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Whistleblowing: Italian Guarantor Reminds Employment And Privacy Protections

The issue is always particularly crucial both for the information handled and for the high risks of retaliation and discrimination in the workplace.

Especially in Italy.

The identity of whistleblowers must be protected.

The employer, data controller, is required to comply with the principles of data protection, ensuring their integrity and security.

This was recently recalled by the Italian Privacy Guarantor, sanctioning an airport company and its software supplier for a total of over 60,000 euros.

The Guarantor reiterated that the employer data controller, even when using products or services made by third parties, must verify compliance with the data protection principles by giving the necessary instructions to the service provider.

In the case under analysis, the Guarantor ascertained the non-use of encryption techniques for the transmission and storage of data and the violation of the principle of privacy by design:

  • access to the whistleblowing application took place without the use of a secure network protocol
  • the application did not provide the encryption of the data
  • accesses to the application by employees connected to the company network were tracked through the logs generated by the firewalls

This rendered ineffective the other measures adopted to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the reporting parties.

What are the Best Practice Areas for Solo Attorneys?

So, you’ve decided to take your practice solo, congratulations! You’re taking the steps to tackle your legal career goals on your terms, and that’s something to be excited about. Before you get too ahead of yourself, have you considered what are the best practice areas for solo attorneys?

Whether you’re moving away from a law firm, beginning your LSAT prep, or starting out solo, there are several business decisions you must consider if you want to be successful. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to get a goo grasp on the practice areas you will focus on. This will determine your services, marketing, and entire business model.

Motivation and values

A good starting point when deciding what areas your solo practice will specialize in is finding your ‘why.’ In fact, all attorneys (solo or firm-based) should understand their ‘why’ for going into the legal industry.

This is your main motivation for wanting to practice solo law and will be your driver towards a fulfilling career. Some attorneys look to practice solo because they have more control over their billable hours and greater earning potential. Other attorneys are passionate about a specific practice area and feel they can make a bigger impact on their own. Neither option is better than the other, but it’s important to understand your motivations and values behind your practice. You’ll find more fulfillment and come across more genuine.

Practice areas

Bankruptcy law

This area of law is perfect for solo attorneys who are good with numbers and financial literacy. Many of your clients will owe money to another entity and have declared bankruptcy. For this reason, you’ll need to be comfortable evaluating financial documents to best represent your client. Additionally, if you don’t love going to court, bankruptcy law is for you. Most cases are settled outside of the courtroom. 

Civil litigation law

Litigation attorneys or trial lawyers are people who are quickly adaptable and enjoy a busy environment. Civil litigation typically involves disputes between parties seeking monetary damages or judgement based on non-criminal accusations. Since civil litigation law is broad, It’s best for solo attorneys to specialize in specific areas, like family law or medical malpractice.

This area of law is best suited for solo attorneys who can handle being pulled in many directions while also maintaining organization. Civil litigation often involves working very closely with clients, being in court, and out-witting your opposing counsel.

Employment law

Employment attorneys spend most of their time assisting the employer-employee relationship. This involves reviewing employment contracts, discrimination suits, termination, lay-offs, settlements and more.

Employment law is a great area of practice for solo attorneys who enjoy advocating for the rights of their clients. To best represent your clients, you’ll need to stay up to date on employment and labor legislation and be ready to have difficult conversations. The employee-employer relationship can be sensitive and guiding a client through legal proceedings while also maintaining a sense of empathy can be difficult to manage.

Family law

Cases within family law are almost always sensitive, especially when child or separation of a household is at stake. Adding in these factors on top of upholding the law can create a stressful work environment for solo attorneys. On the other hand, family law can also be very rewarding when you are able to better your client’s lives.

Similar to employment law, solo attorneys practicing family law must be able maintain a level of empathy while also helping their clients make difficult legal decisions.

Real Estate law

Real estate attorneys assist their clients with legal property matters. This could include assisting a lender with the sale of property, drawing up contracts, titles, and litigation of tenant-landlord relationships.  This area of law is great for solo attorneys who have a knack for attention to detail. Depending on the client, real estate contracts can be long and must include specific language to protect the clients assets surrounding the property.

