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Predictions for the Legal Marketplace in 2016

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

Dominic Clarke, Blaney McMurtry

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Dominic Clarke is a senior partner in the insurance group of Toronto-based law firm Blaney McMurtry. He discusses the impact of consolidation in the insurance industry in Canada and the key challenges for those remaining in the market. 

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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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W11 1QQ, UK