For commercial lawyers, the practice of law is transforming. Acting as a semi-independent advisor on specialist risk and legal issues is no longer enough. Today, the business expects much broader appreciation of opportunities and challenges – and that the support and contracts produced by lawyers will directly contribute to the best possible outcome.
Lawyers are no longer operating purely at a transactional level seeking to protect assets and avoid worst-case scenarios. They are being called upon to assess the wider economic consequences of the agreements they help put in place.
Many in-house counsel – and some law firms – would argue that they have always been ‘business advisors’ and in some cases I would agree. But the demands today go much further. As trading relationships change, the nature of legal support must also change. Here are a few of the factors and examples of their impact:
1) many trading relationships now focus on longer-terms outputs…
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