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Predictions for the Legal Marketplace in 2016


As the year draws to a close, attention turns to 2016 and what it will bring for the legal profession. Recent years have seen a high level of lateral movement, major law firm collapses and merger mania, so what can we expect in the year ahead?  Who’s Who Legal decided to ask the experts: a selection of thought leaders including private practitioners and in-house counsel from around the world. Here are their predictions for 2016.

Eduardo Leite, Baker & McKenzie

Eduardo Leite

Eduardo Leite, chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s executive committee, expects to see “more change and more competition in the legal market” as the competing pressures firms face become “even more intense”.

Gretchen Bellamy and Ingrid Busson, In-house Counsel

Gretchen Bellamy, Ingrid Busson

Gretchen Bellamy, a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for a global retailer and formerly in-house counsel for the same, and Ingrid Busson, in-house counsel with a global financial services firm headquartered in New York City, ask: “Without training where will all the new lawyers go?”

Joseph Forte, DLA Piper


Joseph Forte, a partner at DLA Piper in New York, explores the growing trend towards firms realigning themselves across industry sectors as they look to offer clients a service that sets them apart from the competition. 

Clemens Heusch, Nokia


Clemens Heusch, head of European litigation at Nokia, says: “2016 will herald a new round of smartphone patent disputes.” Heusch explains the impact the recent CJEU decision in Huawei v ZTE will have on the patent market in the coming year. 

Mark Beardsworth and Tom Epps, Brown Rudnick


Mark Beardsworth and Tom Epps are partners in Brown Rudnick’s white-collar defence and government investigations group in London. They predict another “very busy year for international white collar practices”. 

Juan García Montúfar, Anglo American


Juan García Montúfar, head of legal, Peru, at Anglo American, foresees “reduced earnings for outside counsel” yet an “increase in M&A work” due to asset divestment, as global mining companies set about redesigning their structures in 2016 to face the current economic challenges impacting the industry. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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