The legal landscape in Nigeria is undergoing a transformative phase in 2024, characterized by swift technological advancements and significant shifts in legal practices.

This pivotal era brings forth both challenges and opportunities for legal professionals and firms alike.

“As we enter 2024, we are witnessing a seismic shift in the legal sector, driven by cutting-edge technologies and a redefinition of legal practice. This evolution is not merely a trend but a fundamental transformation, shaping new paradigms in how legal services are delivered and managed,” notes Ashleigh Goldberg, Director at Lateral Link.

1. The Influence of AI and GenAI in Legal Operations

Michael Heise, haistack.ai CTO: “In 2024, the greatest AI influence in the legal industry will continue to be Large Language Models (LLMs). Law firms will look to harness this power with LLMs designed specifically for their firm. Challenges still lie ahead, but the technology is too transformative to be ignored.”

Analysis: Everlaw predicts significant applications of GenAI in legal practice, with AI technologies automating up to 50% of legal tasks in corporate transactions.

2. ESG and Climate Litigation

Zain Atassi, Principal, Lateral Link Chicago: “2024 will see a rise in ESG litigation, reflecting the growing importance of environmental and social governance in corporate strategies.”

Trend Overview: The PHA Group reports an anticipated surge in ESG-related litigation, driven by increased corporate responsibility and public awareness.

3. Evolving Billing Models and Litigation Funding

Lauren Smith, Principal, Lateral Link Partner Practice Group: “The trend towards alternative fee arrangements is likely to redefine how legal services are delivered as client demands focus more on value.”

Market Insight: The Law Society Gazette highlights a shift towards alternative fee arrangements, such as flat or fixed fees, with flat fees becoming increasingly popular.

4. Cybersecurity Law

Romina Filippou, Senior Director, Lateral Link Northeast: “The rapid evolution of digital threats is making cybersecurity law a critical and growing practice area.”

Industry Perspective: The rise in digital threats and the evolving landscape of internet privacy and data protection laws underscore the growing importance of cybersecurity law.

5. Energy & Natural Resources Law

Susan Agopian, Principal, Lateral Link California: “As the world shifts towards renewable energy, the legal aspects of these resources are becoming more pertinent.”

Sector Analysis: The legal complexities surrounding renewable energy sources drive demand for specialized legal expertise.

The legal industry in 2024 promises exciting developments fueled by technological innovations and changing market dynamics.

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