Think Kidnappings Happen Only in the Movies? Think Again.

September 15, 2015

Your clients may think that kidnappings and ransom demands only happen when Liam Neeson is around, but that’s not the case. Kidnappings and ransom demands occur in everyday business settings, and law firms may be particularly vulnerable.

Just last month, a lawyer in China was kidnapped from his hotel hours after picking up his client, a journalist, who had just been released after nine months of detention. At least five other lawyers have disappeared or been detained recently, according to the Associated Press. There are concerns that Chinese authorities are cracking down on civil society and rights activism.

Over $1.5 billion in ransom payments are made to kidnappers each year, and the kidnapping industry is growing. It’s always been a global phenomenon but now kidnapping is being exploited as a form of generating revenue, according to Jim Brooks, CEO of Control Risks .  Control Risks  is a renowned response firm working exclusively with Hiscox in the event of a kidnap and/or ransom..

Ransom demands can be independent of kidnappings, and can threaten a firm’s employees, intellectual property or financial assets. No business is immune, and ransom demands can often be for astronomical sums.

The collection, transfer and retention of sensitive electronic information, along with the increasing sophistication of hacking attempts, increases the risk for ransom demands resulting from hijacked data. Law firms are vulnerable to these types of attacks due to the amount and type of information they retain.

Partners, directors, officers, employees, relatives, independent contracts and consultants are all at risk, and can all be covered with a specialized kidnap and ransom policy. A comprehensive policy will cover kidnap for ransom, extortion, detentions, security related evacuation, threats to kill or injury (even if no injury occurs), damage to property and divulging confidential or proprietary.  information.

Like all businesses, law firms have an obligation to keep their employees safe, and a fiduciary responsibility to protect their assets. Learn more about how you can help your clients protect themselves by downloading the Special Protection (K&R) Solutions Brochure . Hiscox provides worldwide coverage for US domiciled law firms.