LONDON, UK – September 29, 2014 — / — The legal sector is becoming increasingly comfortable with the use of cloud based technology and applications, despite the Snowden revelations. This is according to research from Commercial and Cloud lawyer at DMH Stallard LLP, Frank Jennings, and cloud service provider Databarracks.

The white paper, released today, reveals that the legal profession remains alert to the issue of data security and client confidentiality and the impact of Snowden has not led to a fundamental rethink in practice.

The paper – “One Year On. The real challenges and benefits of cloud computing to law firms” – is based on detailed interviews with a number of technology directors at leading law firms. The aim was to gauge their attitudes towards cloud computing, whether the firm had adopted cloud or had plans to do so, and what type of services are being adopted.

Peter Groucutt, managing director, Databarracks, stated: “Since our initial report this time last year, a lot has happened. Not only has Edward Snowden revealed just how much access US and UK governments have to our data, we have seen a slew of new initiatives from the USA, EU and UK governments to address those concerns. Our first paper also looked into the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and its apparent lack of guidance on cloud computing.

“Since then, we’ve seen reports and practice notes from the SRA and The Law Society looking at the risks of cloud computing for law firms. The Law Society is actually due to release a new report early next month containing fundamental advice for firms who may not have specialist in-house IT support – so there is guidance out there now.

“The question our latest paper looked to answer was whether or not the right balance has been struck by authorities between providing guidance to law firms whilst still allowing them the autonomy to select and implement the right cloud services. The question was also raised as to whether it would be better to have an SRA-approved list of providers.”

Jennings, who is also Chair of the Cloud Industry Forum Code of Practice Board, added: “Our research indicates that IT directors within law firms are in agreement that the SRA response was detailed and thorough. While it outlines good practice, it does not identify anything that a reasonable IT director or compliance officers wouldn’t be doing already. The research also indicated that the legal sector was content that the SRA did not have an approved list of cloud suppliers. This would have been viewed as a backward step and that the SRA’s approach was more ‘guide’ than ‘prescribe’.

“Our findings also highlighted a good awareness of the benefits of cloud services, but it was clear that the need to take adequate precautions to maintain client confidentiality, particularly in the light of provider insolvency and governmental surveillance, remained paramount,” he added.

Key conclusions from the white paper include:

• For those law firms that actively monitor data security, the Snowden revelations have not led to a fundamental change in practice. The key message from the white paper is that law firms are highly sensitive to the issue of data security and client confidentiality

• The legal profession is comfortable with the use of cloud and it is no longer managing partners driving cloud adoption

• Despite preparedness for data security and the willingness to use cloud, there are still some concerns over governmental surveillance

The white paper can be downloaded here:

About Databarracks:
Databarracks provides secure, Infrastructure as a Service, Backup as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a Service from UK-based, ex-military data centres.

Databarracks is certified by the Cloud Industry Forum, ISO 27001 certified for Information Security and has been selected as a provider to the G-Cloud framework. For more information, please see:

Nick Bird
Spreckley Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 207 388 9988

Source: Databarracks