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?
Your Round Up Of News, Views and Events
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
A recent report on diversity and inclusion in the workplace has revealed that disability inclusion is the biggest area where employees feel most improvement is required. The study, conducted by Wildgoose, surveyed employees from 117 organisations. It highlighted that 55% of those consulted felt companies needed to do more to improve disability inclusion in the workplace.