New Member – Dr. Tobias Stammberger joins as the IP Law Expert in Germany

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Dr. Tobias Stammberger as our exclusively recommended & endorsed IP Law expert in Germany.

Dr. Tobias Stammberger is a German Patent Attorney, a European Patent Attorney EPO/UPC and a European Trademark and Design Attorney EUIPO.

He gained a physics diploma with honors from Munich Technical University as well as a Maîtrise in physics from the University of Bordeaux, France. He completed his studies with a doctorate from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich with summa cum laude. His research work centered around nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and computer tomography, as well as image signal analysis and signal post processing. For his work, he received the GSF post-graduate prize. Dr. Stammberger is the author of several scientific publications and lectures.

Dr. Tobias Stammberger worked in the industry for a major multinational electrical engineering group before he turned to the protection of intellectual property by joining Samson & Partner in 2000.

Beside his prosecution practice, Dr. Tobias Stammberger focuses on the representation of clients in opposition and Appeal proceedings before the German and European Patent Office, and nullity proceedings before the German Federal Patent Court and the German Federal Supreme Court of Justice. He is regularly involved in litigation proceedings often in an intensive cross border context and multi-patent battle, both on the offensive and defensive side. Dr. Stammberger advises global players as well as mid-sized companies in the fields of information and communication technology including software and multimedia, medical technology, electronics, mechanics and auto motive.

Dr. Tobias Stammberger is the author of the textbook “German and European Patent Law” and is a visiting lecturer at Hagen Law School.

Dr. Tobias Stammberger has been recommended in MIP Handbook 2012 (“younger but very impressive, with a great success record”) and IP Stars Handbook 2013 (noted for “intelligence” and “depth of knowledge”), and in IAM 2014 (“a very talented attorney who justly deserves inclusion”).

New Member – Ewald Oberhammer joins as the Corporate Immigration Law Expert in Austria

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Ewald Oberhammer as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Corporate Immigration Law expert in Austria.

Ewald Oberhammer is admitted to the Austrian Bar Associations and specialises in corporate immigration matters.  Ewald Oberhammer and his team have been dealing with corporate immigration matters since 1999, and assist international and local Austrian companies in obtaining work permits, residence permits and working visas.  In addition, Ewald Oberhammer and his team assist clients in monitoring and maintaining their compliance with immigration laws and regulations. In the course of the compliance assistance, Ewald Oberhammer is leading the firm’s immigration litigation team which focuses on the defense of corporations and their directors against incompliance allegations raised by the Austrian authorities.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Corporate Migration
  • Corporate Law
  • Capital Markets and Takeover Law
  • Contract and Labour Law
  • Italian Law

Experience:

  • Law Degree, University of Innsbruck & Padua (Mag.iur., dott. 1998)
  • LL.M., University of Nottingham (LL.M., 2001)
  • Legal Clerkship, Innsbruck (1999)
  • Associate at a reputable law firm, South Tyrol (2000 – 2002)
  • Italian Bar exam (2003)
  • Austrian Bar exam (2004)
  • Associate at highly reputable Austrian law firms (2002 – 2006)
  • Attorney-at-Law and Partner at highly reputable Austrian law firms (2007 – 2014)
  • Founding Partner at Oberhammer Rechtsanwaelte GmbH (2014)

Languages:

  • German
  • English
  • Italian

Oberhammer Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Ewald Oberhammer founded the law firm in 2014 and has since been able to continuously expand his team of proven experts in the areas of corporate migration with a special focus on posting regulations, labour law, corporate law and capital markets law.

In the summer of 2019, the law firm opened a new office in Wels, expanding Oberhammer’s expertise in the areas of M&A, financing, restructuring, venture capital and real estate law.

Our experts work with passion and professional excellence on innovative solutions fit for our national and international clients’ needs. Our methods are efficient, we speak a clear language.

New Member – Dr. Tristan Wegner joins as the Customs Law Expert in Germany

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Dr. Tristan Wegner as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Customs Law expert in Germany.

