As global players in the field of law we see several trends with growing relevance for the legal space in Germany from an international perspective, and with regard to compliance and investigations.
Business Law Magazine – Lawyers‘ Top 5:
Trend 1: Increasing complexity
Overall, we have seen a rapid increase in the laws and sets of rules to be complied with, as well as the fields of regulation (e.g. Supply Chain Due Diligence Acts, Association Sanctions Laws, Taxonomy, EU Green Deal etc.). This results in a significantly higher level of complexity with regard to the matters to be managed by the competent organs and individuals – leading to an increasing demand for high-end compliance advice.
Trend 2: ESG
ESG has been a top trend, and has been broadly discussed in recent years. Many legislative activities are ongoing and will continue to shape the ESG landscape in Europe and beyond in the foreseeable future. We follow an integrated approach, and consider ESG aspects as integral parts of good corporate governance. The implications and treatment of ESG are highly dependent on the individual enterprise and the sector(s) it conducts business in. Based on a respective analysis and assessment, we usually implement ESG-related subjects directly in our clients’ compliance management systems to ensure a consistent compliance and ESG culture.
Trend 3: Legal tech on the rise
The role of legal tech has significantly increased in the last few years and will continue to do so. Only those legal advisers for whom the optimum usage of legal tech is a given and who have built up strong teams of legal tech experts will be able to provide their clients with cutting-edge legal advice in the most efficient best practice manner going forward. Besides providing tailor-made legal tech solutions to clients, we – inter alia – (i) use a number of specific applications when conducting internal investigations, (ii) provide clients with self-developed e-learning programs and training tools, and (iii) implement contract management tools that, e.g., centralize and simplify the ongoing adaptation of policies and guidelines in corporate organizations with regard to new legal developments. These tools enable more (cost-)efficient handling of typical high-risk areas in the corporate organization and significantly reduce the error-rate otherwise associated with them.
Trend 4: Reorganization of global supply chains
Recent severe developments in the global landscape, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the tensions between China and Taiwan/the US, have triggered a need for many global corporations to reorganize (or at least refine) their supply chains. This trend is being boosted further by certain pieces of legislation aiming to implement compliance/ESG-related duties with regard to the whole corporate suppy chain (e.g. the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act and similar laws in France, the Netherlands etc.). As a consequence, there is an even stronger demand for legal advice in connection with supply chain management and its implementation in the compliance organization than ever before.
Trend 5: Increasing demand for interdisciplinary and global cross-border capabilities
Against the background of Trends 1 through 4 above, international clients are showing even stronger demand to receive excellent compliance advice seamlessly from one source. Global supply chains, operations and data usage require strong and interacting cross-border capabilities. This also applies with regard to internal investigations, with the special feature that our legal teams are often supplemented with interdisciplinary experts (e.g., forensic/tech experts; tax/accounting specialists etc.) to ensure the best possible and most straightforward investigation process.