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24 Nov 2016

Governance: Can you have too much of a good thing?



In July 2016, Governance Institute of Australia partnered with LexisNexis to conduct a survey of Institute members to capture their views on how governance is perceived in their organisations.

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01 Nov 2016

How soon do you need to communicate after a crisis?



I was working with an executive team on a crisis scenario, when one of the leaders asked a question about crisis communication: “How soon do we need to communicate? Five minutes, 10 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day?” He was looking for a precise number to evaluate a few past incidents that were top-of-mind for everyone in the room.

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24 Oct 2016

Spoiler Alert: Copyright Law and Online Spoiler Culture



The dramatic cliff-hanger that capped off the sixth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead has viewers of the highest rating show on US television clamouring to find out what happens next.1 After a user of the popular web forum The Spoiling Dead Fans promised that they knew the answer, AMC issued a cease and desist letter threatening an action for copyright infringement.

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12 Oct 2016

Smart Law: 2016 LexisNexis Roadshow Report



Technology has been a disrupting force in many industries for years now. To date, the practice of law has been relatively slow to embrace these changes, due to entrenched workplace cultures dictating how things are done and an inherent tendency for the profession to be risk averse. Despite this resistance, technology-driven change has arrived.

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04 Aug 2016

How jam can reinvent the future of law



The Legal Service Design Jam generated inspiration and innovation in Sydney on 27 July 2016 as part of the Janders Dean legal transformation conference.

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04 Aug 2016

Report 1 Process blog article



In the legal industry, there is a critical gap between the client’s idea of great service and the lawyer’s idea of great service. Deep customer understanding takes many years of engagement to achieve and even then, happens only rarely.

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04 Aug 2016

Report 2 People blog article



The group came together to discuss the key issues in relation to ‘people’ in the legal industry and put oars in the hands of industry leaders. The Legal Service Jam participants were a diverse collection of lawyers, non-legal roles and management from large, mid and in-house organisations.

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04 Aug 2016

Report 3 Technology blog article



In July 2016, the first Legal Service Design Jam in Australia was held in conjunction with the Janders Dean Legal Horizons Conference at Pier One on the remarkable Sydney Harbour.

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17 June 2016

How I learned to stop building faster horse carriages and love disruption {Whitepaper}



Innovation is no longer on the list solely for start-ups but has become a strategic goal for senior leadership of small, medium and large sized organisations. However, professional service organisations, and in particular those in the legal industry, are struggling to match other industries in their stride.

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25 May 2016

Proposed changes to Australia’s Intellectual Property arrangements



If Australia’s so called ‘ideas boom’ is to truly take off, we will need intellectual property laws that foster innovation and creativity. Whether strengthening or weakening intellectual property rights is the way to achieve this is a contentious issue that has been brought to the forefront over the past month.

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20 May 2016

Looking at the Future of Legal Services



Recently, a prominent thought leader on the direction and future of legal services visited Australia. This sparked a wave of social media comments on whether a ‘lawyer’ of the future may be something other than human, and whether some key legal tasks in the domain of the legal profession may be done by artificial intelligence or the like. What prompted this discussion was a series of seminars by Professor Richard Susskind on the ‘Future of Legal Services’. I attended the focus session attended by in house corporate lawyers across Australia.

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14 May 2016

Establishing a corporate governance framework (infographic)



Seek to ensure that your company adopts the spirit of the corporate governance framework.

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5 May 2016

Does the Annual General Meeting (AGM) need to become an eAGM?



The annual general meeting (AGM) has long been the forum where shareholders and directors have the opportunity to interact. It is a two-way communication forum which facilitates the exchange of information, the examination of profit and performance-related issues and enables shareholders to ask questions of the board about company performance and stewardship.

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1 May 2016

The Independent Directors' Dilemma



There was a time in the not too distant past when it was generally accepted that directors of corporate boards constituted a closed network. As a consequence, the role of directors and their accountabilities seemed shrouded in mystery – a mystery that few people outside of the directors’ circle were interested in solving.

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14 Apr 2016

Privacy and Social Media



Organisations in Australia and overseas are recognising the benefits of using social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to promote their goods and services, and to effectively engage more with their customers and strategic partners.