Dr. Tristan Wegner has been working as a lawyer in international trade and transport law as well as agricultural trade issues since 2013. He is a specialist lawyer for transport and forwarding law. He has been the owner of the law firm since 2019. He has acquired in-depth knowledge in these areas at the shipping senate of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg and a chamber for commercial matters. Subsequently, he worked during his legal clerkship for a leading international law firm in customs and foreign trade law and customs investigation.

After the Second State Examination, he gained valuable practical experience in the field of maritime business in a large traditional German shipping company. Dr. Wegner completed his doctorate in London and Hamburg on the interfaces between sales and transport law. In particular, he dealt with the relations to the trade with agricultural commodities (GAFTA, FOSFA and Uniform Conditions in the German Grain Trade).

Dr. Wegner regularly publishes articles on international trade and is a member of the Hamburg Insurance Association, the German Initiative of Young Arbitrators (DIS40) and the European Forum for Foreign Trade, Excise and Customs.

He has also been a lecturer and associate lecturer at the University of Hamburg for many years.

Memberships:

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Transportrecht (DGTR)
  • Deutscher Verein für Internationales Seerecht (DVIS)
  • Deutsche Initiative junger Schiedsrechtler (DIS40)
  • Versicherungswissenschaftlicher Verein Hamburg
  • German Maritime Arbitration Association (GMAA)

Customs Law & Foreign Trade:

Either in advance when planning processes in the company with regard to customs. Or we can help if, for example, you have to file an objection because the customs authorities have issued a negative customs assessment and levy duties. We are also at your side if a penalty or fine is threatened by the main customs office. In particular, we also support customs officers in their daily work.

Our attorneys for customs law in Hamburg would be happy to speak with you. You can reach us by telephone Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm CET: 040 / 369615-0

New Member – Iveta Balieva joins as the Corporate Law Expert in Bulgaria

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Iveta Balieva as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Corporate Law expert in Bulgaria.

Iveta Balieva is Founder and Managing Partner of LTA Consulting Ltd. She is Attorney-at-law, member of Sofia Bar Association and an Intellectual property representative.

Our company LTA Consulting Ltd is in active cooperation with consultants in the field of law, finance, taxation, and planning from almost all member states of the European Union, as well as such from England, Türkiye, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Indonesia, Dubai, Morocco, Australia, and others.

The areas in which the company is specialized in providing consulting to its clients are:

CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL LAW

LTA Consulting provides comprehensive services to its clients in the field of corporate and commercial law, with the main priority of our team being the achievement of the strategic goals of our clients. We strive to provide broad-spectrum assistance to our clients, expressed in consulting from the “pre-design stage” of a given business venture, and subsequently also during the establishment, corporate changes, business expansion, transformations, acquisitions, and sales.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

The LTA Consulting team is clearly aware of the importance of mergers and acquisitions (including international ones) and the strategic advantages they bring to businesses. Our team has significant M&A experience and has been involved in the structuring of such transactions in the investment, food, and retail industries. Our experience and expertise in this field allow us to develop an individual strategy for the successful completion of each transaction.

BANK LAW AND FINANCES

The company provides full assistance in the fields of banking and financial law by striving to fully cover all its clients’ needs.

TAX LAW, TAX PLANNING, AND CUSTOMS LAW

LTA Consulting provides assistance to its corporate clients on all tax issues, including international ones, with the aim of offering optimal solutions for the achievement of their business endeavors. We are in close cooperation with tax consultants, financial experts, and auditors, including those in the European Union and in third countries, so that our assistance is as comprehensive, reliable, and effective as possible.

COLLECTION OF RECEIVABLES

The company assists legal entities, including foreign ones, in the process of collecting their receivables. Our extensive experience in this field helps us to be flexible and offer a variety of options – conducting negotiations with debtors; reaching out-of-court agreements for the rescheduling of obligations; undertaking legal actions – injunction, collateral and claim proceedings; formation of executive cases.

