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Business Law Issues and Trends

— May 28, 2021

Actions to improve the overall practice, such as the potential limits on billable hours and the possibilities of legal services outsourcing are also expected to make more waves this year. 

The landscapes of business and commerce are shifting. For instance, the mass digitization of various industries was inevitable, even without the pressing motivation of the global health crisis. However, it also meant the emergence of new legal issues and necessities. It is no surprise that most of the issues and trends that we are witnessing are mostly treading on unexplored terrain.

This also doesn’t mean that older issues will suddenly resolve themselves. Legal discussions debating between tax avoidance vs. tax evasion will still continue. For the purposes of this article, though, we are going to focus on emerging trends more.

Predictive Legal Analytics

Here’s a trend that legal experts are really looking forward to. Predictive legal analytics is the use of collected data to determine a smart prediction on how a certain case will turn out. This is especially helpful for new entrepreneurs starting a business who want to be aware of the legal issues that they may possibly face later on. 

Other interesting features include data-driven estimates on how much a client would spend on a particular case. A firm can even use the results to formulate a fixed-free proposal.

AI Integration

Artificial intelligence integration usually goes hand-in-hand with smart analytics already. However, we do expect legal technology to further advance in this regard. It has a wide range of legal applications, after all.

For instance, digital data collection and analysis have reached a point that now exceeds human capacity. Integrating AI into your data analysis will help lawyers in their research and due diligence.

Machine learning; image by Salvatore P, via Pexels, CC0.
Machine learning; image by Salvatore P, via Pexels, CC0.

There are also legal platforms that are capable of going through and analyzing legal briefs. They can even help in spotting content mistakes and list down actionable steps for your legal staff. 

Client Collaboration

With more information being increasingly available, it’s also no wonder why clients are calling for more legal transparency from their partnered firms. Business owners don’t just take the passenger’s seat anymore. They want to play a more active role, especially when it comes to making decisions.

Because of this, digital legal platforms will become more increasingly accessible. Cybersecurity will be a priority. It will also necessitate the transition towards a paperless system or cloud technology to make access more convenient.

Compliance Updates

The growing digital needs of both industries and their clients will call for more legal updates regarding compliance. Let’s be honest. There are currently lapses in the system that anyone can exploit. 

Some of the most heated arguments currently surround the issue of vaccines. Can an employer require an employee to get one? What are the legal and ethical factors needed to be considered?

Overseas compliance is also a relevant issue with the overwhelming increase of remote workers. For instance, there are European countries that practice the “right of disconnection”. This means that gig workers have the right to disconnect online from their employer beyond the regular working hours. What does this mean for both employees and employers?


Most legal documents already have a set template. Meanwhile, there are a lot of business law tasks that can be deemed menial and repetitive. This makes automation one of the most sought-after tech features by business law firms. 

Imagine being able to free your manpower to focus on more important tasks such as researching for a case or improving customer engagement.

It will also help streamline your legal processes, allowing you to free valuable resources such as time and money. The added efficiency also promises to help increase revenue in the coming years.

Intellectual Property Issues

In relation to data analytics and automation, here’s an area that both technologies will soon change: patent application.

Each case is always time-sensitive, yet it requires long hours of research involving thousands of documents. Fortunately, there are legal platforms equipped with algorithms that can significantly shorten the process (some even cutting down the week-long patent searches to getting results in mere seconds). 

Increased Demand for Legal Services

There is a steady increase in the number of new business owners in recent months. It seems that the pandemic also motivated people to favor self-employment more than the traditional setup.

Why not? The internet made both customers and suppliers more accessible than ever before. 

This growth will also reflect an increased demand for legal services as well, particularly those who specialize in business law and cyber law.

Mergers and Acquisition

The rise and fall of the world economy also signal an increase in mergers and acquisition among businesses.

Are you looking for a particular area in business law to focus on? Then this field is probably for you. Experts say that this can potentially be a growth field for a lot of law firms, not just here in the country but also abroad.

Limits on Billable Hours

What follows an increase in demand? That’s right, more work. As if the load isn’t stressful enough as it is. Traditionally, lawyers bill around 2000 hours annually to earn the expected salary. Judicial bodies recognize that this severely impacts an associate’s work and life balance. Hence, efforts to limit billable hours are currently in the works.


Would the prospective limits on billable hours mean that law firms should limit the number of their clients as well? Probably not. An increasing number of law firms are now implementing legal process outsourcing. 

Apparently, as with other industries, outsourcing allows firms to lower expenses, increase efficiency, and even boost profit while providing labor for legal workers not only within the United States but in other countries.

This also suggests a growth in the paralegal profession and legal part-timers.

To Sum up

From emerging technologies, the ongoing digitization of commerce, and the pandemic, we can certainly expect an exciting year in business law. 

Legal experts expect a significant increase in the demand for emerging legal technologies like AI integration, automation, and cloud storage. 

Actions to improve the overall practice, such as the potential limits on billable hours and the possibilities of legal services outsourcing are also expected to make more waves this year. 

We just hope that our lineup has given you an idea of the aspects of your practice to focus on. Good luck!

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