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24 June 2016

On Thursday 23 June, the eight-day trial concerning the alleged copyright infringement by Led Zeppelin concluded as the jury ruled that the iconic guitar riff intro of the band's classic track "Stairway to Heaven" was their own composition and not taken from the song "Taurus" by Spirit, released four years beforehand.

Although it was acknowledged that both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, lead singer and guitarist of Led Zeppelin respectively, had access to the lesser known song before writing Stairway, the jury failed to see enough similarities between the two compositions to justify the charge of plagiarism.

23 June 2016

Brexit! 

For our analysis of the likely impact of Brexit on employment law, please refer to the blog in April.  

Immigration Bill receives Royal Assent 

The Immigration Bill received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016 and is now the Immigration Act 2016. 

The Act introduces checks on illegal working and provisions to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers, such as: 

21 June 2016

The 1960's US rock band Spirit is suing members of the seminal British rock band Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement of their most famous hit "Stairway to Heaven" and an injunction against the release of album Led Zeppelin IV which features the track.

It is alleged that the opening instrumental of "Stairway to Heaven" was incorporated into the song after Led Zeppelin heard Spirit's song "Taurus" whilst the bands toured together between 1968 and 1969.

14 June 2016

Over the past few years so much has happened to alter the shape of the legal industry – cloud-based technologies, mobile apps, advanced analytics, IBM Watson, Oratto – yet, despite this, too many law firms remain resistant or worse, oblivious, to the impact legal technologies are having on the provision and quality of legal services.

Perhaps it is because of the resistance and naivety of some firms that it is only when you scratch the service that you begin to get a feel for just how much things are changing. In fact, they may even take reassurance from the fact that the legal sector remains stagnant in terms of pure economic growth, but beneath these still waters there is a dynamic and fast-paced evolution taking place that is full of opportunities.

But, as Charles Darwin theorised, evolution can be a ruthless business and even the most powerful of behemoths can be left behind if they fail to adapt to a changing environment. This has already been proven true, and dramatically so, in recent years with the collapse of global law firms such as Howrey, Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Bingham McCutchen. It would be easy to characterise the once unimaginable failure of these firms as being a product of old-fashioned mismanagement. However, to do so would be to miss the point as these failures are at least in part attributable to a misplaced overemphasis on economic growth and profit at the expense of intelligent consideration of the changing global legal landscape; a landscape that is increasingly defined by technology and the ability of both lawyers and clients to understand its uses.

01 June 2016

Brexit as a concept has been around for a long time. But recently, and understandably, politicians have been wielding their arguments for staying or going like battering rams on the nation's consciousness.

Most of what we hear about is the likely impact on issues such as migrant's eligibility for child benefit, holidaying abroad, and the cost of living and a string of carefully contrived barbs, delivered to the masses, are designed to move us one way or another in a ruthless ‘push me-pull me' dance on the borders of Brexit/Bremain.

But what of the impact on those in other spheres? Ones not in such high relief? Sadly, they don't seem to feature in the mass marketing of the Yes or No arguments.

Wisely, a number of commercial law firms have begun to create their own advice teams ready to advise clients on strategies for dealing with an exit from the EU. Politicians, it seems, and the opinion pieces in the media, which are currently deluging into the communal headspace, can't be trusted - they all have an agenda and it's not to prioritise commercial law clients.

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