Cardiff experts recover over £20m for international piracy victims

By Raspberry Jim,

Experts at Cardiff’s CJCH Consulting recovered over £20 million for companies which have fallen victim to international intellectual property theft last year, it has been revealed.

Consultants at the specialist firm, which offers industry-leading anti-piracy and compliance services, recovered the “significant sum” for its clients throughout 2017.

The figure includes recoveries for industries ranging from engineering, to oil and gas, and film, which faced severe copyright, primarily software, infringements over the 12-month period.

In order to recover any funds lost as a result of intellectual property theft, CJCH Consulting’s experts combine their technical knowledge, research and legal enforcement skills to recoup any losses.

Antony Crampton, Compliance and Investigations Director at CJCH Consulting, said the vast sum recovered was fantastic news for hundreds of businesses whose intellectual property was illegally targeted in 2017.

He said: “As a team we are thrilled to have recovered this significant sum of money for our clients across the UK and internationally.

“This achievement reflects the determination and skill demonstrated by our dedicated teams, who have worked tirelessly to recover these funds for our clients.

“Our Anti-Piracy and Compliance Team is developing an international reputation thanks to its expertise in this area, and with impressive results such as these it’s easy to see why.

“We are proud to be supporting the fight against international intellectual property infringement and look forward to supporting our existing and new clients further in 2018.”

The figure comes on the back of a successful year for the consulting firm’s anti-piracy team, which attracted investment from the Welsh Government in March to create a global IP Anti-Piracy Unit at its Cardiff head office.

Alongside its Anti-Piracy achievements, CJCH Consulting and its legal arm CJCH Solicitors also recruited 36 new members of staff across both businesses in a bid to further strengthen its client offering last year.

And this year will bring even more good news, as 2018 marks the five-year anniversary since Colin Jones Solicitors merged with Clarke & Hartland to form CJCH Solicitors in its current form.

The merger took place in 2013 when founding partners Stephen Clarke, Tim Hartland, and Jacqui Seal, brought together the two established firms with over 30 years’ experience in the Welsh legal sector.

They chose to combine Mr Clarke’s expertise in intellectual property and criminal law, Mr Hartland’s specialism in criminal law and conveyancing, and Ms Seal’s skills in criminal and military law to create a fully comprehensive legal and consulting firm which met the evolving needs of people across Wales.

Now, CJCH is a Wales top-20 law firm with headquarters in Cardiff, which has grown to more than 100 members of staff. Its expertise covers the full range of legal services including commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, intellectual property, mental health, employment law, motoring, property, family, child care, crime, wills & probate.

Peru crime investigations get boost thanks to Cardiff expert

By Raspberry Jim,

Crime scene investigation in Peru is set to be significantly enhanced thanks to expert advice from a Cardiff-based special investigator.

Paul Stephens, who works for the Anti-Piracy and Compliance team at CJCH Solicitors, travelled 5,960 miles to Lima, in Peru, to deliver specialist crime scene training to officers from the Peruvian National Police force.

Sixteen officers, including lieutenants, majors and captains, took part in the month-long course, which focused on UK methods of crime investigation.

In the first week, Mr Stephens, who specialises in analytical research to prevent  international cyber crime and intellectual property infringements, focused on photographic and video evidence recording and how this could be used for crime scene reconstruction.

The second week explored DNA and trace evidence recovery and detailed how fingerprint powders and chemicals could contaminate this.

Week three covered fingerprint or footwear retrieval and its importance; while the final week saw the attendees face theory and practical assessments demonstrating what they had learned.

Mr Stephens said he was confident the training would provide far greater awareness of how to effectively police a crime scene to ensure the most accurate evidence was obtained.

He said: “Gathering evidence, and gathering it accurately, is absolutely crucial to the administration of justice in any country.

“Therefor evidence contamination is something that we work thoroughly to prevent by promoting these guidelines, which we in the UK follow stringently.

“It was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to travel to Peru to work with the Peruvian National Police force to share our best practice in relation to crime investigation with them.

“I’m certain that through the skills they have obtained, evidence gathering and standards of crime scene investigation will be significantly enhanced, with all attendees now having far more awareness of the potential for evidence contamination.

“This was a fantastic and enormously worthwhile project to be a part of, and I look forward to hearing how this initiative enhance investigation standards in Peru.”

The course was part of an on-going education syllabus held in conjunction with the British Embassy Peru and AECOM.

CJCH Solicitors is Wales’s leading legal firm with over 30 years’ experience in offering expert advice. Its team of acclaimed solicitors is experienced in all aspects of legal enforcement to deliver tailored strategies and action plans to address global challenges.

