Thank you to our members and their clients for participating in the WLG Fall eConference. Once again, we were overwhelmed by the new connections and interesting conversations that took place over the past three weeks.
Many sessions were recorded and are viewable from the main eConference page, along with presentations and weekly summaries. We will be reaching out to members in the coming weeks inviting conversations and feedback to further build on the success of our online programs. Please feel free to contact a WLG Staff Team member anytime with comments or ideas.
Stay connected by subscribing to WLG communications, joining practice groups or forums for focused networking, and participating in upcoming webinars and online events. If we don't see you in person, see you again online soon!
Law Firm Management Today: Dealing with Today's Challenges and Positioning the Firm for the Future
- Lawyer engagement - Attendees shared activities their firms are doing to keep lawyers engaged with each other and firm culture alive. Surprisingly firms who have most lawyers back in the office mentioned struggling with engagement due to the physical limitations required to be in the office safely.
- Lawyer development - All remain concerned about the long-term development and satisfaction of younger lawyers who are unable to physically be near more senior lawyers.
- Lawyer well-being - Mental health remains top of mind for firm management. Multiple firms mentioned virtual programs that provide information and therapy, something many of their lawyers have taken advantage of. Normalizing the conversation is seen as important.
Brexit: Navigating a New Relationship
- For clients, this is a damage of limitations exercise. There is a gap in preparation for business without knowing what the government is going to do. Whether there is a deal or not, there will be significant paperwork for business and incomplete logistics.
- If Britain leaves the EU without a trade agreement, there must be a hard border from a trade perspective. Politically, that's at odds with the Good Friday Agreement.
- There is next to nothing on services in the deal, which will affect lawyers, consultants, financial services, etc. This is problematic for UK lawyers who advise EU clients as it now becomes a matter of local bar rules whether they can advise in that country.
- Skilled workers often come from outside of the UK, which could present sectoral challenges for business.
M&A Strategies for the Acquisition of Insolvent/Financially Distressed Targets
- Panelists discussed the basic mechanics of secured creditor financing and how a debtor-in-possession financing is advantageous for the lender in a subsequent sale process.
- There are differences between when a distressed company runs its own sale process and when the process is overseen by a trustee or third-party fiduciary.
- Remedial legislation is loosening restrictions on unauthorized trading during the pandemic in some jurisdictions.
- When distressed assets are rapidly losing value, there is a need for a highly expedited sale and there are limitations associated with that.
Key Contact Partners Lounge
- The largest group of any KCP lounge this week. The discussion began and ended with thoughts on the US election, with a fair amount of time in the middle talking about countries’ domestic policies on foreign direct investment. If you enjoyed the KCP lounge, be sure to register for a Sip & Chat session in December.
Venture Capital: Global State of the Market
- There is a lot of money in the market that is finding its way to promising startups.
- As a consequence of the pandemic, a lot of VC investors do not shy away from taking over majority share in startups.
- There has been more of a shift to later-stage deals and a drop in early-stage deals as a result of COVID-19.
- FinTech, telemedicine, online retail, edtech, biotech and anything related to cyber are all hot areas for VC investment.
- There is a robust IPO market in the US and China, as non-traditional players are buying up shares in late-stage startups and forcing them to go public.
What Happens Next? Election and Transition Amidst Crises - Global Implications for 2021
- The US is facing four simultaneous crises: racial justice, pandemic, economy, and election legitimacy. The country remains divided on many of these critical issues.
- The President-elect's first year in office will focus on the five P's of Presidential responsibility: personnel (filling cabinet positions), process (team cohesion), priorities (restoring alliances and addressing the crises at hand), politics (a unified or divided senate depends on Georgia runoffs) and personal (popularity ratings).
- President Trump did President-elect Biden a big favor renegotiating NAFTA in that there is no aching set of trade concerns concerning Latin America. His biggest challenge will be the heightened expectations on immigration and asylum seekers — two separate, but connected issues.
- The bipartisan support for emergency relief efforts signals that the economy faces challenges. Things are currently too unstable to predict the future economy and it is expected that further government intervention may be required.
- President-elect Biden's position on China will likely be similar to that of President Trump, with tough action on cyber espionage and rhetoric on trade; however, while trying to address legitimate concerns without fear.
World Law Group Manager, Events & Member Programs
+1 202 904 2477