Solo attorneys who prefer transactional work are a great fit for real estate law. Once a contract is in place, the client will likely only contact you or need your services when there is a breach or conflict that arises.

Choose what’s best for you

At the end of the day, the practice area for solo attorneys comes down to what you want. Figuring out what you’re passionate about or what motivates you is a great first step in finding the best practice area. Next, evaluate your skill set and how you can separate yourself from the pool of solo attorneys.

Article by;

Kamron Sanders
PracticePanther

Maja Drakulovic joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Employment Law member in Montenegro

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Maja Drakulovic as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Employment Law expert in Montenegro. Maja’s office is located in Podgorica.

From the very beginning we have been recognized as a successful and highly respected law office, with diverse portfolio of legal services and also as a reliable, loyal and competent partner of our clients. Between 1992 and 2009 we had worked in Montenegro and Serbia under the name law firm Jovović & partners, and since January 2010 we are working under the name law firm Jovović, Mugoša & Vuković.

If one measure success of a law firm by the size of workforce, then our law firm is the biggest in Montenegro. In addition to that, our law firm shall be between three biggest legal services providers in Montenegro, if one apply criterion of size of client database and annually generated revenues.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Maja’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Employees’ Privacy: Italian Guarantor Prohibits Indiscriminate Monitoring Of Internet Browsing

The Italian Guarantor has ordered an employer to pay a fine of 84,000 euros for the unlawful processing of personnel data relating to internet browsing.

In fact, monitoring of employee internet browsing is not possible if conducted indiscriminately.

The limit persists even in the presence of specific trade union agreements.

Any control activities must always comply with the Workers’ Statute and the privacy legislation.

This is what was reiterated by the Privacy Guarantor in a sanctioning measure of last 13 May.

An employee, during a disciplinary procedure, had discovered that his Facebook and Youtube consultation during working hours had emerged from a constant control.

The employer used a system of control and filtering of employees’ internet browsing, with the retention of data for one month and the creation of specific reports, for network security purposes.

The employer had also entered into an agreement with the trade unions, as required by the sector regulations, but the system, without having adequately informed the employees, instead allowed unnecessary processing operations that were disproportionate to the purpose of protection and security of the internal network.

In fact, a preventive and generalized collection of data relating to connections to the websites visited by individual employees was carried out.

The system also collected information unrelated to the professional activity and in any case attributable to the private life of the person concerned.

In addition to the injunction, the employer must also take technical and organizational measures to anonymize the data relating to the employee’s workstation, delete personal data in the registered web browsing logs, as well as update the internal procedures identified and included in the trade union agreement.

Richard Grogan joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Employment Law member in Ireland

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Richard Grogan as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Employment Law expert in Ireland. Richard’s office is located in Dublin.

Richard Grogan BCL, AITI, TEP, CEDR, Solicitor and Accredited Mediator. Richard specialises in Employment Law, and Taxation of Employment Law Awards and Settlements. Richard provides mediation services, both in employment disputes as an alternative to Court proceedings or claims to the WRC and workplace mediation. Richard also heads up our Reputational Risk and Crisis Management practice for Senior Executives and Senior Managers.

Richard brings over 30 years experience, specialist knowledge and expertise  as a Solicitor and Chartered Tax Advisor to provide a quality and value for money service to his clients. Richard is one of the best known and respected Employment Law Solicitors in Ireland. Richard is ranked as one of the top Employment Lawyers in the country. Richard writes and lectures extensively on Employment Law and Taxation. You can see some of Richards publications and lectures in our publications section.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Richard’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Federico Allavelli joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Employment Law member in Italy

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Federico Allavelli as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Employment Law expert in Italy. Federico’s office is located in Varese.

Employment and Labour Lawyer with experience in litigation, out-of-court and contractual assistance.

