As the world of business and finance radically changes and will continue to transform in 2023, the legal landscape is quickly evolving to meet the demands of businesses and individuals. Several new emerging trends will impact the legal sector and how legal experts do their jobs. If you’re interested in recruiting top talent to your legal business, contact Accelerate Recruitment for more details.
Trends Impacting the Legal Sector in Malta
This article considers the latest legal trends and how they might impact the legal sector in the year ahead.
1. Legal Tech. According to a study by Wolters Kluwer, legal technology will continue to rise in importance, with 63% of US lawyers expecting to invest in more software to increase their profits and stay competitive. This trend is prevalent globally as tech development tops the legal trends of 2023.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI will be widely used to not only automate routine tasks but to manage data more effectively and improve efficiency and client experience. The volumes of legal information firms receive mean AI presents effective solutions to manage the workflow more accurately and efficiently. AI contract and content writing tools and quotation generators will boost productivity and prove time and money-saving for legal professionals.
3. Cloud Technology. Private cloud tech with its top security encryptions and systems will become indispensable for legal firms to store and access client and company data. When implemented, cloud tech provides highly efficient ways of accessing, processing, and sharing information while minimising the risk of data loss. With the rise in remote and hybrid working an increasing number of law companies are moving to the cloud.
4. Cybersecurity. As a consequence of digitisation, cybercrime and data breaches are on the rise. With the legal sector’s access to sensitive personal and financial client data, cybersecurity is a top priority and legal firms will invest in stringent cybersecurity systems. New cybersecurity legislation has been implemented by the EU to minimise cyberattacks and breaches.
5. Employment Law. The rise in hybrid and remote working trends means there is a demand for new legislation to protect people working within these models. Changes in legislation for maternity leave and parental rights concerning work have also been put forward. Changes to protect workers from redundancy and harassment at work are also pending.
6. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO). As legal experts struggle to manage workloads, LPO will become a common business practice. It involves contracting local legal experts to conduct time-consuming legal tasks like research, document review, and court appearances. It frees up time to let legal professionals focus on more urgent cases and tasks.
7. Recruitment. Like many other industries, the legal sector is finding the recruitment and retention of legal experts challenging. Remote working helped to remove geographical barriers and has given legal professionals wider employment opportunities. Consequently, legal companies have had to optimise working conditions and increase salaries to compete with other firms for new recruits.
8. EU Sustainability Regulations. The EU has introduced new sustainability reporting requirements for 2023 in a bid to counter climate change and sustainable business development. Legal teams will have to stay abreast of new developments and advise their clients of changes in law and reporting directives. Legal action regarding environmental issues is likely to increase.
9. Compliance. 2023 will be an important year for compliance regulations with the new EU Whistleblowing Directive changes. This will mean big changes afoot for companies across the EU. Legal teams will need to guide and direct clients through the changes.
10. The EU AML Package. The new legislation to tackle money laundering in the EU and mitigate terrorist financing adopted early in 2023 will commence and companies will start to prepare to meet conditions for total implementation by 2026. The regulation will introduce several new processes and generate changes to help close loopholes and eliminate incidences of money laundering.
11. Volatile Economy. Rising inflation rates and the cost of living crisis have impacted many businesses and families and have affected the housing market. The demand for new houses and property sales has decreased leading to a decline in the need for conveyancing services. Legal companies are under pressure to cut costs and increase profit margins to stay competitive.
12. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Legal organisations will continue their efforts to attract diverse employees to their firms. There will be a bigger focus on intersectionality (how diverse identities overlap and impact their experience) and the potential and challenges it brings. Companies will place a greater emphasis on including and valuing diverse professionals and creating conditions and team-building activities that are really effective.
13. Remote and Hybrid Working. Remote and hybrid working have become norms in many professions. The legal sector, like many others, will focus on optimising conditions and ways of working for their staff and clients in 2023 and beyond.
What can legal firms do today to stay competitive in 2023?
To navigate the complex business and financial landscape and contend with ever-changing laws and regulations law firms today must come up with innovative and creative solutions. Investing in modern technology and AI must be a priority. Attracting and retaining staff and accommodating the needs of the younger Gen Z entrants to the workforce is also critical.
The legal landscape is constantly evolving, with new laws, regulations, and court decisions shaping how individuals and organisations interact with each other and with the government. As we approach 2023, several legal trends are likely to have a significant impact on the legal industry and beyond.
From the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in legal services to the continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion, these trends will shape the way lawyers and legal professionals do their jobs and influence the outcomes of legal disputes in the future.