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Industry Future Outlook

Real Estate & Commercial Lease

Last week, [i.o.h] organisationsutveckling asked Elin Johansson about her industry outlook. Below, she answers five questions regarding trends and external factors that the future is facing.

The article was first published here.

Which trends do you see as having the most impact on our society in the next 3 years?

  • Inflation
  • War in Europe
  • Increased unemployment and consequently reduced consumption

What consequences will these trends have?

Inflation and war in Europe pose uncertainties for companies, especially in the construction sector. This is due to increased material prices and fewer job opportunities as clients hesitate to invest when the market is unstable. The economic instability results in increased caution across most industries.

Which external factors currently have the most influence on your industry?

  • Inflation
  • Increased demand for specialists
  • Sustainability as a driving force for young people in choosing workplaces.


What consequences will these factors have?

Inflation and war in Europe
The most evident effect of the changing economic market for us lawyers is the demand for other types of legal services. As lawyers, we act in the interests of our clients and are therefore affected by the state of our clients' markets.

For example, the number of disputes tends to increase during downturns. In a time when companies risk bankruptcy, we increasingly work preventatively, including minimizing risks in ongoing projects. We work closely with our clients, and it has never been more important for us lawyers to consider our clients' business perspectives in our legal advice.

One observation is that our expertise is sought earlier in the process, particularly in my specialized area, public procurement. Submitting well-prepared and competitive bids is crucial, especially considering that even public clients seem to be reducing the number of projects. Therefore, many turn to lawyers to leverage our expertise during the bidding process.

Increased demand for specialists
As society evolves, the various legal areas have increased in both scope and complexity. For example, the amount of specialized legislation regulating specific areas has grown in recent years. Knowing a lot about a specific area is now more valuable than having broad but shallow knowledge. The number of law firms that offer comprehensive legal advice but are relatively small in size is decreasing, particularly in urban areas.

Sustainability as a driving force
Lawyers and attorneys are the most important resources for law firms. It is not difficult to understand that a satisfied, loyal, and well-being employee performs better, which is in the interest of both employers and clients.

Sustainable work environments are increasingly being discussed among both young and experienced professionals in the industry. My experience is that we now have higher expectations of our employers, while employers are responsive and consistently prioritize workplace environment.

The younger generation places high demands on professional development, well-being, and flexibility. As demands for flexibility increase, the industry must find new ways for knowledge transfer and discussions that would typically occur in the office.

An observation, and hope, is that law firms will have to compete to be the most sustainable workplace.

What advice would you give to a younger colleague in your industry?

The industry's culture is changing positively in terms of sustainability. Many law firms actively work towards sustainable work environments. Therefore, my advice is to dare to demand from your employer. There are plenty of law firms, including my own, that actively prioritize well-being and sustainability.

At the same time, it's important to understand what it means to work in a law firm. There are periods where the workload can be intense, and you must be honest with yourself about whether you are ready to work harder when needed. It should be noted that for those who enjoy it, the work is rewarding, challenging, and educational.

My most important tip is to shadow a more experienced colleague who cares about you and your interests. Find a mentor who contributes to your professional development and can provide support in navigating new situations that arise at the beginning of your career.