DO NOT GO THERE – Law firms grew profitability in 2021 due to mandates to work remotely. But, as Law.com’s Justin Henry reports, net income in 2022 among the Am Law 100 fell in large part due to reimbursement of travel expenses. This year, continued pressure on profits could force more law firms to start doing crazy things like requiring lawyers to justify their business travel Before agree to pay for them (!). Hogan Lovells, for example, which used to pay for about 95 professionals to travel to Tokyo a year, has asked partners to rethink their spending on personal engagements with clients based on the classic business principle of cost versus return, CEO Miguel Zaldivar told Henry.
PRIVATE EYES – According to the Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual survey, cybersecurity regulation and compliance and data protection remain the top topics ranked by chief counsel as the most critical aspects for the overall business. As Law.com’s Heather Nevitt writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, a major reason for this concern is the ever-growing patchwork of data protection law in the United States. Privacy advocates warn that this latest trend is a new chapter for data protection compliance. What legal teams need to do to effectively address these challenges around shifting compliance and data protection 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 delivered directly to your inbox each week, click here.