31 March 2015

Four judges, one football club, and pornography in the workplace

What links four judges and one football club employee? The clue is, of course, above – they have both been in the news recently in connection with the viewing of pornography in the workplace.

The BBC reported earlier this month that three judges had been removed from office after they were found to have viewed pornography using their official IT accounts. A fourth judge resigned pending the outcome of the investigation. There was no suggestion that the pornography being viewed by the judges was illegal in nature, but their conduct in accessing the material via official judicial accounts was found to be inappropriate.

30 March 2015

Google on the rack for Do Not Track

Google has suffered a double whammy at the hands of the Court of Appeal in a judgment with potentially far-reaching implications for the UK's data protection and privacy landscape.

The case concerned Google's controversial use of code in the period between summer 2011 and February 2012 which had the effect of bypassing the privacy settings of Apple's Safari browser.  

23 March 2015

A new elephant in the room?

There’s been considerable furore about technology and legal process outsourcing (LPO) in the legal services market in recent years and rightly so.

In 1988, William C. Cobb (of the acclaimed Value Curve) estimated around 60% of legal work is at the commodity end, i.e. bought on price. Even assuming this percentage hasn’t increased in the intervening 25-plus years (unlikely), technology and LPO are set to make a material dent in a global legal market now estimated to be worth around £500billion.

18 March 2015

A fracas in the workplace – more common than you might expect

Petrolheads hoping to tune in to Top Gear at the weekend were left disappointed. As has been widely reported, the remaining shows in the current series have been pulled from the schedules after Jeremy Clarkson was suspended following an alleged ‘fracas’ with a producer. It has been claimed that the fracas occurred after Clarkson was told by the producer that he could not order a steak from the hotel where he was staying because the hotel kitchen was closed.

17 March 2015

Can I get access to my software supplier's source code if they go bust?

It can be a problem. Your software supplier suddenly goes into administration and you are left with legacy software that you can neither support nor maintain because you do not have access to the source code.

The common solution to this is to require your supplier to enter into a so-called "escrow agreement" and to deposit the source code with a third-party agent such as NCC or Iron Mountain, who will release it to you on the occurrence of certain specified trigger events, typically including insolvency.

But, if you have the bargaining power, you can also try and negotiate additional protections in the software supply agreement itself.

11 March 2015

Outsourcings and TUPE - working out what happens to the employees

In outsourcings and insourcings, one of the key considerations is what happens to the employees currently providing the service.

Where activities are outsourced, transferred to a new supplier or insourced, this may, if certain conditions are met, constitute a Service Provision Change (SPC) for the purposes of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). If there is an SPC, the employees will transfer to the supplier/customer (as applicable) with their continuity of employment preserved and with the benefit of additional employment protections. All of this can have significant financial and practical consequences for the businesses involved.