January 2020 Newsletter

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January 2020 Newsletter

 

The Institute of Legal Research & Standards

 

 

JANUARY 2020 – ARTICLES & ITEMS OF INTEREST

 

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A DATA PROTECTION AUDIT?

In the winter edition of the Parchment, Aideen Shanley writes about how your organisation may find itself subject to a data protection audit by the Data Protection Commissioner in compliance with the GDPR and Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018 and she sets out the five practical steps to take to ensure you are prepared for same:-

  1. Review your Data Protection Policies and Procedures to ensure they are up to date and GDPR compliant – policies include Employee Handbook, File Retention policy etc;
  2. Provide staff training and awareness – records should be maintained;
  3. Know your Data – you need to be clear on what data you process, why and on what basis;
  4. Be ready – review policies, carry out a mock annual audit, can you deal with a breach within 72 hours, all potential security breaches need to be reviewed – open files on desks – unlocked electronic devices – notes left with passwords and third-party details on them. During the audit the Data Protection Commissioner will require evidence that the appropriate security requirements are in place and working properly.  Do you have a good reporting system in place?
  5. Is your Data Secure?

To read all these five practical steps in more detail see https://issuu.com/256media/docs/parchment_winter-flipbook?fr=sMWY1ZjE1MTY1NA

 

MENTAL WELLBEING RESOURCES FOR LAWYERS

The Law Society of Ireland announced on the 16th January the launch of mental wellbeing resources for lawyers.  The new interactive resource is called “Fit for Law”.   Lawyers can now measure their emotional competence with this new online resource.

To view this in greater detail see https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/mental-wellbeing-resource-for-lawyers-launches-today/

 

 

PROTECTING CLIENT FUNDS AGAINST A CYBER ATTACK

In the Winter Edition of the Parchment Niall Cawley discusses the risks of a cyber attack and how best to protect your firm.

 

He states, “Client funds have become an increasingly interesting and attractive target for the criminal fraternity.”  In the 2018/2019 Smith and Williamson Annual Survey of Irish Law Firms it was found 36% of Irish Law firms had been subject to a cyber-attack and when you move that up to the top 20 firm’s the amount of cyber-attacks on practices rises to 67%.

 

Niall Cawley discusses protecting client funds under three headings: –

  • Responses to Cyber Attacks – Cyber Insurance Policies – Solicitors Indemnity Insurance – How insurance policies are only good up to the limit covered by them.
  • Technical Cyber Defences – security software – keeping software up to date – avoid clicking through emails – being suspicious of emails -strong passwords – training etc. He refers to the hacking of hyper secure systems such as FBI and the Pentagon which shows even if you have the best systems and follow all the advises sooner or later you may suffer a cyber attack and the importance of looking at non-technical defences.
  • Non-Technical Defences
    • Use on-line banking that does not allow the transfer of funds to a third party and attendance at the bank is required to transfer funds to a third party.
    • Have the facility to transfer funds out of the jurisdiction disabled.
    • Have more than one client bank account and use different banks.
    • Use sub-accounts to deal with excess funds held in client account.
    • Be vigilant when you receive an email with bank account details in it.
    • Open separate probate accounts.

 

He again reiterates even where you have insurance that you often may have funds that exceed your insurance cover.

 

To read this article in full see https://issuu.com/256media/docs/parchment_winter-flipbook?fr=sMWY1ZjE1MTY1NA

 

FAKE FIRMS

The Law Society of Ireland stated on the 14th January 2020 that they do not authorise or regulate practices under the following names: –

 

  • Immigration Solicitors Dublin
  • Immigration Lawyer Cork

 

The Law Society states, “If you receive any correspondence from any entity that you are unsure of you should check the authenticity of the correspondence by contacting the practice directly reliable and established means such as the Law Society or Law Directory.”

 

To view on this information on the Law Society website see https://www.lawsociety.ie/News/News/Stories/fake-firms—immigration-solicitors-dublin–immigration-lawyer-cork/?filters=&location=&category=&area=#.XjFhxWj7RPY

 

 

GETTING IRELAND BUSINESS BREXIT READY – PRACTICAL STEPS GUIDE

As you are all now well aware the UK are leaving the European Union as of 31st January 2020 but with transitionary provisions in place until 31st December 2020.

The Government have published a guide titled “Getting Ireland Business Brexit Ready: Practical Steps Guide” setting out the nine practical steps to help businesses prepare for same.

To view the sixteen page guide see https://assets.gov.ie/27644/861310d435ea4b13aa055ab58721f0fb.pdf

 

CGT DEADLINE REMINDER

Capital Gains Tax is due on the 31 January 2020 for any assets sold, gifted or transferred between 1 December and 31 December 2019 or if capital payments were received in respect of such assets.

For further information see https://www.revenue.ie/en/gains-gifts-and-inheritance/transfering-an-asset/index.aspx