find the latest legal job
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ a dangerous mantra for data management

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ a dangerous mantra for data management

Abrogating responsibility for the storage, retrieval and disposal of data could land lawyers in sticky legal situations, says one regional counsel.

Michael Bishop, regional counsel Asia-Pacific at CommVault, said lawyers are not being proactive enough about data management and should collaborate closer with their IT departments.

In a 'call to arms', Mr Bishop said in-house counsel and lawyers at private firms should radically reform their approach to information management.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly ahead of seminars in Sydney and Melbourne, Mr Bishop revealed the findings of a white paper, which examined the issue in some depth.

“The problem is that we are all so focused on the amount of data that's out there and the growth of that data and the ways we can use that data – but we've kind of left the back door open because we are not making sure that we've done all our cross checks,” he said.

Mr Bishop believes legal teams should be involved in discussions about strategic data management along with the finance and marketing teams.

“Lawyers don't normally lead conversations [about data management]; they are only really brought in at the end when there's a major outage or there's a privacy breach or something else,” he said.

Lawyers are generally aware of the statutory requirements in relation to data storage but ignorant about where data is being stored, whether it can be retrieved in a timely fashion and the period of time before it will be deleted, he said.

“People aren't thinking deeper about ‘where is that data stored?’, ‘how is it being classified?’, ‘if I need that data quickly if there’s an ACCC request how do I actually get it?’,” he added.

Mr Bishop said lawyers were comfortable with the blanket seven-year storage requirement for most legal information but did not generally think “outside the box” when it came to possible legal issues.

For instance, when information might pertain to future legal proceedings, it may need to be kept longer, he said. But keeping data too long could also cause problems since under the Privacy Act firms have an obligation to destroy data if it has no primary purpose or essential secondary purpose.

Lawyers also need to think about data security and pay attention to whether data is being stored onshore or offshore.

“[Often] the responsibility is moved over to the cloud provider … but in reality you need to keep [an eye] on that even though it has gone out to a third party,” said Mr Bishop.

He said that best practice for lawyers was to work more collaboratively with CIOs and IT departments.

“And then not just leaving it there,” he continued. All relevant groups should communicate regularly and “talk about the whole information management lifecycle”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ a dangerous mantra for data management
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Crowd
06:05
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
06:00
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...