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23 Nov 2015

Law Graduates Churned Out At Risk of Extortion while Indifferent Profession Yawns



According to a mainstream newspaper, an entrepreneurial South Australian law firm has developed what they believe to be a market worthy business model under which law graduates would be charged $22,000 for the privilege of working for the firm as articled clerks. The inventiveness of the law firm does not end there. Not only would articled clerks pay for their employment but in order to receive any remuneration at all, they would have to bring fee-earning clients into the firm and hopefully earn commission on fees paid by said clients. In summary, the firm would in essence compete with accredited practical legal training providers, such as the Leo Cussen Institute and The College of Law, while at the same time gaining free labour and new clients too.

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28 Oct 2015

Download Innovation Inertia: 2015 LexisNexis Roadshow Report



We explore how the Australian legal landscape is responding to disruptive trends in client expectations, emerging technology and organisational culture through strategic innovation.

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29 Sep 2015

Revenge porn makes new law



Australian courts and Australian parliaments appear equally reluctant to create a generalized tort of invasion of privacy in Australia. This is despite the increasing use of social media, including Facebook, which has created new ways for an individual's privacy to be invaded.

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27 Sep 2015

Exploit domain names at your own risk: interlocutory relief may be available



Protection of domain names is of utmost importance to companies that rely heavily on their online presence to develop their brand and obtain revenue. One such company is Thomas International Limited (TIL), a global provider of psychological and competency testing operating substantially online, with a centralised hub in the UK accessible to TIL's distributors and customers.

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05 Sep 2015

The latest superannuation insurance changes



There have been a number of changes to the way in which insurance can be held within a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Broadly, these changes limit the types of policy that can be held by SMSF trustees, but there is also a broadening of the rules relating to terminal medical conditions.

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30 Aug 2015

Film directors' copyright -- fair remuneration for all



In a world where most of us rightfully expect that creators are rewarded with intellectual property rights in their unique creations, whether they be books, music, film or games, it is hard to believe that some in the chain of creativity get the short end of the stick. Yet this is exactly the situation for Australian directors; in contrast to their European counterparts they have no genuine claim to copyright in the films that they create.

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30 Aug 2015

Online testimonials, product reviews, endorsements -- managing the risk of false and misleading claims



Word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell a product or service. Many consumers rely on reviews for information about goods and services to assist in purchasing. A glowing testimonial or endorsement can have a strong influence on a consumer's decision to purchase a product or service. In the online environment, testimonials, reviews or endorsements may appear on a business' own website, in social media or on a review platform.

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28 Aug 2015

Apps for children -- advertising space in sheep's clothing?



In corollary to the growth in children's access to the internet and touchscreen tablet computers and smartphones, demand for the development of child-friendly application software, commonly known as "Apps", has surged. According to leading market research company Nielsen in their 2014 Australian Online Landscape Review, three out of five Australian households with primary school age children own a tablet computer and have an internet connected television in the home.

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25 Aug 2015

Net neutrality and Netflix



Very shortly after the US Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision early this year to pass new net neutrality regulation in the US, it emerged that one of the most prominent supporters of net neutrality, Netflix, was signing up to agreements in Australia that arguably violate the principle of net neutrality.

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17 Aug 2015

Big data, metadata and personal data -- how does the Privacy Act regulate metadata?



Following amendments to the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) in 2014 to strengthen privacy protection and give the Privacy Commissioner power to impose significant penalties for interferences with privacy, the federal government introduced and passed the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 (Cth).

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02 Aug 2015

Will streaming services end piracy?



In April, an article on news.com.au noted that Australians were pirating HBO's Game of Thrones more than any other country in the world on a per capita basis. However, this is not a moniker of which Australians should be proud. Digital piracy is tantamount to stealing and does real damage to Australia's content creation industries. A study in 2011 revealed that movie piracy cost the Australian economy more than $1.3 billion in revenue in just 12 months.

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23 Jul 2015

Gifting as an estate planning technique



The fast growing trend of "gifting" as an estate planning strategy can be a win-win for clients and beneficiaries, but it's fraught with pitfalls for the unwary and is something not to be taken lightly.

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20 Jul 2015

Damages for breach of confidence in a social media context



Mr Ferguson posted explicit videos and images of his former partner Ms Wilson on his Facebook page. During their relationship, the couple had shared explicit images with each other via text message. Mr Ferguson also used Ms Wilson's phone, without her consent, and emailed himself a number of explicit videos. Upon realising this, Ms Wilson requested and Mr Ferguson agreed not to share the explicit videos or photos. Ms Wilson also testified that she had told Mr Ferguson not to share any of the images or videos with anyone.

