Byword

Your Round Up Of News, Views and Events

Remembering Niki Lauda: a true champion with an iron will

Analogies are often made between sport and business. It can be argued that successful sports people have much in common with leading professionals or captains of industry. Hard work, motivation, the ability evaluate successes and failures, coupled with a certain single mindedness, are traits found in commerce as well as within top athletes. Being an avid fan of Formula One, one of my own heroes is Niki Lauda, the three-time world champion who died on 20 May 2019. For me, he represented not just intelligence, skill and a devotion to his craft, but also a relentless determination and resilience that is crucial to anyone looking to succeed whether in sport, business or in any walk of life.   

Out of the ashes of audit: Law and the ‘Big Four’

Yesterday the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)launched a public consultation into the quality and effectiveness of audit. The consultation, led by Sir Donald Brydon, is the next step in a process which has the potential to significantly overhaul the industry. But could this heightened scrutiny of the ‘Big Four’ and their traditional strangle hold on audit actually hasten their expansion into other areas of professional services, namely the legal profession?

Intellectual Property – a brave new digital world

A generation ago intellectual property lawyers had it easy! Video games were in their infancy, the internet was barely taking its first halting steps and streaming was something you did when suffering a severe dose of man flu. How times have changed. As if the topsy-turvy political roller coaster was not enough, developments in technology pose their own unique questions. Moreover, clients are constantly demanding better ways to manage and leverage their IP. Against this backdrop, there has surely never been a more exciting time to be an intellectual property solicitor.

Former DPP Alison Saunders settles in at ‘magic circle’​ firm

One of the more interesting pieces of recruitment in the legal job market was the hiring of Alison Saunders by ‘magic circle’ firm Linklaters. The former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was no stranger to the headlines presiding over a tricky five-year period at the head of the Crown Prosecution Service. She has now secured a plum position at one of the world’s leading law firms. But what is behind the move and does it raise any serious questions especially in relation to conflict of interest?

Too much advice is worse than none at all?

Decisions, decisions, decisions! What to do next, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it? These questions could apply to any decision-making process but for sake of relevance I will consider the prospect of a new career.

At some point in time most of us will have the need or are forced to think about a change in role or a new direction. This is a massive undertaking, one that will affect your life considerably so how do you go about making the right decision?

Ada Lovelace – the mother of the modern technological age

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the vast achievements of women in all spheres of life and to take stock of where we are as we strive to achieve true fairness and gender parity. These days, the list of successful women on whose experiences and successes we can draw is endless, whether it’s politicians, athletes, business leaders or lawyers. From Emmeline Pankhurst to Theresa May, Karen Brady to Baroness Hale, strong female role models and pioneers abound. With that in mind, I thought I’d spend the next few minutes focusing on one of my own personal heroines.

A change is as good as a rest – the power of the sabbatical

Earlier this week, ‘Magic Circle’ firm Clifford Chance announced the details of its two-month sabbatical programme. This initiative will be offered, for the time being, to a comparatively select group of lawyers within the firm. However, the fact that the global legal giant is offering a detailed policy at all, represents a significant shift and could encourage more firms to follow suit.

Apprentices – How to Make them work…

Only this week I was having an engaging conversation over dinner with a business owner who was debating the values of hiring an apprentice. He has a small business, which he is hoping to expand and saw the need to ensure that any new members of the team would embrace his company’s culture and values. In doing so, he was flipping between the choice of hiring someone with experience on the one hand and a school-leaver on the other. Whilst some had suggested he opt for a candidate with a proven track record, his instinct was telling him that an apprentice was the right way forward. However, he was unsure what this would entail.

With it being National Apprenticeship Week next week and having previously been a family business owner who regularly took on apprentices I was able to relate to our own experience and thought I’d share some of my views.

Everybody’s hustling – the unstoppable rise of side-working!

When I started Grinning Goblet Wines in 2016, I thought I was in the minority of people who had a ‘secret’ money spinner outside their regular career. But a report by Henley Business School at The University of Reading reveals that more and more employees have a side-hustle and the trend looks set to continue. But what are the pros and cons of being a side-hustler and should businesses be cautious about this phenomenon or should they embrace it?

Give coding a go…what’s the worst that can happen?!

With the ever-increasing focus in the workplace on all things tech, including AI, Big Data, Machine Learning and Blockchain, the demand for skilled computer coders is growing. You may feel that this is a specialised skillset, unfathomably beyond your capabilities – one to be left to those younger or more engrained in the IT world – or both. Nevertheless, it’s arguable that learning some basic coding yourself isn’t as hard as you may fear and could prove incredibly valuable.