Law firms and chambers working together to improve cybersecurity

The Law Society and the Bar Council have updated the cybersecurity questionnaire designed to help law firms better assess the cybersecurity arrangements of the chambers and barristers they instruct.

In response to feedback from users, the new version includes considerations on disaster recovery, business continuity and incident management, as well as data and device management.

Protection against phishing, identifying vulnerabilities and penetration testing are also emphasised in response to ongoing cybersecurity developments.

Nick Emmerson, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, said: “Law firms and chambers are targets for the ever-growing threats from cyber criminals.

"We know that no one tool can offer complete protection against cyber threats but this updated questionnaire will help reassure clients that data is kept as secure as possible.

"Firms will need to continue to take other precautions, but the development of the questionnaire is an important step in the right direction.”

Sam Townend KC, chair of the Bar Council, said: “Keeping client information safe is of paramount concern to barristers and chambers.

"Since it was launched two years ago, the cybersecurity questionnaire has provided a useful tool to help protect against the threat of cyberattacks in a proportionate way.

"Through joint work with the Law Society we are making sure that this tool keeps pace with developments in cybersecurity and responds to the feedback from our members.”

A new voluntary cyber and information security affirmation has been published alongside the questionnaire to be used by barristers and instructing solicitors to set out their specific and individual roles and responsibilities in relation to data handling and processing.

The voluntary affirmation is not contractually or legally binding but provides a useful and timely reminder of the importance of cybersecurity and information management for the legal profession.

Notes to editors

See the questionnaire and affirmation on the Law Society and Bar Council websites.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Peggy Papakosta | 020 8049 4171

About the Bar Council

The Bar Council represents nearly 18,000 practising barristers in England and Wales.

It promotes: the Bar's high-quality specialist advocacy and advisory services; fair access to justice for all; the highest standards of ethics, equality, and diversity across the profession; and the development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

Press office contact: Sally Burnell | 020 3657 4018

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