The Lawyer's top 20 cases of 2017 shows record year

The Lawyer has today published its summary of the biggest and highest profile cases to be heard in the UK in the year ahead - finding that 2017 will be the most lucrative ever for the UK. 

This couldn't come at a better time as concerns abound that London may lose its status as a global litigation hub post Brexit. It also comes on a day when Baker McKenzie predicts that global float activity will reach $167bn (£138bn) in 2017, up from $133bn in 2016.

Maybe it's not such a "Blue Monday" after all. 

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Twitter meltdowns

It is not news to anyone that Donald Trump is particularly active on Twitter - often making rather "controversial" comments. But what can law firms learn from this? 

Social media has become ingrained in people's everyday lives and can be a great forum to share your thoughts and engage in debates on topics of interest. However, what happens if a member of a firm posts something controversial on social media - that could just be an innocent off-the-cuff remark - which inadvertently attracts negative media attention to the firm? 

Law firms should all be prepared for such an eventuality with detailed crisis comms strategies. This means they can be on the front foot if an incident does occur and thereby minimise any damage to the firm's reputation. 

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Agile working and mindfulness for lawyers

Russia's first legal glossy magazine The Paragraph  quotes Byfield's Managing Director Gus Sellitto and Head of Russia / CIS Desk Eugenia Verenko on work-life balance for lawyers. We discuss yoga, mindfulness, technological advances that allow for flexible and agile working, diversity and much more. The article explores how these relatively new concepts are becoming more popular with lawyers in the UK. 

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Tech trends for 2017

Technology in 2017 is changing rapidly and this year we are set to see huge changes. Will the law keep up with the pace?

A continuous theme of 2016 that looks set to ramp up in 2017 is cybersecurity. It has long been reported that businesses are not giving this the attention it requires and that hackers have increased their abilities at a rate that is far in advance of protections against them. 

The manipulation of the internet of things and AI is likely to lead to hacks becoming more sophisticated and human-like in their approach, which means that a greater number of people will fall victim to them. 

Another emerging theme is automation of services, which may be the beginning of huge cuts to the jobs available for people worldwide. Many legal services have already received a digital makeover, and various automated legal services are springing up, including the new robot lawyer LISA and a chatbot to help fight parking ticket fines.

There are exciting developments too. For consumers and businesses it is predicted that augmented and virtual reality will spread from solely being within the gaming sphere to marketing opportunities for retailers and car makers, allowing consumers to visualise how a product will look.

2017 looks to provide steep challenges but also incredible innovation. 

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Gender pay gap halved for UK women in their 20s

According to the Resolution Foundation, the gender pay gap for women in their 20s has halved to just 5%, but the progress will be undone in later life – they will endure a “pay penalty” when they have children.  

We will see the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting from April and it will be interesting to see the potential PR backlash that companies could face if they reveal a significant gap between women's and men's pay.  

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