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Big day coming up for Russian legal system with the first webcast hearing set to air

The first webcast hearing in Russian courts of law is planned for 14 May 2015.

It will be available on the official website of a regional court that has been chosen as a test ground for the webcast equipment.

It is planned that the courts will broadcast major hearings of public interest, including corruption-related cases.

The first webcast will be of a verdict to a 22-year-old accused of killing three people.

This is going to be a big test day for the Russian legal system that aims to be more transparent and attractive for Russian litigants.

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The New Must-Watch

The news yesterday that the public will be able to watch an archive of hearings from the Supreme Court and the Privy Council should be celebrated as open justice, making the best legal system in the world truly accessible and transparent. Being able to see the legal process in action allows the public to form a more balanced view about a case or a hearing. This move will surely be welcomed by students, lawyers and the public. As a court spokesman correctly surmised "It may not be up there with some of the most popular series . . . but it will be enlightening.”

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Skyscraper Commercial Property proves popular for successful start-ups

Estates Gazette this week reported on Knight Frank’s Global Cities Skyscraper Report 2015. It revealed a resurgence in North America of skyscraper occupants, particularly those from tech and digital companies in New York and San Francisco.

While the UK market still holds swathes of tech firms in industrial warehouse style buildings in East London, it is likely to be the next city to see this shift. The report highlighted that, ‘Young start-ups are suited to chic warehouses, but when they get bigger, warehouses are not as suitable to run a large company from. As these firms become more serious they may need something more impressive.’ We could now see buildings like the Shard, or the Walkie Talkie in the City of London attracting more and more successful tech companies.

However, start-ups will not occupy a skyscraper for the sake of it, it will need to be flexible and future buildings should bare this in mind when designing for the next generation of innovative companies.

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Mobile overtaking desktop in digital marketing

Research by eMarketer, and reported in the FT's'The Connected Business' special report, has found marketers are likely to spend more on mobile advertising than desktop for the first time.

The news comes shortly after Google introduced a new algorithm which will favour websites that are well-adapted to mobile platforms. This is something a number of the UK's leading law firms have been caught out on according to Search Star.

As mobile marketing - be it in the form of adverts or mobile friendly websites - becomes increasingly important, it is essential that law firms - as with all businesses - make their virtual shop window as easy to view on a smart phone or tablet as it is on a desktop.

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The dangerous game of Wiki-editing

There are just over two weeks until the election and the country is bracing itself for the alarming reality of another hung parliament and its potentially disastrous consequences.

Amid all this uncertainty, the political parties are playing hard and dirty. Today, Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps is at the centre of the mudslinging after the Lib Dems released a press release alleging that he has been editing the Wikipedia pages of his political rivals - as well as his own - to paint himself in a more favourable light.

The online encyclopaedia has blocked a user’s account on suspicion that it was being used by Mr Shapps “or someone acting on his behalf” to edit his own page and entries about his Conservative rivals and other political opponents. Mr Shapps denies the claims as "categorically false."

Using Wikipedia for reputational whitewashing is nothing new. There are many reports of companies, and indeed politicians (see Chukka Umunna's Wikipedia Obama comparison), engaging agencies to make surreptitious revisions to their online Wiki profiles. And the European Court of Justice's landmark 'right to be forgotten' decision against Google last year took this a step further by allowing individuals to request that the search engine remove unwanted content.

But attempting to cover-up any negative comments online is not the best way to protect your brand. Strong reputations are built on credibility and integrity, and getting caught-out for something as senseless as Wikipedia editing can be terribly damaging.

Individuals and businesses should focus their energies on positive profile building for the future - through a robust communications strategy - rather than dwelling on past negativity. This is the most effective way to protect and strengthen your reputation.

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