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Aug 2016

Source: Giphy

Once in a blue moon you log onto your LinkedIn, have a look at who's stalked you, add a few friends and mostly ignore your news feed. When you don't ignore your news feed, you probably see law firms spruiking the latest and greatest things their working on in the words of one of their partners. And you probably don't read them. In fairness, there are too many for you to possibly stay up to date. For that reason, we've put together a list of recent law firm 'insights' that are worth a read. Reading them won't take longer than your commute to work or uni (or your Admin law lecture) but you'll always pick up something you didn't know before.

 

1. Can blockchain live up to the hype? (DLA Piper)

Blockchain is where it's at (if by 'it' you mean the focus of all law firm that gives a flying you-know-what about the future). This DLA Piper piece is essentially an intro to blockchain for lawyers. It actually runs you through what blockchain is (phew) and then goes through implications for the law and legal practice. It even runs through blockchain language, defining words like 'Ethereum' and 'DAO', which come in handy as they pop up a lot in blockchain talk, including the G + T piece below. This one's a long read but it's worth a skim-read, even just to set you up for the juicy heist below.

 

2. Blockchain: the importance of creating new governance (Gilbert + Tobin)

Now that you've been briefed on the basics, get a load of this. It's shorter than the DLA Piper piece so don't give up yet. This piece gives you a good run-through of some of the legal challenges that come with blockchain, particularly those pointed out by the gaping US$50 million-wide hole in the US$150 million raised by DAO on the Ethereum public blockchain. It's an interesting article in that it steps away from the usual tech-related fanfare that surrounds blockchain and looks to the more fundamental changes it brings about - almost in a philosophical sense. A good read for the jurisprudence nerds.

 

3. ASIC issues warning on cutting corners in IPOs scrutinising due diligence practices (Holding Redlich)

On to other things that are just so damn hot right now, this Holding Redlich article talks IPOs. Specifically, it runs through the recent ASIC report on due diligence in IPOs. This is an important topic to be across if you have corporate law/and or clerkship ambitions, especially since Price Waterhouse Coopers' legal team has branded itself an industry disruptor in the area, seeking out a larger chunk of the IPO market. 

 

4. Indefinite detention and NT prison abuse is our own fault (Michael Bradley, Marque Lawyers)

Michael Bradley does not hold back. Bradley talks NT prison controversy, likening it to Abu Ghraib, as well as the constitutionality of preventative detention in the context of terrorism. It's the blustering (but rational) tirade against the Australia's hypocrisy regarding detention that you wish you could write instead of whatever incoherent Facebook comment you actually wrote. But it's also more than that. It's a lawyers view of the situation. Shoutouts are made to the Constitution, to judicial review and Bae (Gillian Triggs, Human Rights Commissioner).

 

5. Prepare or beware: strengthening cyber resilience in Hong Kong (James Comber, Ashurst)

When you sit down in your clerkship interview and someone asks you what you think the challenges to the legal industry are, you'll be glad you read this. We all know tech has disrupted legal practice (see above, blockchain, blockchain, blockchain) but this article gives us an interesting example of how it has: cyber attacks on big banks. While this article is from a global perspective, the same concerns have been voiced domestically by Australia's big banks.

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