December Newsletter

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December Newsletter

The Institute of Legal Research & Standards




The Risk and Compliance Advisory Service of the Law Society of England and Wales have written a practice note in relation to social media, in order to increase understanding of social media in the profession and provide guidance to individuals and practices engaged in social media, or that may be considering engaging in social media.  It looks at the benefits of social media e.g. direct and immediate feedback, geographical barriers broken down and also looks at the potential risks involved, blurring of boundaries between personal and professional use, ethical obligations etc.  It also contains several case studies.


This informative practice note discusses social media under the following headings: –

  1. What is Social Media;
  2. Ethical Obligations;

3.1 The solicitor-client relationship;

3.1.1 Previous or current online relationship;

3.1.2 No existing on-line relationship;

3.2 Posting comments and opinions;

  1. Online social networking;

4.1 Personal v Professional;

4.2 Linked-in and twitter;

4.3 Facebook, you tube and Flickr;

4.4 Privacy Settings;

4.5 Practices adopting social media internally;

  1. Benefits and risks of using social media

5.1.1 Profile;

5.1.2 Engagement with clients;

5.1.3 Scale;

5.1.4 Marketing/Advertising;

5.1.5 Cost;

5.2 Risks;

5.2.1 Defamation;

5.2.2 Confidentiality; Logging out and password security;

5.2.3 Control over information; Right to be forgotten; Disclosure;

  1. Setting a Social Media Policy;

6.1 Purpose of a Social Media Policy;

6.2 What a Social Media Policy should include: – Goals – Evaluation – Strategy –Guidelines for engaging management – Roles and responsibilities – Compliance – Confidentiality – Consistency – Response – Complaints;

  1. Setting up a Social Media Policy – purpose – audience and format

– management;

  1. Case Studies

8.1 A study of a firm which utilises 13 different social media tools;

8.2 A study of a firm whose target client group are avid users of social media;

8.3 A study of a firm which is the subject of criticism on social media.

To view this practice note in full see




The first fine issued by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in the UK under the GDPR which came into effect on the 25th May 2018 was issued to a London based pharmacy for failing to ensure the security of special category data.

Doorstep Dispensaree Limited was fined the sum of £275,000 due to the fact it left approximately 500,000 documents, containing names, addresses, dates of birth, NHS numbers, medical information and prescriptions, in unlocked containers at the back of its premises which in turn ended up water damaged due to the documents not being adequately protected against the elements.

The pharmacy was deemed to have infringed the GDPR by failing to process data in a manner that ensured appropriate security against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction and damage.

To read this report in full see




The IT Governance website has produced a list of data breaches and cyber-attacks in November 2019 and have stated there has been 1.34 billion records breached in 87 incidents.

To view the list see

One data breach included in the list relates to a Dublin-based company – Liver Wellness – which conducts liver scanning procedures – patients of the company have been informed of a significant breach affecting the company’s email system.  In short someone hacked and took over the company’s email address and then sent out fake emails, resulting in some patients receiving emails thinking they were in fact from the company looking for specific personal data off them.  The matter was reported to the Data Protection Commission and the notification is currently been investigated by them.

To view the RTE news report relating to this incident see



The Minister for Justice and Equality signed the necessary commencement order to commence Chapter 3 of Part 8 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 “Limited Liability Partnerships” on the 7th October 2019.

The LSRA website contains an eight-page LLP Information Booklet for Legal Practitioners and discusses Limited Liability Partnerships under the following headings: –

  1. General Information;
  2. The Authorisation Process;
  3. The register of Limited Liability Partnerships;
  4. Amending an LLP’s details on the register;
  5. Ceasing to operate as an LLP.

To view this information booklet for Legal Practitioners see

LLP’s are also discussed in the December edition of the Gazette in an article written by Liam Kennedy titled “Slow Train Coming”, to read this article see



It is noted on the CRO website that 160,000 companies that is 70% of the total number of companies and 450 industrial and provident societies that is 47% of the total number of industrial and provident societies had registered their beneficial ownership details with the RBO.


The CRO also stated over 150,000 submissions have been made in recent weeks and it make take several weeks to process same.


To view this statement in full see