Watson, Farley & Williams has yanked a webinar off YouTube after it was pointed out that a partner had accidentally revealed the identity of some of her clients and aspects of her family life.
The partner, whom RollOnFriday is not naming, was required to take the helm an hour into a presentation on risks "relating to the construction of the power plant in the LNG value chain". Understandably transfixed by the material, she failed to maximise the slides on which she was commentating, exposing a ring of blessed distraction from the power plant tedium.
Only the titles of her desktop folders were visible, granting viewers a tantalising glimpse into the professional and personal life of a WFW partner. It wouldn't be fair to reveal what they were, but disconcertingly they were all wholesome, apart from the identity of a couple of the clients.
Luckily, power plants in the LNG value chain appear to hold limited interest for people, so the video had only accrued 52 views before it was pulled down.
In a statement, WFW said, "We take matters of confidentiality seriously; the unfortunate incident in question has been rectified".
WFW should really be paying ROF a retainer for IT crisis assistance. Last year the firm rushed to remove a video from YouTube which exposed confidential client and partner information after RollOnFiday alerted it.
Come on guys, this is an innocent mistake. There but for the grace of God, and all that...
Good ol’ WFW, never far away from an IT or data fuck-up.
Slow news day ROF?
Yes, an innocent mistake and could happen to anyone but WFW BD/Marketing should have picked that up before it was publicly posted by the firm. Did BD/marking or comms watch it before uploading?
Innocent mistake or not - this was a data protection breach. Have the relevant clients been informed and were the file names of the documents identifiable?
Hi WFW defenders! Larfing at you making out like this is nothing...Rof was gentle, didn't even name her.
An innocent mistake the first time yes, but they've done it twice now... that means its now not just an ooopsy, it means they didn't learn from it, they didn't bother to improve their systems to ensure this didn't happen again... so actually, its not really there but for the grace of god go I because they're professionals, and if they don't learn from their mistakes you should think that's a problem (and if you don't I hope you're never representing me because lord knows you can't be very good at your job).
Cue the WFW defence squadron trying to pretend this firm is anything but a shambles. LOL
Poor form. Clients expect confidentiality and are entitled to it. This was easy to guard against.
Anon 1116 - you are right. Why are client related documents being stored on the desktop and not in matter files which are secure? One hopes that the SRA are paying attention to this.
Totally not the presenting lawyer’s fault; these things happen all the time. Definitely the firm’s fault. The presentation would have been to registered audience and would have been live so basically no harm no foul as most participants would follow Chatham House rules and not disclose( but for the firm’s BD/marketing people to put it on the firm’s website and YouTube is an absolute disgrace. Why didn’t they watch it FFS? Were they sitting at home watching daytime TV waiting for the ppp mid-selling adverts to come up to get the number to call to check if their H and M store card provider mis-sold a credit card. Honestly, this firm needs to wake up and sort out it’s governance and control (but I guess that’s not a priority for the MP in Asia).
This is a complete non-story blown out of proportions. I appreciate that the view from the mighty high horses may be magnificent, but come on. Nothing to see here apart from virtue signalling and trolling by commenters.
So many people trying to glaze over this is concerning from a GDPR perspective. I would expect to see shortcuts to software systems used by lawyers but not Word and Excel and photos saved to desktops.
Yeah it was an accident.
Yeah she didn't do it on purpose.
Yeah it was a breach of client confidentiality.
Yeah it's a story worth publishing.
Sorry anon 1234 - what about the presenter? Why were apparently identifiable client related documents stored on the desktop and not safely and securely filed.
Blaming support staff is always the easy and cheap way out.
I blame the support staff.
cos that’s what those BD/Marketing/comms people are paid for; to check content is suitable for public dissemination.
they either didn’t watch it or didn’t pay attention to it.
It's getting so that people who work at WFW can instantly spot the other people who work at WFW can instantly spot who is making the defensive comments, just saying...
Partner didn’t maximise the window...
SRA aren’t concerned how data is saved only that it doesn’t become publicly available.
@News flash and news flash 2 - all ok?!
wfw's offices in hk is shit
The presenter shouldn’t really be blamed for a tech mishap that happens in the course of a live presentation But for the firm to “miss” the slip up and then post the recording on YouTube for public viewing is just negligent. As some other poster has said, the comms or events or BD team either didn’t watch it or didn’t pay attention; either way it’s their fault it was missed. Perhaps the head of bd or the head of whatever team was responsible for posting should be shown the door?
this type of thing has happened at wfw before so it’s arguably linked to lack of management, governance, or just plan old attention to detail. Whatever the cause it is concerning that if the firm can’t get this type of thing right then what is the risk that the firm gets something much more material wrong.
@Anon10 to imply someone should LOSE THEIR JOB over this laughable. It was clearly a mistake and rectified. I hope someone shows you compassion if you ever screw up...
People at wfw have lost their jobs over a lot less. In fact, people at wfw have lost their jobs just by doing their jobs properly but not generating enough for the great and the good to keep their noses in the trough.
The good news in all of this is that no one has yet commented on the content of the presentation ... which is encouraging!
@Anonymous 10 October 20 06:35
its even shittier now.
Technical mishaps happen. Hence surely the presenter (a law firm partner) who should be aware of risk management, compliance and have basic presentation skills viewed the recording after the event and before it was posted into the public domain to make sure it was in a form which would be presentable to clients / potential clients of the firm?
multiple failings in my view: presenting partner, BD, Comms, the other presenters etc. Did none of them think to check it before sanctioning publication.
@Anon 11 - you seem rattled. You should try yoga.
Are you showing compassion to those people who have lost their jobs at Watson Farley through no fault of their own or who are still worried about their jobs? Doubt it.
A warning and reminder to all of us just how easy it is to drop a bollock when farting about with techy shite.
What sort of ancient technology system did they use? Surely they have the money to invest in proper technology to avoid this happening? Not a good sign if they can’t run a simple webinar properly.
Just googling Watson Farley Williamson brb
Yes, it was a mistake by the presenters but it should have been picked up by events or comms or BD before being published. But Spare a thought for those presenting because at least two of them had been served notice of termination by the firm before this presentation went out. And they’re part of the first wave. What is the real story at wfw?!? Ask that question ROF!