JANUARY 2022 – ARTICLES & ITEMS OF INTEREST
The Institute of Legal Research & Standards
JANUARY 2022 – ARTICLES & ITEMS OF INTEREST
2022 CPD CYCLE
On the 17 January 2022 the Law Society of Ireland issued a note on the 2022 CPD Cycle.
As you are aware the current Continuing Professional Development (‘CPD’) provisions require solicitors to undertake 20 hours of CPD each year, no more than 50% of which may be undertaken online. For the 2020 and 2021 CPD cycles, in response to the pandemic, the Education Committee issued a derogation from this requirement, enabling the entire 20 hours to be completed online.
The note states “Given that we are at the beginning of the year, we do not know what shape 2022 is going to take from a public health perspective. The question of a derogation for 2022 will be considered in the spring when hopefully the national direction of travel in respect of the pandemic is clearer. In the interim, it should not need saying that no solicitor should consider offering or undertaking CPD in a manner that would not be in compliance with public health guidance.”
To view this note in full see https://www.lawsociety.ie/News/News/Stories/continuing-professional-development-cpd-scheme#.Yfal–rP3IU
CYBER MATTERS & ANOTHER IRISH CASE OF SOLCITOR CYBERCRIME – AGAIN SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF STAFF TRAINING RE TRANSFERRING FUNDS
On the 13 January O’Leary Insurances issued its quarterly Cyber Matters Newsletter.
In the newsletter there is a link to a one hour webinar titled “Cyber Security – What are we doing”. Items covered in the webinar include:
- Overview of cyber-attack trends from the Gardaí, including Spear Phishing and invoice redirect fraud. Also a useful tip on restricting what is put on company websites! (11:12)
- The importance of assessing inventory and security patches (29:45), logging and monitoring (33:17)
- How cyber-attacks are just a numbers game for criminals —they don’t discriminate (34:30)
The newsletter also discusses Mandatory Ransomware reporting, What a small business needs to know when it comes to cyber security and taking a Zero Trust Approach.
It refers to real life Irish case studies:-
One related to Estate Agent – Cybercrime – an employee who unknowingly clicked a malicious link on an email. This gave system access to cyber criminals. They manipulated emails and were able to convince the parties to transfer a house deposit to their account. A ‘Zero Trust’ approach to Cyber Security may have helped here
And another related to Solicitor – Cybercrime – The firm was asked to transfer sterling funds to the UK from a legitimate looking, yet ultimately fraudulent, email. There was no background to the request, yet the transfer was authorised by a staff member. This implies that staff training either did not happen or was not regularly reinforced. The request was for two large six-figure amounts —one of the transfers was eventually recovered.
To view this newsletter in full see https://www.olearyinsurances.ie/contentFiles/newsFiles/Q1_2022_Cyber_Matters_Newsletter.pdf
RIGHT TO REQUEST REMOTE WORK BILL 2021
As many public health restrictions are lifted and with media reporting many employees preference to work from home, a 29 page Draft Scheme of the Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2022 was published by the government on the 25 January.
It states the long title as “An Act to provide employees with a statutory right to make, or to have made on their behalf, a request for Remote Working, to require an employer to deal with a request as soon as possible but not later than 12 weeks after receiving it, to provide that an employer may refuse a request if it cannot be accommodated on reasonable grounds, to place a requirement on employers to maintain a policy on remote work which can be inspected by employees and the Workplace Relations Commission, to provide for reference of the matter to the Workplace Relations Commission if an employer does not deal with a request in accordance with the process specified in this Part, and to provide for related matters.”
To view the draft scheme in full see https://www.gov.ie/ga/foilsiuchan/64d83-right-to-request-remote-work-bill-2021/
THE TRANSITIONAL PROTOCOL: GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE FOR CONTINUING TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
On 21 January Government announced the easing of restrictive measures, with a continued strong focus on personal protective behaviours based on individual and sectoral risk assessments over the coming period.
On the 31 January “The Transitional Protocol: Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19”, was published, which is a revision of the Work Safely Protocol and reflects the lessons learned to date and places a greater emphasis on guidance and best practice to support the safe return to physical attendance in the workplace.
This guidance is a general document applicable to all sectors. It is not designed to prohibit the introduction of specific measures in particular sectors or workplaces. On foot of the latest public health and Government advice and this guidance document, all businesses and sectors who have specific guidance should review and update their own guidance in line with the advice contained herein. It should also be noted that employers, in consultation with their workers, may also consider maintaining some of the practices that were introduced of the Work Safely Protocol, as last published on 14 January 2022.
To view this transitional protocol see https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/Publications/Transitional-Protocol-COVID-19.html
HOW TO MITIGATE YOUR FIRM’S MONEY LAUNDERING RISK
On the Law Society of England and Wales website, Rebecca Atkinson examines the steps that solicitors and law firms can take to mitigate money laundering risks once they have been assessed.
She sets out some possible risks that a firm may have identified under the following headings and suggests on how these could be mitigated;
- Client Risk
- Countries & Geographical Areas the firm operates or receives funds from
- Delivery of Services
- The Firm’s people.
To view this article see https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/blogs/how-to-mitigate-aml-risk
LONDON FIRM FINED £232,500 FOR SEVERAL AML BREACHES
On the 6 January the Law Society of Ireland media reported on a London firm Mishcon de Reya that was required to pay £232,500 because of several breaches of money-laundering rules. Its breaches included inadequate customer due diligence, misplaced documents, inadequate AML training and funds improperly transferred.
To view this article in full see https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/2021/12-december/missing-hard-copy-file-on-due-diligence-costs-firm-232500
BULLYING, HARASSMENT & SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION
In the winter edition of the Parchment Diego Gallagher highlights the findings of the recent Law Society survey following on from a previous survey carried out by the International Bar Association and calls for the profession to act now.
The Law Society released its Dignity Matters survey relating to bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the solicitors profession.
1,655 solicitors responded. The survey found 1 in every 2.9 females and 1 in every 2.3 males who responded had experienced bullying. It found that 1 in every 2.3 females and 1 in every 8.6 males who responded had experienced harassment. It found half of the female respondents and 1 in 8.3 male respondents who responded had experienced sexual harassment.
Other key findings;
- 73% did not report their experience of bullying,
- 71% did not report their experience of harassment,
- 91% did not report their experience of sexual harassment,
- Prominent reason for not reporting was profile or status of the person who engaged in these behaviours,
- Insofar as respondents are aware reporting did not result in any sanctions for the person who engaged in 88% of the bullying incidences, 89% of harassment incidence and 78% of sexual harassment incidences,
- The experience of bullying (46%), harassment (50%) and sexual harassment (21%) contributed to respondents leaving their workplaces.
The survey makes 10 recommendations:
- Raise awareness and normalise the Conversation,
- Implement and revise policies and standards,
- Introduce regular and customised training,
- Increase dialogue and best practice sharing,
- Take ownership,
- Gather data and improve transparency,
- Explore flexible reporting models,
- Engage with younger members of the profession,
- Appreciate the wider context,
- Maintain momentum.
One recommendation made is that mandatory CPD (one hour compulsory) around bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and safe working environment be introduced.
The above is a brief synopsis of the article to view this article in full see https://issuu.com/256media/docs/parchment_winter_2021-flipbook?fr=sNDI2MTQxOTYxNTc