The Law Society has published best-practice advice for legal firms' IT teams that are considering using cloud computing, following increased use of the cloud to store data.
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The practice note is aimed at all solicitors, practice managers and law firm IT staff.
The Law Society's practice note said: “Legal practices are increasingly using cloud computing as an alternative to traditional IT provision. Cloud computing has a number of advantages, but it also carries risks, which your firm should navigate carefully.”
Sam De Silva, chair of the Law Society’s technology and law reference group, said: “While cloud computing has a number of advantages for businesses, such as reducing costs and increasing storage, it carries risk, which firms must consider when engaging with a third party to handle sensitive information.
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“Anyone involved with the collection and storage of personal data must comply with the Data Protection Act, and law practices are also subject to professional conduct obligations to maintain client confidentiality and properly manage their practices.”
The Law Society's guidance covers areas such as lawful access to data by foreign law enforcement or intelligence agencies, service levels and the right to sue the cloud provider for damages or terminate the contract.
“The Law Society advises firms to ensure their prospective cloud service has been subjected to a full risk and compliance analysis before proceeding,” the practice note said.