CONSTRUCTION AND REAL ESTATE

LTA Consulting provides its clients with a full range of consulting services relating to the difficult process of real estate acquisition, design, construction, purchase and sale, as well as outlining the possible risks and complications accompanying transactions.

PROCEDURAL LAW

LTA Consulting works closely with lawyers with extensive experience in the field of legal representation related to civil, administrative, and administrative-criminal proceedings. The lawyers we work with represent some of the largest companies in the food industry, trade, services, and insurance.

COMPETITION LAW

LTA Consulting provides advice and defense to its clients in relation to matters relating to prohibited agreements, unfair competition, abuse of dominant position, hidden and misleading advertising, and others.

INSURANCE LAW

LTA Consulting team advises its clients (insurance companies and insured individuals and legal entities) in the field of insurance law. We effectively advise our clients on regulatory requirements and also provide legal representation in relation to insurance disputes.

INTELECTUAL PROPERTY

LTA Consulting offers consulting and representation in relation to the procedure for application and registration of a trade mark in the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria, located in Sofia, as well as of an EU trade mark in EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and international trade mark (in WIPO).

PROCUREMENT

LTA Consulting provides assistance in public procurement procedures – both to contracting authorities and to contractors.

ACCOUNTING SERVICES

LTA Consulting has a team of experienced accountants who provide ongoing accounting services to a large number of companies, complying with the provisions of the National Standards for Financial Statements for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the International Accounting Standards, as well as the requirements of the Bulgarian and European legislation.

New Member – Rym Loucif joins as the Business Law Expert in Algeria

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Rym Loucif as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Business Law expert in Algeria.

Rym Loucif founded her own practice, Loucif + Co, after having practised with respected US law firms in Paris (Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher) as well as with renowned French law firms in Algiers (Gide and LPA-CGR Avocats).

Based in Algeria for the past ten years, Rym focuses on cross-border mergers and acquisitions and the establishment of joint ventures.

In energy-related matters, she has assisted leading international groups.

Rym Loucif has developed particular expertise in the field of energy (Oil & Gas in particular) and works on both the transactional and regulatory aspects of a broad range of energy projects (M&A, financing).

Her deep knowledge of the Algerian business environment, combined with her international vision, allow her to provide clients with tailor-made advice adapted to the reality on the ground.

Rym attended the prestigious Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II and King’s College in London before being admitted to the Paris Bar in 2006.

She also contributes as an expert to the OECD in the context of the EU-OECD Programme on Promoting Investment in the Mediterranean, aiming to strengthen, in qualitative and quantitative terms, investments into and within the Mediterranean region.

Rym Loucif is an esteemed lawyer who focuses on transactional and commercial contract matters, often assisting clients with the establishment of joint ventures. She is further well versed in the oil and gas sector and advises on a number of energy projects.

Her key strength isher flawless, great knowledge of Algerian and international law, as well as her organisation and rigorous work ethic.

Rym Loucif is absolutely excellent. She gives us practical, commercially focused advice and is always on point.

Chambers and Partners 2024 and 2023 – Corporate/Commercial – Algeria

New Member – Nevin Jacob Koshy joins as the Patent Law Expert in the UAE

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Nevin Jacob Koshy as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Patent Law expert in the UAE.

Nevin Jacob Koshy is a partner and has been head of the patent and design department of United Trademark & Patent Services, a regional IP firm, since 2010. Prior to this position, he worked as a research scientist and an IP consultant for a number of reputable companies, including in a technology transfer department in the United Kingdom.

Nevin Jacob Koshy is a member of the Executive Board/Board of Directors of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Chapter of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI). His focus areas are patent, design and copyright protection locally, regionally and internationally. He is also involved in trademark filing and prosecution matters for his clients. He is actively involved in IP training sessions and is a sought-after speaker at regional and international conferences. He is active in various international intellectual property organizations including their sub and advisory committees such as INTA, AIPLA, AIPPI, FICPI, CIPA, and APAA.

