Monday, April 25, 2011

Report from Last Week's Risk Roundtable Meetings

Last week, Risk Roundtable sessions were held in Washington, DC and New York. Many thanks to
McKenna Long & Aldridge and Dewey & LeBoeuf for hosting. Brian Lynch, chair of the Risk Roundtable Compliance Consortium, delivered a presentation updating attendees on current risk issues and trends, and moderated group discussion. He kindly sent an update summarizing some of the group discussions at each event:
  • Dan -- I'm pleased to report back to the Law Firm Risk Management blog that we recently held two educational and animated Risk Roundtable sessions in Washington, D.C., and New York. Our sessions included attendees included a diverse group comprising General Counsel, CIOs, Conflicts Directors and other risk staff. Information risk management issues seems to be top-of-mind as firms sort through fallout from recent insider trading stories and client concerns about WikiLeaks.
  • In Washington, DC, we discussed risk trends with a special focus on Outside Counsel Guidelines, a phenomenon that is consistently adding substantial negotiation time and effort to the intake of new clients. We also spent a good portion of our time talking about the special privacy requirements of DoD contractors (as clients) and the challenges that ITAR presents. "You don't want to learn about ITAR penalties through first-hand experience," warned one of our attendees. Another attendee explained the economics of cybercrime: "Currently the cybercrime industry's 'income' far outpaces the money spent on fighting cybercrime." Symantec estimates cybercrime to be an $8 billion industry. We spoke a bit about law firms being attractive targets and investment and response strategies available to firms.
  • In New York, concerns focused more on insider trading, especially with the recent high-profile cases affecting NY firms, i.e. Arista v. Lime and Matthew Kluger's alleged insider trading odyssey. As one participant asked, "can someone just provide us a best practice for protecting our firms against insider trading?" The delicate balance continues between securing information effectively and providing easy access for working lawyers. Outside Counsel Guidelines ("OCGs") also commands substantial mindshare, along with the hypothesis that consultants are driving this trend. Aggressive confidentiality management requirements have migrated from RFPs to OCGs to consultant-led OCG negotiations. One attendee theorized that this was a cycle and that "the pendulum is swinging in one direction but will eventually swing back to reasonableness." With the proliferation of confidentiality requirements, it's no wonder that we're all feeling a bit like we're chasing a moving target.
Upcoming Risk Roundtable sessions are currently scheduled for Houston and Toronto. For more information, please visit: or email info@riskroundtable.

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