Wednesday, 22 September 2021 19:50

Dowson Turco Lawyers expert Nicholas Stewart explains why business and IT needs legal advice: iTWireTV Interview


GUEST INTERVIEW: Just as security is now built into products, services and businesses from the ground up, so too should important legal issues be considered when starting a business, employing staff, dealing with data, IP, working form home, data breaches, staff who leave and much, much more, as lawyer Nicholas Stewart explains.

Dowson Turco Lawyers. Based in the Sydney suburb of Newtown in NSW, Dowson Turco not only support the LGBTI community, but are a firm of experienced and problem-solving practitioners servicing all of its communities.

As you'd expect, the team comprises highly competent lawyers practising in all states and territories in property law, commercial law and litigation, criminal law, family law, and estates and probate.

The Dowson Turco team is led by Stacey DowsonMary Turco, and Nicholas Stewart.

Nicholas heads up the criminal and commercial law teams at Dowson Turco and takes carriage of various matters including cybercrime, corporate and serious personal crime, and commercial disputes.

So, Nicholas is well versed in legal matters concerning the IT, tech and business worlds, and he joined iTWireTV to explain why legal guidance for modern businesses in a whole range of areas, including the work from home reality that so many of us have been plunged right back into.

Here's my full video interview with Nicholas, after which is a great example he has provided of why one of his clients needed Dowson Turco's legal services, followed by a summary of the topics we spoke about - please watch and read on!

 Nicholas provided an example of a client that is a family support service in regional NSW. The client contacted Dowson Turco Lawyers after a data breach originating in either the client's email system or its accountants email system. The client was unable to determine the exact source of the breach.

However, it was able to be determined that hackers gained access to the client's file system and database with potential access to the tax file numbers, financial information and medical information of the client's customers.

The organisation contacted Nicholas, as it was unsure whether the matter was a reportable breach, and the steps it should take.

Nicholas and his team provided urgent legal advice on the organisation’s reporting requirements and contacted the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) on its behalf!

Dowson Turco recommended an IT investigation firm assist in the investigation of the breach and spoke to IDCare about ongoing assistance with security for the client’s employees. Dowson Turco also assisted with drafting communications to those affected.

No penalties were issued and the client was grateful for Dowson Turco's problem-solving and management of what was a very stressful situation, which could have also been costly.

Dowson Turco also assisted with a review of the client's notification letter sent to all of its customers and employees potentially affected by the breach.

The client worked with its IT support and the OAIC to contact all parties affected and resolve the issue in accordance with OAIC guidelines.

The work was carried out urgently over a 2 day period. The client was extremely grateful as they had no knowledge of how to approach the issue and, being in a rural city, had no local expertise. With Dowson Turco's assistance, the client was able to comply with all requirements and successfully close the issue with the OAIC.

That's just one example of many that Dowson Turco has helped companies with, so if in doubt, seek legal advice!

Here's a summary of what we spoke with Nicholas Stewart about:

  • I started by introducing Nicholas and asked him to tell us about Dowson Turco Lawyers and the areas of law that it specialises in.
  • We then moved onto the services offered to tech companies, tech workers and the IT industry, especially in the age of COVID where so many of us are working from home.
  • Nicholas elaborated on the some of the legal issues arising from lockdown, from privacy and workplace conduct, which even includes the types of equipment a workplace should be ensuring its workers have available, such as ergonomic chairs or IT equipment powerful enough to allow workers to do the job.
  • I enquired to the geographic areas where Dowson Turco Lawyers represents clients, which is across Australia and internationally.
  • We discussed where to find reliable legal resources online, as we as when individuals and businesses should contact Dowson Turco, and Nicholas shared some of the other things workers and employers should know that I hadn't asked about.
  • Nicholas shared his memory of his first computer, the first legal incident he worked on involving technology, how we thinks laws in this area will evolve over the next few years, great advice he has received in life, and his final message to viewers and readers, and to his current and future customers and parters.

So, please watch the video interview above, and if you need legal advice, be sure to seek it out, as there are many areas as discussed where it is vitally important to do so.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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