Mr Koshy has successfully overseen the prosecution of over 15,000 IP rights worldwide for his clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He counsels clients on both contentious and non-contentious issues and often uses his negotiation skills to resolve matters amicably.

His responsibilities as head of the department involve managing a global client portfolio which leads him to work across at least five time zones daily – a task made easier by knowledge and understanding of several languages and cultures.

He has been nominated by the Dubai Chamber for the Golden Visa for exceptional talents and his contribution to the IP community, which has been overseen by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office. He has been awarded numerous accolades including the recent recognition in the IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists.

In his limited spare time, he loves to disconnect and reflect.

For more information please visit – www.linkedin.com/in/nevinjk

New Member – Kathy Alexander Theodotou joins as the Civil Law Expert in Cyprus

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Kathy Alexander Theodotou as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Civil Law expert in Cyprus.

Kathy Alexander Theodotou is Principal of K Alexandrou Theodotou. She has great experience in Litigation, Commercial Litigation and other areas. She has distinguished herself in prominent cases of bilateral jurisdiction and is an expert on property in Cyprus, currently dealing with a number of cases relating to Purchase Agreements for properties in Cyprus.

Kathy Alexander Theodotou was born in Cyprus where she completed her secondary education. She studied in Athens, Ghent and London and she has distinguished herself as a researcher having obtained 2 PhDs with Distinction. Her father was a barrister of distinction.

She has written a report on the Multiple Fibre Agreement and its relationship with GATT and European External Trade with special reference to small clothing industry in London.

She is a registered member of the Nicosia Bar.

Katherine is also an artist and she distinguished herself in painting competitions. She has written two books on Classical Greek Literature of the Third Century BC and she travels extensively. She enlightens the community on law and for this reason she organises community seminars to inform the public on several areas of law. Her hard work and experience has been noted in several newspaper articles in Cyprus.

She founded the European Institute Cyprus in Nicosia, together with Prof. Marc Maresceau, Professor of

European Law at Ghent University. She has organised many events in Athens and Nicosia with prominent speakers including Prof. Snyder (Eur. Institute, Florence), Judge Willis, Prof. G. Vermeulen (Dept.Criminal Law,Univ. Ghent) and Prof.Lord Wallace(LSE).

Katherine has been very active as a Human Rights activist in Iraq during the war. She has stayed there for over three months working voluntarily to protect the rights of arrested persons and others. She works for the self-determination and Human Rights of the Kurds.

SEHK’s guidance on sufficiency of operations

A company must showcase its business operations at the time of an IPO, but even after a successful listing it is still required to maintain sufficient operations.  The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) issued its revised guidance, in January 2024, on the principles in assessing sufficiency of operations and gave examples of failure to comply with that requirement.

Rule 13.24 of the Main Board Listing Rules and rule 17.26 of the GEM Listing Rules require a listed company to carry out a business with a sufficient level of operations, and assets of sufficient value, to support its operations in order to warrant the continued listing of its securities. This is a qualitative test, as the rule does not set out any numerical standard of revenue, profit, assets or cashflow to prove “sufficiency”. The SEHK makes assessments based on the specific facts in each case.

Negative examples

The following paragraphs have depicted several examples where the company has failed to satisfy the operation sufficiency requirement:

A listed company maintained only coal trading with annual revenue of USD1.4 million from a few customers. It had acquired coal mine rights but was prohibited from commencing exploration due to regulatory restrictions. It incurred losses, and had total assets of USD2.6 million and net liabilities of USD7.7 million. Plans to improve business operations lacked details.

A company engaged in retail sales of second-hand motor vehicles saw its revenue drop by 95% in the past five years. It recorded net losses and negative operating cashflows, with total assets amounting to USD6.4 million. It would cease that business and start wholesale distribution of new branded motor vehicles. However, the company’s wholesale business had a short operating history and limited customer base.

A GEM-listed company ceased its metal trading business, which accounted for 90% of its revenue. It started a number of new businesses with no correlation with one another, and that involved few activities. The company incurred a net loss of USD7.7 million in the past six months and had net liabilities amounting to USD51 million.