Federico gained experience for ordinary daily business activities as well as for extraordinary operations (collective dismissals, transfers of company or branch, restructuring and reorganizations, also in business crisis context).

He also offers advice on Privacy & Data Protection; in particular issues concerning Employment and Labour Law.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Federico’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

L&E News Alert: Alabama Unemployment (UI) Fraud and Abuse

Introduction

The Alabama Department of Labor (“ADOL’) is working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor and various other state and federal law enforcement agencies around the country to share information regarding the unprecedented rise in unemployment insurance fraud. As a response, the ADOL is encouraging employers to advise their employees to take reasonable measures to protect personal information, establish PIN and passwords that are difficult for an outside person or computer to generate, and be vigilant in identifying any suspicious activity related to unemployment claims.

Indicators of Fraudulent Activity

The ADOL encourages employers to be vigilant in recognizing the various indicators of fraudulent activity and advising their employees accordingly. For example, receipt of mail from the ADOL notifying an employee of a claim in their name when they have not filed an unemployment claim is an early indicator of fraudulent activity. In addition, receiving an IRS Form 1099-G stating an employee has income from unemployment when they have not filed an unemployment claim is an indicator of fraudulent activity. If an employee filed for benefits, receipt of this form is to be expected as benefits are taxable income in most states. However, in some cases, this could be the first indication that a fraudulent claim has been made. Text messages from the ADOL asking an employee to verify their unemployment account is also an indication of fraudulent activity. Employees should be advised that the ADOL does not use text messages to correspond with claimants. Lastly, employers receiving claim notices on employees who do not exist or who never terminated employment with said employer is an indicator of fraudulent activity. If an employer or employee suspects any of the aforementioned indicators of fraudulent activity, they are asked to report it to the ADOL.

Reporting 1099-G Fraud

Employers should provide a gateway for employees to report fraudulent activity. For example, an employer may advise its employees to report to its HR Department if an employee receives an IRS Form 1099-G for fraudulent benefits. In addition, an employee should then be directed to  report the fraud to the State Workforce Agency  and to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at https://identitytheft.gov/. The FTC provides employees with a personalized recovery plan and can walk an employee through each step of the recovery process. Employees should also report the identity theft to the IRS. This allows employees to avoid paying taxes on the fraudulent income.

Reporting Fraud to ADOL

If your employee suspects fraudulent activity, they should be advised to report it to the ADOL at www.labor.alabama.gov. The ADOL conducts various types of fraud and abuse investigations on unemployment claims to ensure the accuracy of benefit payments. The ADOL allows an employee to report the following: (1) Report that they suspect someone has used their social security number to work or claim UI benefits, including those who have received a 1099-G but did not receive unemployment benefits; (2) Report any suspected UI benefit fraud and abuse; and (3) Report that they suspect an employee or employees receiving UI after returning to work, or of receiving PPP funds that may impact the individual’s eligibility for UI benefits.

Conclusion

Unemployment fraud is a national issue and the ADOL is working diligently to encourage employers to take reasonable measures to protect their employees in advising them to protect personal information and report any suspicion of unemployment fraud or abuse. We will continue to assess any developments implemented by the ADOL to protect the identities of employees. We are available if you have any questions.

Irwin Mitchell Boosts Employment Team With Partner Hire

Law Firm Continues To Invest In Its Services For Senior Executives And Employees

National law firm Irwin Mitchell has boosted its London Employment and Professional Discipline team with the appointment of partner Danielle Parsons from Slater & Gordon.

Danielle is a leading lawyer representing senior executives and professionals in high value discrimination, whistleblowing and high court claims. She also advises on bonus disputes, severance packages and restrictive covenants.

Her clients come from a wide range of sectors including individuals working in financial services, healthcare and medical sectors, and creative industries, including TV and print media. She also acts for senior solicitors and barristers.

Shah Qureshi, Head of the Employment and Professional Discipline team in London at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion

“The past year has been a difficult time for many senior employees with the Covid pandemic creating a great deal of uncertainty. The need for expert employment law advice has never been greater.

