DON’T GO THERE – Law firms grew profitability in 2021 because of mandates to work remotely. But, as Law.com’s Justin Henry reports, net income in 2022 dropped among the Am Law 100 in large part because of the return of travel expenses. This year, continuing profit pressures could force more law firms to start doing insane things like requiring lawyers to justify their business trips before agreeing to pay for them (!). Hogan Lovells, for example, which used to pay for some 95 professionals to travel to Tokyo a year, has asked partners to re-think their spending on in-person engagements with clients based on the classic business principle of cost versus return, CEO Miguel Zaldivar told Henry.
PRIVATE EYES – Per the Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual survey, cybersecurity regulation and compliance and data privacy remain the top issues ranked by chief legal officers as the most critical aspects to the overall business. As Law.com’s Heather Nevitt writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, a significant reason for this concern is the ever-growing patchwork that is data privacy law in the U.S. Privacy lawyers warn that this latest trend is a new chapter for data privacy compliance. What legal teams need to do to effectively address these challenges around shifting compliance and data privacy regulations is to have “data sustainability” woven into their organization’s governance framework, according to Andrew Serwin, Chair of DLA Piper’s Data Protection, Privacy and Security Practice. To receive the Law.com Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.