Law Society Responds to Cloud Storage, Security Risks for Law Firms

The Law Society of England and Wales published a practice note on cloud computing in law firms. Here's a closer look at exactly what the Law Society said about cloud storage and security risks.

Dan Kobialka, Contributing writer

April 10, 2014

2 Min Read
BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman
BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman

The Law Society of England and Wales, an independent group that promotes professional standards and the rule of law, has released a practice note on cloud computing services in law firms. This group is advising law firms to ensure their cloud services have been subjected to a full risk and compliance analysis before they start using them.

“While cloud computing has a number of advantages for businesses, such as reducing costs and increasing storage, it carries risk which firms must consider when engaging with a third party to handle sensitive information,” Dr. Sam De Silva, Chair of the Law Society’s Technology and Law Reference Group, said in a prepared statement.

In addition to the risks and benefits of cloud computing, the practice note covers:

  • Lawful access to data by foreign law enforcement or intelligence agencies

  • Service levels and the right to sue the cloud provider for damages or terminate the contract

  • Inadvertent breaches of the cloud provider’s “acceptable use policy” where defamatory material needs to be stored on the cloud if a law firm is acting for a client defending a defamation claim

The practice note is aimed at all solicitors, practice managers or law firm IT staff that are using or planning to use cloud services. The complete practice note is available here.

So how do law firms across the globe manage cloud storage and security risks? In March 2013, trade group Business Software Alliance (BSA): The Software Alliance found that the overall global cloud policy landscape was improving. The 2013 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard revealed that Japan, Australia, the U.S. and Europe were leading the way in global cloud policy.

“We’re seeing patchy progress in the policy landscape for cloud computing,” Robert Holleyman, BSA’s President and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Mismatched privacy and security rules are making it hard for data to flow across borders. Too many countries are chopping off pieces of the cloud for themselves. This undercuts economies of scale that can benefit everyone. To have a cohesive global marketplace, we need more bridges and fewer barriers.”

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About the Author(s)

Dan Kobialka

Contributing writer, Penton Technology

Dan Kobialka is a contributing writer for MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. In the past, he has produced content for numerous print and online publications, including the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald and Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). In his free time, Kobialka enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football (Go Patriots!).  

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