CJCH Solicitors in landmark collaboration with Swansea University Law School exploring cyber crime

By Raspberry Jim,

CJCH Solicitors has joined forces with Swansea University Law School to form a collaborative partnership exploring international cyber-crime.

The professional collaboration will see specialist consultant from the leading legal firm, Luke Heydenrych, undertake a three-year PhD in Law exploring the motivating factors which influence intellectual property crime.

As part of his course Mr Heydenrych will study the psychology behind such crimes, and examine how cultural and geographical factors may influence infringement.

This is the latest strategic partnership undertaken by the university in a bid to encourage professional knowledge sharing, and economic progression across Wales, with previous collaborations including Rolls Royce.

On his research Mr Heydenrych said he was delighted to have been given the opportunity to research a topic he is passionate about. He said: “When the opportunity was presented to me by our CEO, Stephen Clarke, I was immediately interested due to Swansea’s reputation in the fields of post-graduate research and innovation.

“It has been fascinating studying the psychological motivations behind IP crime, with criminology theory taking up the majority of my focus from an initial research perspective.

“Much of what I am finding is that people tend to convince themselves that the behaviour of infringing online is different to that of physical theft. Excuses such as accessibility, cost and convenience are used when asking why someone might infringe online, but not in real life.”

His ground-breaking research will also incorporate 3D printing, to demonstrate how IP theft could lead to sensitive information bypassing safeguards, such as regulations or border controls, to allow items such as weapons or medical components to be printed in other countries

The research is also proving beneficial to Mr Heydenrych’s part-time role at CJCH Solicitors, enabling the firm to better tackle infringement and piracy on a global scale.

While the collaboration is with CJCH Solicitors, the firm’s consultancy arm, CJCH Consulting, is internationally renowned for providing industry leading anti-piracy and compliance services, tailored to client’s specific needs.

He said: “It goes without saying that the course will enhance my own development and value to the industry, but it will definitely contribute positively to the CJCH strategy. The firm has been shaking up the global Anti-Piracy and Licence Compliance industry from South Wales for many years, and is continuing to spend time and resources on expanding that offering, but also contributing to the general community knowledge and awareness.”

His employer has also been “extremely supportive” of him undertaking the challenging research work alongside his professional role. He said: “CJCH are my sponsor on this program, and have actually been incredibly supportive, they have adapted the role around my studies and have given me access to time and resources to complete my research wherever I am. CJCH understands the need to further this field and to develop the industry. I don’t think I would have found a law firm or consultancy this supporting anywhere else.”

Stephen Clarke, CEO at CJCH Solicitors, said: “Our collaboration with Swansea University Law School is a pilot initiative as we look at new opportunities to establish thought leadership and next generation thinking in the fields of digital commerce and cyber protection. We need to look to the bigger picture, that it is not about building our own internal capabilities, but sharing our insight to contribute to a more informed and able community.”

 

CJCH Solicitors’ collaboration boosts global fight against cyber crime

By Raspberry Jim,

A Cardiff law firm is strengthening the fight against international piracy and cyber crime thanks to a landmark legal collaboration.

Experts from CJCH Solicitors have teamed up with Chinese law firm Hunyuan Partners to share their renowned anti-piracy knowledge, which could help tackle the wide-spread issue internationally.

As part of the initiative, chief executive officer and founding partner Stephen Clarke, and head of licence compliance research Tim Early, recently travelled to the firm’s Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul offices in a bid to further understanding surrounding anti-piracy practice.

During the trip topics discussed included software piracy, how to interpret infringement telemetry, and best practice from CJCH’s extensive experience of working in the field of Software Licence Compliance.

Mr Clarke, who specialises in advising in intellectual property and criminal law, said this was the start of an exciting new phase for both firms.

He said: “We would like to thank senior partner at the firm Zhenhao for welcoming us and working so effectively to further this collaboration.

“Not only will this exciting initiative help to strengthen international anti-piracy measures, it will also enable both firms to explore new markets and extend their legal and business reach into Europe, Africa, Asia and America.

“This new collaboration has opened up a wealth of exciting prospects for both firms and we welcome the opportunity to support each other in the future.”

Mr Early, from the Cardiff-based firm, said the initiative had been “extremely beneficial” for both firms, forging strong links going forwards.

He said: “This was a resounding success in international collaboration and cross-border relationship building. Based on the positive feedback received from the attendees, the training was well received and they were able to put the disseminated information to good use immediately.

“We look forward to progressing this new partnership and utilising it to enhance anti-piracy measures internationally.”

CJCH Solicitors was called on thanks to its international reputation in the fields of cyber crime and anti-piracy, having recouped millions of euros for clients in recent years.

Earlier this year their expertise attracted backing from the Welsh Government, as the specialist Cardiff firm aims to create and run a central hub for anti-piracy and cyber security in Wales.

