and we must make sure that legislators do not sleep-walk into approving a bill that would corrupt the administration of justice.’

For more information, please visit: https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/press-releases/lawyers-call-for-statutory-protection-of-lawyer-client-communications/

Contact Denovo: Cloud Computing for UK Lawyers

For information on our latest cloud developments or to find out more about Denovo’s services, contact us today by emailing info@denovobi.com or by calling us on 0330 313 8458.

Free CPD! Scottish Legal Conference, Glasgow, 28th October 2015

It’s the return of our Scottish Legal Conference in Glasgow! Click here to book.

Date: Wednesday, 28th October 2015
Time: 09.00am or 13.30
Venue: Hallmark (Menzies) Hotel, Glasgow
Price: FREE OF CHARGE if booked before 21st October! Normal charge is £99.95

Continue reading

Migration Process Remains Problematic for Cloud Users

Users need more assistance from Cloud service providers, when it comes to Cloud migration according to research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).

Said research, which ingathered data by polling 250 senior IT and business decision-makers across both the public and private sectors, in more than thirty-three per cent (33%) of businesses experience problems migrating to the cloud.

According to the research:

  • 10 per cent of those surveyed, stated that their migration experience;
  • Approximately 33 per cent Wanted better support from the Cloud Provider;
  • 38 per cent of respondents found the migration process to be complex;
  • 30 per cent experiences issues which related to data sovereignty;
  • 27 per cent had to deal with contractual problems; and
  • 28 per cent of those surveyed, saw a drop in terms of employee productivity.

Commenting of his organisation’s findings, Alex Hilton, who is the Cloud Industry Forum’s CEO, stated:

“Customers look to their CSP for the minimum of service disruption by providing robust and transparent migration services. We encourage customers to ask their supplier to have the appropriate credentials, and believe that the CIF Code of Practice should be the starting point for this – particularly now that it has been formally recognised by the European Commission.

“Equally, it’s important that users have sufficient knowledge about Cloud services to ensure that the services rolled out can support business objectives – 35 per cent of respondents felt that they lacked the skills necessary to do this, which is one of the reasons why we’ve launched our Individual Membership Programme. The scheme offers individuals resources to both optimise and validate their Cloud knowledge, allowing them to become more valued to their businesses and enhance their credentials in the labour market. Over the coming months we will be introducing a market-recognised and respected accreditation programme and a comprehensive e-learning course, covering everything from the legal and regulatory frameworks governing Cloud to Cloud migration…”

Also commenting, Michel Robert, who is the UK Managing Director of Claranet – one of Europe’s leading managed service providers – stated:

“It’s apparent from this research that, in spite of the growing maturity of the delivery model, cloud migration issues haven’t gone away and are increasing along with adoption levels. The IT arrangements of many businesses, particularly those in the mid-market, are incredibly complex, and, increasingly, services providers need to take more of an active role in helping businesses to unpick them and devise migration strategies for their customers. No two cloud migrations will be the same, so it is important to develop strategic partnerships to achieve the most effective results.”

CIF suggests that the problems mentioned above, which hinder cloud migration, could be minimised if, firstly, the providers of Cloud solutions did more to assist with the process, and secondly, if actual cloud user adequately prepared prior to the commencement of migration.

Denovo – Helping UK Layers Migrate to the Cloud

Denovo offers bespoke and secure Cloud services to legal professionals in Scotland and across the United Kingdom. They work with their clients to ensure a smooth transition to the Cloud. To discuss different Cloud solutions or to start your law firm’s move to a Cloud-based system, please call 0141 331 5290 or complete our online enquiry form.

UK Cloud Computing Adoption Rate Now Exceeds 80%

The adoption rate of cloud computing services in the United Kingdom now exceeds 80 per cent according to new research commissioned by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).

In addition to finding that the UK cloud adoption rate sits at 84 per cent, CIF’s study, which involved surveying approximately 250 senior IT managers across the UK, 70 per cent of those surveyed expect the adoption rate to rise over the next year. Continue reading

Research Calls for Smoother Transition to Cloud

The use of cloud computing for businesses will undoubtedly grow over the next few months. This is not least due to the fact that we – the users – better understand the Cloud’s potential as well as it’s limitations. With more users expected to make the ‘the switch to cloud computing’, the process of making such a move needs to be made easier according to a recent study from NTT Communications. Continue reading

Running Up That Hill

Our fun runner extreme Steven Hill is, as we type, running the Hoka Highland Fling.

The Hoka Highland Fling Ultramarathon is a 53 mile trail race along the famous West Highland Way Trail, starting in Milngavie (close to Glasgow) and finishing in the scenic Highland village of Tyndrum. The route is almost entirely on trails with mixed terrain and the scenery stunning. The day finishes with free beer & homemade soup, followed by a traditional Scottish Ceilidh Party in Tyndrum.

His race is being tracked via GPS (we like keeping track of our staff – kidding) and he’s not long passed Ben Lomond.

We wish Steven ‘Forrest’ all the best today on his epic, calorie sapping journey and wish him a great time at the finish. Well done Steven, we’re proud of you!