Having substantially scaled down its original fashion accessories business, a company started a new business via acquisition of a company engaging in software and applications development. Goodwill arising from the acquisition accounted for half of its total assets of USD35.9 million. Subsequently, the entire software development team left the company, resulting in suspension of the new business. The auditor issued a disclaimer of opinion on its financial statements due to concerns over the recoverability of the goodwill.

A company proposed to dispose of its major business to its controlling shareholder, who would in turn sell his entire stake in the company to an investor. The company failed to demonstrate that the remaining businesses were viable and sustainable.

A company proposed to sell a 25% interest in its main operating company, and granted an option to the purchaser to acquire the remaining 75% interest 24 months later. As the company’s business operations and assets were primarily carried out and held through the operating company, it would not have any material business operations or assets left once the purchaser exercised its option.

A company proposed to dispose of its construction sector, which accounted for 70% of its revenue and assets. Its other businesses that were acquired or established within the past year had recorded either a loss or minimal profit in the latest financial year.

A company acquired an advisory services company, then in less than six months proposed to sell off its packaging sector, which has been accounting for its entire revenue and net profit. The revenue of the advisory services company increased by more than 99% shortly before the acquisition and most of the increase came from one client.

Principles of application

The SEHK is more likely to consider the following circumstances as not having sufficient operations:

The core business of the listed company is discontinued, substantially scaled down or deteriorated. The remaining businesses do not generate enough revenue to offset operating costs, resulting in net losses and negative operating cashflow on a structural, rather than temporary, basis.

The company proposes to acquire or start a new business with only a short operating history to demonstrate its viability and sustainability…READ FULL ARTICLE

Note: This material has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional advice for any cases. Should you need further information or legal advice, please contact us.

By: Rossana Chu

The Foamy Mess: PFAS Chemicals and the Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Controversy

Firefighters have relied on Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for many years to extinguish fires fueled by flammable substances. This foam was celebrated for its remarkable ability to blanket and extinguish flames. However, concealed within this firefighting hero was a hidden threat: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

AFFF is now at the center of a growing environmental and health controversy, with lawsuits flying and regulations tightening. Let’s look at the murky world of PFAS in AFFF and explore the science, the concerns, and the ongoing legal battles.

What are PFAS and Why are They Found in AFFF?

PFAS, alternatively referred to as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a set of synthetic chemicals widely recognized for their exceptional characteristics.

These compounds can repel both water and oil, withstand high temperatures, and endure in the environment for extended periods without undergoing significant degradation.

These properties make them ideal for various applications, including AFFF. In AFFF, PFAS act as surfactants, allowing the foam to spread quickly and smother fires. But herein lies the problem – these same properties that make them effective firefighting tools also make them environmental nightmares.

The Dark Side of PFAS: Environmental Contamination and Health Concerns

PFAS are incredibly persistent in the environment. Once released, they don’t readily break down and can contaminate soil and water sources. Studies suggest potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure, including:

  • Higher likelihood of certain cancers
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • Developmental issues in children
  • Compromised immune system

The widespread use of AFFF in firefighting training exercises and real-world fire suppression has led to PFAS contamination near fire stations, military bases, and airports. This contamination has raised concerns about potential health risks for nearby communities that may be exposed to PFAS through their drinking water or contaminated food sources.

Large corporations such as 3M manufacture AFFF, a firefighting foam utilized by firefighters and military personnel for many years. Individuals who work directly with the foam, including current and former civilian and military firefighters, may face long-term exposure and associated negative health effects.

According to TorHoerman Law, in March 2020, DuPont was ordered to pay $50 million to a testicular cancer victim whose diagnosis was linked to PFAS chemicals in drinking water. The lawsuit claimed that the cancer resulted from AFFF contamination in the water supply.

The Legal Battleground: Suing for Accountability

As the dangers of PFAS became evident, lawsuits began to emerge. Communities living near contaminated sites are suing manufacturers of AFFF, alleging they failed to warn about the health risks associated with PFAS and the potential for environmental contamination. 

