Morning Briefing: Rapidly growing litigation funding firm takes on Asia-Pac

Rapidly growing litigation funding firm eyes Asia-Pac market… Batman’s famous car gets copyright protection... Large law firms see rise in data breaches… Clifford Chance launches LGBT initiative

Litigation funding firm eyes Asia-Pac market
Harbour Litigation Funding has opened its new office in Hong Kong for its fast-growing Asia-Pacific operation. Ruth Stackpool-Moore has been appointed to head the team and joins from the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) where, as Managing Counsel, she led the arbitration team and managed the centre as Acting Secretary-General during the second half of 2014.
Harbour is one of the world's largest litigation funders and acts as the sole investment sub-advisor to the Harbour Funds which invests in claims in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand with an expanding Australasian portfolio which includes new cases from Singapore. The Hong Kong office will be its regional hub.
 
Pow! Batman’s famous car gets copyright protection
Following yesterday’s news about Happy Birthday being officially free of copyright, today’s news from the US courts is that Batman’s iconic vehicle cannot be copied. DC Comics lawsuit was against Mark Towle, who had made various replicas of the famous car and sold them for around $90,000 each. The Huffington Post reports that  Towle’s attorney claimed that the design was a drawing in a comic and that the real cars were something different but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in favour of DC and ruled that the car’s power and sleekness is part of the IP and cannot be replicated without permission. 

Large law firms see rise in data breaches
Data breaches at large law firms is on the rise according to the American Bar Association’s 2015 Legal Technology Survey. Bloomberg reports that firms with more than 100 lawyers had experiences a significant jump in breaches. Not all of the incidents are the result of cyber attacks as lost smartphones and laptops are also included in the figures as are burglaries. Business was not generally disrupted by the breaches though and only 3 per cent of the incidents resulted in unauthorized access to client data.

Clifford Chance launches LGBT initiative
International law firm Clifford Chance has launched a new global ‘allies’ programme aimed at supporting its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff. The initiative, being supported by the senior management team, will boost the firm’s inclusivity and diversity policies and will be in place throughout the firm’s international locations. That includes its office in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, despite the law which can mean imprisonment or flogging.

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