Top risks facing General Counsel and in-house lawyers in 2019 | - Oxford, 17 January 2019

Traditionally General Counsel and in-house lawyers have been seen as advisers on legal problems. In a period of great change, GCs and IHLs are now seen as a critical ally to the Board and Executive leadership in establishing a company culture of compliance and ethics, as well as mitigating potential risks.

From emerging legal and regulatory matters to the integration of blockchain technology, data breaches, reputation management and setting an ethical tone from the top, our event looks at the top concerns keeping today’s GC and IHLs up at night.


2.00pm – Registration

2.30pm – Welcome and introduction

2.40pm – The integration of blockchain technology into your business, Dr Aeron Buchanan, Executive Vice President, Web3 Foundation

The development of blockchain technology continues apace; as GCs and IHLs are you up to speed on the basic issues?

  • The private key management – how will they be stored securely?
  • The responsibility policy – how to structure authorisation and access?
  • Who is responsible you or the IT team?

When blockchain based infrastructure matures, it will become part of everything that we do to the same extent as the Internet. For GCs and IHLs it is important that you understand the even more far reaching consequences, because blockchain platforms are active and will be given actionable powers (unlike the Internet which is passive).

3.10pm – Vicarious liability for data breach, Emma Banister Dean, Partner, Royds Withy King

Organisations are now aware of the policies and procedures that the data protection legislation requires them to have in place. Some have complied and others are in the process of doing so.

Regardless of your formal processes, staff are still your greatest vulnerability where data breach is concerned. The recent Morrisons appeal decision highlights the business risk of vicarious liability, despite compliance with statutory obligations. As GCs and IHLs what processes can you embed into the business to limit the risk of breach by a rogue staff member?

  • What is the current approach of the courts to vicarious liability?
  • What staff training will reduce the risk?
  • What technical measures are available to prevent the risk and to flag it when prevention fails?

3.40pm – Afternoon tea in the Ashmolean’s rooftop restaurant

4.30pm – Managing reputation in the digital age, Dr Laura Toogood, Managing Director, Fieldmaster Group

The online world presents a multitude of challenges for GCs and IHLs when it comes to managing reputation in the digital age. Fundamental changes in how the traditional press operate, the power of social media and different information seeking behaviour are all among contributing factors that have complicated the landscape.

Dr. Laura Toogood will talk about the importance of companies and their leaders in taking a proactive approach to managing reputation in the digital age. She will highlight some of the key issues and identify the benefits of implementing a holistic strategy, which leverages the expertise of technical specialists, communications personnel and specialist legal representatives.

5.00pm – When does banter become discrimination? Kate Benefer, Partner, Royds Withy King

In light of the recent media attention on Weinstein, Philip Green and the #metoo campaign, Kate will discuss the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and the steps GCs and IHLs can take to reduce the risk of their organisations being vicariously liable. Kate will look at:

  • The legal test for harassment and whether banter can ever be a defence
  • The potential liability for individuals and businesses
  • The policies and training needed to reduce risk

5.30pm – Closing comments

5.40pm – Private tour of the Founder’s Gallery

6.00pm – Royds Withy King Year Ahead thought leadership and networking

Join the Royds Withy King team for our annual Year Ahead drinks celebration and networking event to discuss and share insights into the predicted trends over the coming year.

To register contact us on:

0800 151 2040