With the holidays approaching, we look forward to the start of a new year. Once again, anything is possible. It’s a time to think big thoughts. What will this New Year hold?

Through the end of 2012, Legal Current will feature predictions from leaders across the legal business of Thomson Reuters – an answer to the following question:

What do you see as a significant trend for the legal marketplace in 2013?

First on deck is Chang Wang, chief research and academic officer:

“The legal marketplace will continue to be globalized, and the legal professionals will have to struggle to deal with the challenges presented by this globalization. It is predictable that the development of the law will be behind the reality of globalization in the coming year.

International firms will continue to handle multi-national mergers and complex, multi-jurisdictional business transactions; domestic firms will aspire to go international by wading into the water of cross-border transactions, or by dealing with issues related to the acquisition of domestic businesses by foreign investors; and some legal services will continue to be transferred offshore.

The rapid development of technology and the integration of global economic systems will generate more and more legal issues: miscommunication; choice of law; data security and cyber espionage; export control; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); and unprecedented, potential human rights violations – Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA). All these will challenge existing processes and protocols for managing international transactions and enterprises, and will change the way in which we perceive and calculate the benefits of globalization. Furthermore, fundamental tensions among different ideological and political systems will continue to play a larger-than-anticipated role in economic affairs, creating even more complications and uncertainties intra legem, legally speaking.”

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