Herbert Smith Freehills recently held its annual disputes client conference exploring some key legal and compliance risks facing major corporates. Following opening remarks by Mark Shillito, head of dispute resolution for the UK and US, there were presentations on cyber security, Brexit, insurance, class actions, decision analysis, privilege and internal investigations.

A summary of the conference from our Litigation team is below – if reading the full version of this post, you can jump down to read more detail on any of the sessions by clicking on the relevant heading.

Cyber security – keeping pace with emerging technologies: Andrew Moir explored the new threats facing organisations with the proliferation of new technologies and trends, focusing in particular on the "Internet of Things", connected vehicles and big data analytics, and looking at how organisations should respond to minimise the risks.

Brexit – how it affects your disputes risk: Andrew Cannon and Gary Milner-Moore considered the impact of Brexit from a disputes perspective, including the disputes that are likely to arise, the impact on the dispute resolution options parties may wish to choose, and the steps parties can take to protect themselves.

Insurance – do you have hidden assets that could assist in a dispute? Paul Lewis and Sarah McNally outlined some of the key policies and developing coverages which clients might not be aware of but which might assist in the event of a dispute or investigation, and looked at practical steps to maximise recoveries.

Competition class actions in the UK – where are we now? Kim Dietzel outlined developments relating to the controversial new collective redress regime for competition claims which was introduced in October 2015, including the first two attempts to launch "opt-out" class actions under the new regime, and their implications for businesses.

Decision analysis for disputes – helping you evaluate risk: Alex Oddy and Donny Surtani outlined how a quantitative approach, combining legal analysis with an evaluation of probabilities and other financial factors, can help clients to evaluate the risk inherent in each dispute, and to weigh their options accordingly.

Privileged (or not) – why the risk to business has just increased: James Norris-Jones outlined the recent High Court decision in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation, which has applied a very narrow interpretation of which communications are protected by privilege, and looked at how businesses can put themselves in the best position to obtain the protection of privilege.

Internal Investigations: Karen Anderson, Andrew Procter and Jenny Stainsby outlined some of the key challenges that arise in internal investigations including: putting in place proper governance; dealing with witness interviews; and preserving and retrieving evidence.

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