“We are delighted that Danielle has joined us and her arrival is a welcome boost for the team. She is well-respected and will bring a high level of expertise for our clients. The number of enquiries we receive from senior professionals suffering discrimination and whistleblowers being victimised has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic and Danielle’s arrival continues our plans to grow the team and meet that need.”
Shah Qureshi – Partner

Commenting on her arrival, Danielle said: “Irwin Mitchell’s national Employment team is one of the largest in the UK with one of the strongest reputations. I am delighted to join the firm’s London team which specialises in advising senior executives and professionals. I am looking forward to building on this and supporting the team’s continued growth.”

Fergal Dowling, partner and National Head of the Employment team, added: “Our team in London is one of the UK’s leading teams advising senior executives and professionals. Employment services have been in high demand amongst our existing clients and we have been appointed by some very high profile businesses and individuals during 2020. Our new business pipeline looks very strong and we are anticipating further growth over the next 12 months.

“Our success is based on us being one of the most innovative and best resourced employment teams in the UK. It is our vision to offer practical solutions for our clients as their needs and demands change and this has certainly been evident over the last year.

“Danielle joining our senior team is an important development for us in 2021 and I’m confident that her appointment will help us stay one step ahead.”

https://www.leaders-in-law.com//lawyers/clare-wiseman/

Gibson Dunn Wins Awards at 2021 Benchmark Litigation US Awards

Benchmark Litigation recognized Gibson Dunn at its 2021 Benchmark US awards ceremony with six awards. Gibson Dunn was named East Coast Appellate Firm of the Year, California Antitrust Firm of the Year and California Labor & Employment Firm of the Year.  Additionally, Los Angeles partner Theane Evangelis was named California Labor & Employment Litigator of the Year and Washington, D.C. partner Richard Parker was named East Coast Antitrust Litigator of the Year. Finally, Soundgarden et al. v. UMG Recordings, Inc, in which Gibson Dunn represented UMG, was named an Impact Case. The publication noted, “The firm continues to enjoy a coveted position as one of the nation’s strongest and most in-demand litigation institutions.” The awards were presented on March 31, 2021.

Theane Evangelis serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Class Actions Practice Group and as Vice Chair of the California Appellate Practice Group. She has played a lead role in a wide range of appellate, constitutional, media and entertainment, and crisis management matters, as well as a variety of employment, consumer and other class actions.

Richard Parker is a leading antitrust lawyer who has successfully represented clients before both enforcement agencies and the courts. As an experienced antitrust trial and regulatory lawyer, Richard has been involved in many major antitrust representations, including merger clearance cases, cartel matters, class actions, and government civil investigations.  He has extensive experience representing clients in matters before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

Promotions at GESSEL

As 2021 gets underway, GESSEL is proud to announce the implementation of personnel changes at our firm. Three of our experienced colleagues have now become partners:

Michał Bochowicz, advocate, specialises in M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions in the tech, media and telecoms (TMT) and renewable energy sectors, and also in day-to-day business law advice. He was has worked, on the buyer as well as seller sides, on some of the biggest deals in the Polish tech sector. His Clients include Polish and international private equity and venture capital funds, payment processors, e-commerce entities, software suppliers (also in the SaaS model), and green energy firms. Michał also brings his talents to pro bono work, helping startups and young entrepreneurs with their first steps in business. He is lauded for his ability to understand the needs of his Clients and the specific traits of their operations as well as for his proactive, creative approach. In his new role at GESSEL, Michał will co-lead an interdisciplinary team focused on the new tech sector.

With GESSEL since 2015.

Adam Kraszewski, attorney, head of GESSEL’s employment law, life sciences and intellectual property practice. Often called upon to advise on projects which require not only legal knowledge, but also creativity and sensitivity. Adam has a long track record advising on employment law in its individual as well as collective variants; he has been instrumental in devising effective employment models and incentive schemes (also for senior management), drawing up internal regulations for employing establishments, and resolving disputes. His labour law expertise is often tapped by other departments within our firm, e.g. as regards the passing of employees to new employers in the context of M&A deals. Adam also advises on copyright, trademarks, and legally protected personal interests. Finally, he is an expert in pharmaceutical law, successfully navigating the legal path to inclusion of new drugs in national reimbursement schemes. He has published extensively on his area of expertise.

