Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Risk Roundtable Roundup Report

In April, we kicked off our spring Risk Roundtable series with events in Philadelphia and Sydney. Many thanks to Blank Rome LLP and K&L Gates for hosting. The events featured presentations on the impact of globalization on law firm risk management from two diverse perspectives, with the Philadelphia seminar focusing on ambiguous guidelines for choice of law in an international setting and the Sydney seminar focusing on global conflicts clearance and firmwide compliance with client outside counsel guidelines. Kathryn Hume, who manages and moderates the Risk Roundtable Program, sends this update:
  • Dan, I'm pleased to report back successful Risk Roundtables in Philadelphia and Sydney. Blank Rome and K&L Gates generously agreed to host our group of risk managers and technology leaders. A special thanks to Larry Liss (CIO, Blank Rome), Rob Weaver (IT Security Manager, Blank Rome), and Dion Cusack (Corporate Services Manager, K&L Gates, Australia) for bringing together two strong groups of Risk and IT leaders.
  • Our Philadelphia session featured an extremely informative presentation by Laurel Terry, Legal Ethics Professor at Penn State Dickinson School of Law. Laurel described her efforts during the ABA 20/20 commission to modify the guidelines in Model Rule 8.5 regarding international choice of law so as to resolve ambiguities in international settings.
  • Her presentation launched a debate regarding whether it would be in the best interest of law firms, particularly those pursuing a Swiss Verein global business model, to actually support unified ethical rules across jurisdictions or whether it remains favorable to retain local differences. 
  • Our Sydney session featured a presentation by Murray Landis, partner in the Corporate/M&A practice and a risk management leader of K&L Gates, on the challenges firms face to comply with client outside counsel guidelines.
  • The group discussed fee and billing arrangements, business conflicts beyond legal conflicts requirements and information security guidelines. Of core interest for the group was the challenge of balancing knowledge management and information security, especially as firms move away from an open-by-default security model. Australian firms also described the challenges of resolving global conflicts requirements inherited from jurisdictions with stronger standards, in particular after mergers with US- or UK-based law firms. 
  • We ended both presentations with a demonstration of sample matter opening workflow using Intapp Open, our business process and conflicts management platform. Attendees were interested to learn more about the platform’s features for providing analytics into conflicts trends and resolutions; providing flexibility to quickly modify workflow forms and questions to satisfy emerging regulatory needs; and providing lawyers and staff simple and intuitive mobile device interfaces to improve performance in fast-paced, global marketplace.
Kathryn continues her world risk tour over the next three weeks, with events in Boston, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Toronto, Tampa and Orlando. For more information, please see event descriptions and contact: info@riskroundtable.com

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