Call centre staff fraud ‘must be tackled’ as UK-wide losses reach £40m

By Raspberry Jim,

Call centre managers are being urged to be vigilant against employee fraud “before it is too late” as UK-wide business losses soar to £40 million.

Consultant Philip Williams from Blackfords LLP, which specialises in defending some of the country’s most complex fraud cases, said the issue is among one of the most pressing facing managers in over 6,200 call centres across the UK.

This warning comes as figures from ActionFraud show that businesses in industries across the UK reported £40 million in losses from this type of crime between 2016 and 2017. During this period over 800 reports were submitted to the police, figures show.

Employee fraud is defined as committing a fraud against the business an employee is working for, these could include payment fraud, procurement fraud, and exploiting assets and confidential information.

However, employers could tackle these internal threats by implementing effective audits, Mr Williams said. Figures from the national cyber crime and fraud prevention centre reveal that 47% of frauds were uncovered as a result of successfully applied internal controls.

He said: “The ability of a call centre to operate effectively is almost entirely reliant on the trust of the customers it is working for. Thousands of contact centre workers handle sensitive financial and personal data daily and it is paramount that this is sufficiently protected.

“As such, any breach of rules which expose these confidential details is a serious issue.

“Employee fraud could not just damage the business’s reputation, but impact it financially, from a regulatory perspective, and also have significant internal implications.

“On a more national level, it doesn’t just jeopardise the future of the individual business, but potentially the reputation of the entire industry.

“It is for this reason that call centre managers must implement thorough audit and regulations to ensure proper procedures are followed in relation to sensitive information, but also to identify and effectively tackle any instances of staff fraud immediately.”

Mr Williams, who has extensive experience in acting on some of the UK’s most high-profile fraud cases, has offered his top four tips on what call centre managers can do to safeguard themselves against employee fraud.

 

Background checks are key

When hiring an employee to handle confidential data and interact with the public in potentially challenging circumstances, trustworthiness and competency is essential.

As such, one of the most important tools for a prospective employer to utilise is the background check.

This enables a manager to assess the individual’s suitability for the role to ensure the most appropriate people are employed.

An effective background check can review an individual’s employment, criminal, and in some instances financial information to ascertain their suitability.

For employees who will be exposed to particularly sensitive or confidential information, it is advised that this be coupled with a reference, both personal and professional, along with a mock working scenario, which can demonstrate the worker’s capabilities and character.

A background check is a successful line of defence which allows you to safeguard your business against fraud and crime. Failing to undertake this could leave you and your staff and business vulnerable to reputational, regulatory, and financial damage.

Surprise audits

While routine audits of the business and its internal procedures can be effective at monitoring the call centre’s progress, a surprise audit has been shown to be the most successful method of identifying fraudulent staff behaviour.

According to research, the duration of employee fraud can be reduced by 50% by utilising spontaneous audits, while the median financial loss from this activity was also cut by 43.4%.

Spending time to audit procedures surrounding customer security could help to identify any potentially worrying internal data or trends.

Examining whether security checks were carried out in line with the company’s policies, or whether financial information was transmitted securely could serve to protect the call centre against fraudulent practices.

Not only will this help to eradicate any damaging behaviour, it will help to shape future policies and strengthen the business going forwards.

 

Thorough training

Staff could be left vulnerable to fraudulent third-party manipulation, or inadvertently compromise information, due to a lack of training.

Reinforcing and educating staff about what constitutes fraud at work, and implementing stringent anti-fraud policies, will help to eradicate potentially criminal activity at work. Fraud isn’t simply stealing money from an employer or customer, acts can include tampering with cheques or information, false representation for example in an application, wrongfully failing to disclose information – such as a criminal record or conviction, or disclosing confidential information.

Educating employees about the basics of identifying fraudulent behaviour could help to dramatically reduce fraud in the workplace. Signs of fraud could include living beyond their means, a disregard for internal procedures, medical issues, or gambling or financial concerns, reluctance to take holiday, or an unprofessionally close association with customers.

 

Site security is vital

Ensuring customers feel secure in sharing their confidential information safely to your website is key.

Most call centres will have a website where customers can visit and log into their personal account, which could contain private medical records, financial or personal information.

In order to contact a call centre support member, some customers may have to input passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, or usernames.

As such, customers must be reassured that the information they are inputting is being securely protected.

Call centres should ensure their site is protected by an SSL certificate, which not only ensures information is transmitted safely, but demonstrates confidence in the site’s authenticity.

An SSL certificate ensures that the sensitive information is transmitted across the internet in an encrypted format to ensure that only the intended recipient can read it securely.

This not only protects it against potential identity thieves and hackers, but also safeguards against employees who may have been manipulated into disclosing customers information to a third-party.