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The Legal Implications of Social Media

Baines Wilson LLP, in partnership with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, have been advising local businesses on how to avoid the legal pitfalls of using social media. As part of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Business to Business events at Energus in Workington and at Carlisle Racecourse, Joanne Holborn, John Wilson, and Tom Scaife, all from Baines Wilson LLP, have stressed the importance of posting and ‘tweeting’ safely from an employment law and commercial law perspective.

Baines Wilson LLP, in partnership with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, have been advising local businesses on how to avoid the legal pitfalls of using social media. As part of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Business to Business events at Energus in Workington and at Carlisle Racecourse, Joanne Holborn, John Wilson, and Tom Scaife, all from Baines Wilson LLP, have stressed the importance of posting and ‘tweeting’ safely from an employment law and commercial law perspective.

Joanne Holborn, Employment Law Partner at Baines Wilson LLP said: “Whilst social media offers a fantastic opportunity for businesses, employers need to understand the dangers associated with its use by employees. Employers can take practical steps to protect their business, including the implementation of an effective social media policy and guidelines as to the use of social media. Many employers do not realise that their employees’ social media activities can have an impact on the business – even when done in their own time.”

John Wilson, Commercial Law Partner at Baines Wilson LLP said: “Whenever any business uses social media, whether on their own website or via an external site such as Twitter, they are publishing information to the world at large. There are a number of laws that businesses must conform to, including those relating to privacy, defamation, intellectual property and potentially e-commerce.”

Catherynn Dunstan, Events Development Manager at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce said: “The feedback from the social media presentation given by Baines Wilson LLP has been excellent. It has been extremely valuable to have the team setting out the risks, as well as the opportunities associated with the use of social media. We are delighted to be working so closely with Baines Wilson during 2011”.

Baines Wilson LLP have created a sample Social Media Policy and Guidelines for the use of Social Media. If you would like further information on developing your own social media policy and guidelines, please email jh@baineswilson.co.uk or contact one of the team.

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