Additionally, some states are suing these manufacturers to recoup the costs of cleaning up PFAS contamination. Here’s a glimpse into the current legal landscape (as of May 16, 2024):

  • Multidistrict Litigation (MDL): Hundreds of lawsuits against various AFFF manufacturers have been consolidated under one judge for pretrial proceedings to streamline the legal process (MDL No. 2873).
  • Mounting Pressure: Several states have filed lawsuits against AFFF manufacturers, seeking to hold them accountable for the cleanup costs associated with PFAS contamination. For instance, in February 2024, New Jersey sued a group of AFFF manufacturers for contaminating public drinking water supplies.
  • First Jury Verdicts: In a landmark case decided in December 2023, a jury in Michigan awarded a family $1.2 million after they linked their children’s health problems to PFAS contamination from a nearby military base that used AFFF. The decision could establish a precedent for subsequent cases.
  • On May 14, 2024, six new “tag-along” cases from various federal districts were added to the AFFF firefighting foam MDL. These cases are evenly split between water contamination claims and personal injury cases.

It’s important to note that as of May 2024, there haven’t been any court-approved settlements or jury verdicts specifically for AFFF lawsuits related to personal injury claims. However, some settlements have been reached in lawsuits focused on environmental contamination. 

These AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts can offer a potential roadmap for future settlements in personal injury cases. For instance, in January 2021, several chemical companies agreed to a combined $1.185 billion settlement to address PFAS contamination from various sources, not just AFFF.

The ultimate value of any future AFFF lawsuit settlements will depend on the specific facts of each case, including the severity of the alleged health problems and the strength of the evidence linking those problems to PFAS exposure.

Seeking Solutions: A Multifaceted Approach

Addressing the PFAS in AFFF issue requires a multi-pronged approach:

  • Regulation: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with stricter regulations on PFAS in drinking water. Additionally, some states are implementing their own regulations to restrict the use of AFFF or limit PFAS levels in the water.
  • Developing PFAS-Free Alternatives: Firefighting foam manufacturers are actively researching and developing PFAS-free alternatives that offer similar firefighting capabilities without environmental and health risks. These alternatives are still under testing and development, but their emergence offers hope for a safer future.
  • Cleanup and Remediation: Cleaning up existing PFAS contamination is a complex and expensive process. Developing cost-effective and efficient remediation technologies is crucial for addressing the legacy of PFAS contamination.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is My Drinking Water Safe From PFAs?

To determine the safety of your drinking water from PFAS, you should consult your local water utility or environmental agency. They typically conduct tests for various contaminants, including PFAS. If you’re concerned, you can request information on water quality reports or contact them directly for more details. Additionally, installing a water filtration system certified to remove PFAS can provide added peace of mind.

2. What Are The Problems With AFFF?

AFFF raises significant concern because it contains PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These toxic chemicals are known to harm human health and persist in the environment, waterways, wildlife, and human bodies without breaking down easily. PFAS exposure in humans is associated with various adverse health effects, including cancer.

3. What Are 3 Effects Of PFAs In Children?

Children may experience developmental issues or delays, such as low birth weight, early puberty, bone irregularities, or changes in behavior. There is a likelihood of cancers, such as kidney, prostate, and testicular cancers. Additionally, the immune system’s ability to fight infections may be compromised, leading to a reduced response to vaccines.

Looking Ahead: A Balancing Act

The future of AFFF remains uncertain. While it has undoubtedly saved countless lives, the environmental and health concerns associated with PFAS cannot be ignored. Striking a harmony between fire safety and environmental conservation is crucial. The ongoing lawsuits, regulations, and development of PFAS-free alternatives are all steps toward achieving this balance. As research continues and the legal battles unfold, one thing is clear: addressing the PFAS in AFFF issue is a crucial step towards protecting our environment and safeguarding public health.

 

Why Your Law Firm Needs a Password Policy?

