Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Report from Chicago Risk Roundtable

Yesterday, we held another Risk Roundtable session in Chicago. Many thanks to Foley & Lardner for hosting. Brian Lynch, IntApp Risk Practice Group Director, moderated discussions and sends this timely summary:
  • Dan -- I'm pleased to report back on a very productive Risk Roundtable session in Chicago, where we had a chance to discuss risk trends affecting US firms.
  • As we've done in our other meetings this month, we focused on reviewing the findings of the recently-published Risk Roundtable surveys, comparing and contrasting US results with UK findings.
  • The first hour we discussed Information Risk, one of top cited concerns.  The second hour we dedicated to Conflicts and "Bad" Clients. It feels like we could explore these topics for days, but we had a good and productive discussion during the time we had, and participants shared some interesting perspectives. 
  • Client demands have driven information risk to the forefront, whether through Requests For Proposal ("RFPs"), Outside Counsel Guidelines, or security audits. All three are on the rise, and firms are finding different methods to standardize their approaches and prepare effectively. Clients have become more aggressive in their demands, and this trend appears to be increasing with a recent study from Lexis Nexis finding large law firms responding to more than 21 RFPs per month.
  • The parallel challenge is bringing in the right kind of client, with a due diligence process that ranges from ethical conflicts, to business conflicts, to industry alignment. This is not an easy assessment, and firms spend a significant amount of time tapping into institutional knowledge to ensure that they aren’t tripping on less obvious conflict situations. IP work has proven to generate complicated situations, and some firms have opted out of patent prosecution work altogether to avoid conflicts that are not always easy to discern.
  • Thanks again to our host, Foley & Lardner, for hosting an excellent forum.

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