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UK Legal Firms Facing Unrelenting Cyber Onslaught

UK Legal Firms Facing Unrelenting Cyber Onslaught

In the aftermath of our previous blog on cyber-attacks targeting the legal sector in the UK, we delve deeper into the latest assaults, shedding light on the dire consequences and offering insights on bolstering cyber defences to avert severe business disruptions. This article unveils recent attacks on law firms and the high stakes for failing to take adequate safety measures.

The Allen & Overy Saga: A High-Profile Confrontation

The most high-profile recent victim is Allen & Overy – the UK “magic circle” law firm that fell prey to the notorious Russian ransomware group Lockbit. This London-based legal giant, founded in 1930, is the 7th largest integrated law firm globally, with approximately 5,500 employees and 500 partners across 31 nations. Allen & Overy was in the process of merging with Sherman & Sterling and faced a cyber onslaught that threatened to expose sensitive data. The merger was to create a 4,000-lawyer firm with 800 partners across 48 offices by May 2024. Lockbit added Allen & Overy to its victim list in early November 2023, claiming they had acquired their data and planned to publish it soon.

Prompt action by external cybersecurity experts helped isolate and contain the breach, sparing the firm’s core system data, email, and document management systems. Weeks later, as forensic investigations and remediations unfold, the firm continues to operate with limited disruption, underscoring the importance of swift and well-planned responses to such threats. The speed of response by Allen & Overy and the additional remediation and planning afte