Law firms at increasing risk from state hackers

by Steve Randall21 Jul 2018

Law firms are facing increased risk of cyber attack from “nation state actors and the hacktivist community” according to a new report.

The warning comes from the UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of its security service.

The report was compiled with assistance from the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority and says that while financial gain is still the most prevalent motive for cyber attacks on law firms, nation states are likely to play an increasing role in attacks to gain strategic and economic advantage.

“Like all businesses, law firms are increasingly reliant on IT and technology and are falling victim to a range of malicious cyber activity. Losing access to this technology, having funds stolen or suffering a data breach through a cyber attack can be devastating, both financially and reputationally, not only for the firm but also their clients,” said Ciaran Martin, CEO of the NCSC.

The report says law firm are an attractive target due to their handling of sensitive client information, financial details, and are key enablers of business transactions.

G+T helps secure win in BASF patent case
Gilbert + Tobin partner John Lee has led a patent litigation case for German chemical firm BASF dating back several years.

The case involved BASF’s patents for Rheomax, a technology for treatment of mine tailings. The Federal Court found that the patent, which expired in 2012, was valid and infringed by competitor SNF.

SNF agreed to pay BASF a total of A$3.753 million in respect of its infringements and legal costs. The parties continue to be in dispute regarding SNF’s oppositions to the grant of BASF’s related standard patents

No time limit on barrister complaints
Current rules meaning complaints against barristers in England & Wales must be filed within a year of the alleged incident are to be scrapped.

The Bar Standards Board voted last week to allow complaints at any time despite concerns of some members that as witness memory will be weaker as time goes by, barristers may be disadvantaged.

The Law Society Gazette says that the BSB board will review the situation in 18 months to determine whether a time limit should be reintroduced.