Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 Law Firm Risk Survey Report Now Available

The 2010 Law Firm Risk Survey report is now available (North American edition). Survey participants and members receiving risk bulletin updates via the Risk Roundtable Initiative, can expect to receive copies shortly. Other parties interested in the report may contact for more information

The Law Firm Risk Survey focuses on firm risk management policies, practices and priorities. It examines specific issues including new business intake, attorney lateral hiring and departures, ethical walls management, confidentiality enforcement, internal education, and compliance tracking and verification. The published survey report provides quantitative summaries of overall group response data, as well as samplings of individual responses to questions seeking free-form comments.

Selection of Key Findings of the Survey Report:
  • Top law firm risk concerns include business intake, records management and confidentiality protection.
  • Clients continue to raise concerns about the steps firms take to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive business information.
  • Nearly 90% of firms have been asked by clients to restrict and track internal firm access to sensitive information via ethical walls and other confidentiality controls.
  • 70% of firms report taking on matters subject to confidentiality controls mandated by external regulations; firms identified the HITECH Act for personal health information, and state and international personal data privacy laws as regulations of greatest concern.
  • Nearly half of all firms have been audited or received requests for proof of compliance from a client or external agency.
  • In response to an expanding set of risk management challenges, organizations are increasing the number of internal stakeholders tasked with risk response and compliance.
  • Supporting this trend, more firms have designated formal budgets earmarked for risk management.
A similar exercise is underway in the UK, with a report expected early 2011.

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