2017 will be recorded in the annals as a period of significant uncertainty. Donald Trump's inauguration following his largely unexpected election victory and the UK prime minister’s triggering of Article 50 in order to begin the process of leaving the EU were just two of a host of developments that created a climate of political and economic instability,with many legal professionals wondering what effect these events would have on their businesses. Now that the year is behind us, it is clear that once the initiatives settled, the impact so far on the legal sector has not been all that disruptive. Although firms have exercised caution, it seems that, on the whole, it has largely been a case of business as usual.
Most experts failed to successfully predict the outcome of either of these significant votes, showing just how difficult it can be to accurately forecast future events.However, there have been a number of notable trends and patterns in the sector that we think will continue into 2018.Artificial intelligence (AI) and the rise of technology is one, as is the increasingly regulatory environment in which legal professionals must operate. London arms of US firms are moving from strength to strength, and certain geographic regions such as Singapore and Germany are seeing much brisker activity. And although Brexit negotiations are ongoing, lawyers are increasingly open to the idea of working in other parts of Europe and beyond.In this report, we will focus on a number of key global jurisdictions of interest and outline which major trends and developments our recruiters observed in 2017, before predicting how we anticipate the landscape will look in 2018. Firms that can anticipate the challenges and prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunities will be the most competitive going forward.