COVID-19 fails to derail Australia’s small law sector, survey finds.
COVID-19 has impacted the Australian small law sector “more positively than negatively” in terms of business revenue, according to the State of Small Law Australia Survey conducted by cloud-based legal practice management software Smokeball.
Among the 134 small law firms surveyed across Australia, 57% enjoyed revenue growth over the past year. According to the respondents, the adoption of technology was the main factor with respect to a positive impact on revenue (92%), followed by the heightened appetite for purchasing property (69.5%), remote staff management (64%) and workload (61.6%). Read More.
Federal Court rules Google misled consumers on location data collection and use.
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is claiming a world-first after the Federal Court found Google guilty of misleading consumers about how personal location data collected across Android devices was captured and used.
The findings released come more than 18 months after the regulatory watchdog kicked off proceedings against the search engine giant, alleging misleading and false representation around consumer data from at least January 2017. The case related to location data collected and used when Google Account settings were enabled or disabled via Android mobile devices. Read More.
Gartner Says Millennials and Gen Z Customers Prefer Third-Party Customer Service Channels.
Customer service and support leaders should take note of how this trend contributes to customer loyalty. Younger generations are more likely to start their self-serve journeys outside company-owned channels, according to Gartner, Inc. In fact, 52% of millennials and 44% of Gen Z customers have as much confidence in non-company guidance as in customer service guidance.
A Gartner survey of more than 4,500 customers conducted in December 2020 revealed that most millennials (62%) and Gen Z customers (75%) report they would use non-company guidance (such as a subreddit, Google search or YouTube video) to self-resolve their issues either all or most of the time, even when they have the option of contacting customer service. Read More.
Online terrorist content law wins EU lawmakers’ backing amid rights concerns.
A proposed EU law that forces Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Twitter (TWTR.N) to remove terrorist content within an hour of publication cleared its final hurdle after EU lawmakers gave their backing despite concerns from civil rights groups.
The European Commission had proposed the law in 2018, worried about the role of such content after a series of attacks by radicalised lone-wolf attackers in several European cities.
The EU executive defines online terrorist content as material inciting terrorism or aimed at recruiting or training terrorists as well as material that provides guidance on how to make and use explosives and firearms for terrorist purposes. Read More.
In-house lawyers ‘failing to manage regulatory, business risks’
Fewer than a third of in-house lawyers are confident in their teams’ ability to manage risks faced by companies, as worsening workloads and tightening budgets force them to scramble to “keep their heads above the parapet”.
Just 28 per cent of Asia-Pacific general counsel had faith in their department’s ability to deal with risks around privacy, legal and regulatory changes, according to the latest EY Law Survey. Read More.
Will law firms resemble hedge funds in the future?
Leaders in law are having to re-examine what their businesses look like, and the advent and uptake of new technologies may give rise to business models that look vastly different to traditional practices.
A few years ago, PwC director of NewLaw and UNSW Law adjunct associate professor Peter Dombkins asked, “Is the natural point of a law firm, or an in-house law department, to basically operate like a hedge fund”?
Repeating the anecdote on The Lawyers Weekly Show, Mr Dombkins – who appeared with his colleague, PwC manager of NewLaw Alex Rosenrauch – explained that a hedge fund-inspired model would see law firms constitute “a small group of experts surrounded by tech, maybe with a bunch of business analysts who interpret data and manage systems”. Read more.
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