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15 Jul 2015

So tell me, what exactly is the ATO's role in SMSFs?



In 1999 the regulation of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) was moved from the Superannuation and Insurance Commission (subsequently Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)) to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and at that time, it was suggested that the ATO got that job because SMSFs were seen to be just tax play vehicles, not serious retirement funding vehicles.

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05 Jul 2015

Critical prerequisites of legal search technology for banking and finance lawyers



While the advent of information brokers has seen the legal sector sourcing company, director and securities information from a single platform (rather than from a variety of authorities directly), practitioners and support staff still find themselves devoting a significant amount of time to conducting and compiling individual searches and analysing this data.

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02 Jul 2015

Dispute resolution clauses: approach with care



It is common for contracts to contain dispute resolution clauses. It is just as common for these clauses to be given little consideration during the drafting phase -- with potentially costly consequences.

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29 Jun 2015

Airbnb and Uber: the need for social sharing sites to gain trust through privacy compliance



The privacy of our personal information has, in many respects, become a commodity to be traded for goods and services: if you receive goods or services for free, it is likely that it is you (or your personal information) that is the product. But, as social sharing companies like Airbnb and Uber have discovered, as individuals become more privacy-aware, they are increasingly reluctant to hand-over personal information, unless they trust that their personal information will be protected and properly handled. A strong privacy compliance program and corporate culture of valuing privacy go a long way to gaining and maintaining user trust.

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27 Jun 2015

Product liability insurance implications of 3D printing



The emergence of 3D printing has been described as paving the way for a third industrial revolution. The technology enables small businesses and even individual consumers to make products that previously could only be built by large manufacturers. We consider some of the implications of this new technology for insurers, particularly in the realm of product liability.

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30 May 2015

Assessing cyber security risks and the role of cyber insurance



Most people associate "cyber breaches" with criminal hacking, political "hacktivism" or sovereign state espionage. These types of cyber breach events are newsworthy, seem to happen overseas more often than not and attract broad media attention. They seem quite removed from the world of the average client's business in Australia.

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29 May 2015

What Foot-and-mouth can teach us about cybersecurity



The threat of a digital computer virus is a world apart from the ravages of Foot-and-mouth disease. Or is it? In a 1966 negligence case, the Foot-and-mouth virus escaped from a UK research institute and infected neighbouring cattle. The institute was found to owe a duty of care to the affected farmers.

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25 May 2015

Managing copyright in the online world



The digitisation of content and its availability online is making it easier than ever to copy, screenshot, share, reproduce and modify copyright works and subject matter. The ability to search for and access such a wide range of content so quickly and easily had led to misconceptions about what can and cannot be done with such content -- many people think that simply because it is publicly available, there is a licence for them to do with it what they want.

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29 Apr 2015

Managing the use of social media in the workplace



The rise of social media platforms creates serious challenges for employers. Inappropriate social media use by employees may cause detriment to the employer's reputation or business interests. This article discusses recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) decisions concerning employees' use of social media, focusing on examples of unacceptable social media conduct. This article provides practical tips for employers on how to manage social media issues in the workplace, including implementing and enforcing a social media policy.

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20 Apr 2015

Tell me your location! Geo-tagging on the rise



In 2014, global beer brand Heineken launched its Twitter-based service which helps consumers explore new experiences in their cities. The service aggregates real-time, location-based social activity and uses it to show where proximate hot locations are for "urbanites" to visit. To use the service, a user posts a geo-tagged tweet to @wherenext to receive recommendations for trending restaurants, events or clubs in their area. The recommendations are generated by a unique algorithm.

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30 Mar 2015

When can government agencies disclose personal information without consultation or consent?



This article deals with the limits of the obligations surrounding consultation and consent when a government agency intends to disclose personal information. The issue commonly arises in the context of FOI applications, where the requested material includes personal information concerning a third party.

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19 Feb 2015

Three tips for banking lawyers to avoid the stormy cloud



In 1999 the regulation of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) was moved from the Superannuation and Insurance Commission (subsequently Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)) to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and at that time, it was suggested that the ATO got that job because SMSFs were seen to be just tax play vehicles, not serious retirement funding vehicles.

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