In-house counsel, especially those in leadership positions, are facing external pressures that are shaping their roles.
They are generally perceived to be more agile personalities then their private practice counterparts and so in theory should be better suited to absorb these pressures.
So where are these pressures coming from?
🌎 New Markets
Businesses chase scale.
That scale is normally found by opening up new markets around the world.
This means that businesses are becoming more dispersed in terms of operations.
This places increased pressures on in-house legal teams to grapple and deal with the legal differences, the complexity of the regulatory landscape and managing risk associated with these new markets.
This even before the physical challenge of creating and managing legal teams and resources across geographies with discipline.
Information is moving and being processed faster every day.
Access to information is also far greater than perhaps it has ever been.
Technology firms and technologists seem to be engaged in an “arms race” to make everything smaller and quicker.
This has and continues to increase risk whether on the privacy or cyber front for companies.
These risks will only get greater as computer scientists take us into new frontiers.
In-house counsel must be losing sleep and trying to stay one step ahead of this growing risk.
The medium and long term outlook suggests that the burden of Government regulation and oversight on most industries will increase.
This trend is compounded by the advancement of industries into novel products and services.
As businesses innovate into new terrain, the need for regulation becomes greater.
This is not just about an increase in the breadth of regulations but their depth to.
Governments and regulators are pursuing the “inch wide and mile deep” approach to regulatory frameworks because of the many recent crises.
Oversight has become more granular.
In-house counsel need to keep their eye on the changes in their businesses in order to figure out and implement the relevant regulatory regimen and processes internally.