The Law Society publishes cloud guidance for legal firms

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The Law Society, a professional body for solicitors, has issued guidance to lawyers and their IT staff about the use of cloud services in response to the increasing adoption of the technology within the sector.

The practice note offers advice on the security risks involved in cloud computing, with regard to the handling of sensitive data in the cloud and outlines what points firms should consider before migrating to a provider.

Dr Sam De Silva, chair of the Law Society’s Technology and Law Reference Group, said: “While cloud computing has a number of advantages for businesses, such as reducing costs and increasing storage, it carries risk which firms must consider when engaging with a third party to handle sensitive information.

“Anyone involved with the collection and storage of personal data must comply with the Data Protection Act, and law practices are also subject to professional conduct obligations to maintain client confidentiality and properly manage their practices,” he added.

In addition to examining the risks and benefits of cloud, the practice note also looks at other areas that should be considered before migration. These include the potential for data to be accessed by foreign intelligence and security agencies, SLAs and the right to sue providers for damages, termination of contract arrangements and inadvertent breaches of the cloud provider’s acceptable use policy with regard to defamation cases.

Ultimately the society does not rule out the use of cloud, but advises law firms to “ensure their prospective cloud service has been subject to a full risk and compliance analysis before proceeding”.

A full copy of the practice note is available to read here.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.