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Lexis+ AI
Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Risk of data breach a major concern to law leaders

Risk of data breach a major concern to law leaders


The fear of a data breach or loss is a significant concern to leaders at the top 200 UK law firms, a survey revealed

A joint report from London Business School and Byfield Consultancy, The Six Things Keeping Managing Partners Awake At Night, found that managing partners and their leadership teams are very concerned about data breaches and the risk of negligence claims.

Twenty firm leaders were surveyed and 10 interviews undertaken to determine what is troubling them most.

The report was conceived before the covid-19 pandemic with the purpose of gauging managing partners’ concerns around issues such as Brexit and financial management; and to assess the key business and reputational risk landscape for managing partners.

The survey found that the six key issues managing partners were most concerned about were cash flow, employee wellbeing, client service, Brexit, data and regulatory breaches and professional negligence.

In the context of covid-19, 90 per cent were concerned about firm spend, while 85 per cent were concerned about being paid, potential client losses and lack of new business.

However, 30 per cent of them believed covid-19 could actually have a positive impact on client retention.

It is encouraging that eight out of ten respondents were also concerned about the wellbeing and safety of employees; though three quarters admitted that employee motivation was a major challenge.

A quarter of those surveyed did not think employee retention would be affected, though 20 per cent did anticipate a negative impact as a result of the pandemic.

Managing partners also harboured business and reputation concerns, with all those surveyed citing a potential data breach or loss as a major concern.

The risk of a regulatory investigation concerned 85 per cent of respondents and almost as many (80 per cent) were worried about the risk of professional negligence.

The implications of Brexit was an issue of concern to 65 per cent of managing partners.

As one law firm leader said in the report: “The pandemic opened our eyes in terms of working from home.

“Like all crises, it will provoke big changes. The aftermath of covid-19 will be felt for a long time.”






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