With GESSEL since 2006.

Karol Sokół, advocate, specialises in M&A transactions in the private and public markets, structuring of transactions, and on legal aspects of business financing, including credit facility agreements, private bond issues, and investment funds.Cooperates with Polish and international funds and banking houses and advises on all stages of complex deals (on the buyer and seller sides) on share deal and asset deal transactions and on corporate restructuring. Also advises Polish and international companies. Repeatedly demonstrated his talent for negotiating complex transaction elements on behalf of the seller as well as buyer sides and in preparing shareholder agreements. His restructuring projects included buying up of bank receivables and leveraged buy-outs as well as devising representations and warranties liability mechanisms – also ones relying on W&I insurance, a novelty in the Polish market. Recommended, among other rankings, in IFLR 1000.

With GESSEL since 2010.

Apart from that, four of our legal professionals will now be assuming the role of managing associate: Dr Joanna Kisielińska-Garncarek, attorney with the arbitration practice led by Dr Beata Gessel- Kalinowska vel Kalisz, Karolina Krzal-Kwiatkowska, advocate and Krzysztof Jasiński, attorney from the M&A team led by Marcin Macieszczak, and Marta Grabiec, advocate at the employment law, life sciences and intellectual property practice led by Adam Kraszewski.

Marta Grabiec, advocate, specializes in intellectual property law, new technologies law, combating unfair competition, media law, and protection of personal rights. Her experience comprises legal advice and negotiations with respect to copyright, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, patents and combating unfair competition. Advises also in respect of media law, press law and protection of personal rights of natural and legal persons. Her Clients include entities from the biotech, TMT, e-commerce, media, entertainment, and fashion industries. At the procedural level, represents Clients before civil courts, criminal courts, administrative courts, arbitration tribunals and the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. Supported Clients in cases concerning trademark registration and defamation in various media and publications.

With GESSEL since 2012.

Krzysztof Jasiński, attorney, specialises in M&A transactions, banking and finance, and company law. Advises private equity and venture capital funds, sectoral investors, and business founders, also contributes to due diligence studies. Before joining GESSEL, spent six years with a number of recognised law firms, working in the fields of business and companies law. Regularly publishes articles on business and civil law, among other periodicals in Przegląd Prawa Handlowego and Przegląd Sądowy.

With GESSEL since 2016.

Dr Joanna Kisielińska-Garncarek, attorney, specializes in litigation, arbitration. Her practice focuses on various disputes with business law aspects, including ones arising from M&A transactions and from construction and infrastructure projects. Represents Clients before the general courts and in arbitration proceedings (at, among other forums, the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, the International Arbitration Association, the Arbitration Court of the National Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, and the Arbitration Court of Lewiatan Confederation, and also in ad hoc proceedings). Also serves as secretary to Polish and international arbitration tribunals. Successfully participated in international moots in the fields of human rights and commercial arbitration; more recently, she contributed to such events in the role of judge / arbitrator. Author of publications in the realms of arbitration, law of obligations, and comparative law.

With GESSEL since 2015.

Karolina Krzal-Kwiatkowska, advocate, specialises in competition law, M&A transactions in the private market, and company and business law. Advises on merger control, unfair competition, and collective consumer interests; represents Clients before the antitrust authorities. In her M&A work, advises private equity and venture capital houses, drafting and negotiating transaction documentation and managing due diligence projects. Her extensive experience with the legal aspects of business operations leaves her well placed to assist Clients with current issues (e.g. reviewing commercial contracts) as well as more unusual undertakings (e.g. restructuring and retrenchment). Contributed to a number of books of relevance to her fields of practice, speaker at conferences.

With GESSEL since 2011.