Strict password protection is essential for law firms as they regularly handle sensitive data and crucial information such as client documents, testimonials, and other confidential stuff. It’s one of the reasons why your law firm needs a password policy if it’s not already implemented.

Using good password practices such as implementing a password policy, utilizing a password manager for business and educating employees about cyber threats can help law firms keep their operations safe and secure.

Here, we’ll explain why an easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow password policy is a must for law firms and shouldn’t be missed.

What is a Password Policy?

A password policy is a set of rules and guidelines explaining to users the creation and usage of their passwords. It usually describes the specific length, required variations, and other information about an ideal password that needs to be used.

It may also inform users about the frequency of changing their password, not reusing the same password for other accounts, and restricting the sharing of their password with their colleagues or anyone else. It’s always a must-follow regulation for any user.

What Does a Password Policy Look Like?

A typical password policy provides information to users about how they should create their passwords. For instance, it would ask the user to include at least eight or more characters and use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

It can also ask users to refrain from using personal information in the password, avoid using the same password as before or from another account, or prefer a random string of characters to build a hacker-resistant password. 

Some other details a password policy may include are the advice to change passwords frequently, to never share it with anyone, to use a good password manager, or to follow it with utmost discipline. It should always be clean, simple to understand, and easy to follow.

Why Law Firms Need a Good Password Policy?

There are several crucial benefits of having an effective password policy at your law firm. It can help you protect the confidential data and information of your clients and operations from hackers and other cybersecurity threats.

Let’s take a look at the key advantages of why your law firm needs a password policy in recent times where the number of cyber-attacks is surging with each passing day:

1. Mitigates the Risk of Data Breach

When your law firm follows a password policy and uses strong passwords, your employees are not at risk of getting hacked. This prevents any data leaks that could happen due to stolen and/or weak passwords, as highlighted in a recent Verizon report about Data Breaches.

2. Protects the Data of Your Clients

When using a good password policy, your employees will always keep the confidential data and documents of your clients safe, which could otherwise lead into the wrong hands if the password used by employees is too easy to break.

3. Increases the Security of Your Systems

Having a strong password policy in place also enhances the security of your systems as employees would use login credentials accordingly. This will prevent any potential cybersecurity attacks and keep the operations of your firm safe.

4. Educates Employees About Good Password Practices

An effective password policy includes information and advice regarding best password practices that should be followed by everyone working at the firm. It helps users realize the risk of using weak passwords or not handling them properly, follow secure password practices, and keep the sensitive information and data of the firm safe.

5. Helps Maintain Business Relationships with Clients

When a law firm uses a strong password policy, it will keep the data of clients safe and secure. This helps the firm gain the trust of clients and strengthens the relationship between the parties involved. It can further help in boosting the business of the law firm.

How to Implement a Password Policy at Your Law Firm?

When you are implementing a password policy at your law firm, you need to take care of a few things to increase its effectiveness and achieve the best results. Here is a list of checkboxes you should tick while implementing your password policy:

  • The password policy should not be complicated. It must be simple and easy to understand.
  • It should be communicated to all staff members. You can also hold training sessions to help the employees understand the policy better.
  • You should monitor and assess closely that all employees are strictly following the password policy.
  • The password policy should be updated regularly and the employees must be aware of the changes to keep the systems secure.
  • The password policy should stay confidential within the walls of your office.

These are some of the practices that need to be followed while implementing a password policy. You should also advise employees about other good password management practices which are not mentioned in the policy such as using a reliable password manager, switching to passkeys instead of traditional passwords, and more.

Final Thoughts

Law firms can benefit a lot from a strong password policy and it should always be followed by their employees. Small and medium-sized firms are at the maximum risk of cybersecurity attacks and an effective password policy coupled with good password management practices can work as their barrier against such threats.

That’s why your law firm needs a password policy as soon as possible if it hasn’t been implemented already. And even if it’s there, make sure to update it regularly and ensure that all employees are following it with utmost discipline.

That’s all for this post. Feel free to visit the comments section to ask your queries or share feedback about anything written here.