Global Outlook on Legal Market
The market size growth in 2017 is mostly contributed by North America followed closely by Europe. The trends that are expected to be seen in 2018 are a steep rise in AFA (Alternative Fee Arrangements) adoption and more defined sub-division of legal work for better transparency.
- Rise of AFA adoption – The law firms have been gradually adopting AFAs due to building pressure from the clients and the trend is only going to rise in the coming years
- More unbundling of services – The depth of client awareness of legal work is expected to further the sub-division of the same for better transparency of billing and work allocation. This trend is expected to rise further in the coming years
Global Legal Market Trends
Hiring of expert legal professionals into the General Counsel:
- Corporates are looking at hiring legal professionals from well known backgrounds for practice areas where they are experiencing high demand instead of depending upon the law firms for those specific legal matters
Pressure for AFA adoption
- Corporates are increasingly pressurizing the law firms to abolish the hourly rates and take up AFAs, and are supervising the billing methodology with more keenness.
Rising position of the Big Fours in the Legal market:
- The Big Fours have transitioned from Audit firms to multidisciplinary professional service firms to globally integrated business solution providers and legal services have become one of their crucial service provisions
Emergence of Legal Technology:
- Legal technology is becoming one of the latest change makers in the legal market, leading to better efficiencies and cost savings through automation and reduction of human labour, respectively
Global Outlook and Changes in Major Practice Areas
The practice areas in focus are expected to evolve in various ways in the near future due to the demanding situations posed by the buyer base for better efficiencies and also due to the changing regulations brought in by the various governments.
Mergers and Acquisition
Temporary staffing for M&A activities
- As corporates are requiring highly knowledgeable, experienced tax and mergers and acquisitions experts to help them make informed decisions and execute the very complex work efficiently, who they are not able to afford to hire internally, they are looking at bringing in specialized legal counsel on a project basis, in order to enable them to complete the merger in a reasonable time frame. This trend is expected to catch up momentum in the coming years.
Expected rise in Patent litigation law suits
- Generics often flood the market with the infringing product immediately upon launch, a trend governing the pharmaceutical patent litigation. Patentees, in the coming future, are expected to actively monitor the triggers that give rise to a credible apprehension that a competitor is likely to launch the infringing product in the market and file lawsuits sooner rather than later in order to capitalize on this trend
Further growth of Mediation
- Mediation is an area of legal specialization that is expected to grow as it offers a valuable approach to reduce the time and costs of litigation
Labor & Employment
More evolution in the Law
- The various segments of labor and employment law like employment discrimination, workplace harassment, wage and hour, family and medical leave, traditional labor, non-compete agreements, and health and safety are expected to constantly evolve at the federal, state, and local law level