In our new series The Legal Update, we look at trends and new training requirements across different sectors in the legal industry. Here, we look at company and commercial law.
New tax and insolvency rules, not to mention on-going political changes in U.S. and U.K. affecting global trade and exports have increased the demand for corporate lawyers for both local and multinational companies. Of course, it means for those providing legal services in corporate law it is more important than ever to be ahead of the curve in your expertise and resources.
Company and Commercial Law Today
Companies across the world are shoring up their corporate law resources due to significant changes in tax laws, insolvency and bankruptcy procedures, and ever-growing uncertainty about export and trade legislation in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. In-house corporate legal departments are growing rapidly and while they may be getting bigger, the emphasis is on efficiency; a larger workload means that corporate lawyers are still being required to do more, often with less.
As more companies outsource their legal work with alternative legal providers, this means that freelance lawyers have to stay on top of their game and keep up with their field. For commercial lawyers, how to keep up with company and commercial law is a must-do in their business development list.
Online Resources for Company and Commercial law
Staying abreast of these significant global shifts in the sector can be difficult when dealing with daily pressures and demands of your case workload. Whether you are looking to update your knowledge within your current area of work, or are looking to expand your expertise in order to change or broaden your career scope, there are some useful online resources to help you home in on key focus areas.
- To keep abreast of country specific corporate governance updates, often the first point of call is government websites – although they can often be time consuming to search! The gov.uk Publications section has a fairly straightforward search function allowing you to enter key words and filter by date for the latest government reports, research and guidance.
- Lexis Nexis is the go to for many corporate lawyers and compliance departments. It offers a huge range of resources on corporate law and allows you to monitor regulations and compliance programmes, plus you can track legislative activity by setting alerts.
- The European Commission publishes updates and minutes of meetings by the Informal Company Law Expert Group in its company law and corporate governance section, including a recent consultation on digital solutions and efficient cross border operations.
- Keep an eye on your local bar association’s website, most of which now offer a range of engaging and digestible media to keep you informed on the latest trends and changes in corporate and commercial law. For example, The American Bar Association has several links to online resources, such as Law Technology Today’s series of webinars focusing on legal technology such as the Cloud and mobile law offices.
- Oxford University Press have a continually updated library of legal resources for company, commercial and business law for more in depth research, including the upcoming Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law 2017-18 and Baskind Commercial Law Concentrate 4e.
- Justis is a subscription service that provides content on case law and legislation from numerous common law jurisdictions, with exclusive content not published elsewhere online. This includes a bank of commercial law cases from 1994-present.
- EY Global Updates on Corporate and Commercial Law are a good starting point to research any updates in a region that might be new to you. It breaks down new legislation and updates into summaries by country.
- The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium offers access to a range of resources for newly qualified and practicing corporate lawyers, from job descriptions to guideline documents and recommended online reading. They have also held an annual conference in the US for the past two years covering the current hot topics in the sector.
- Inner Temple Library has interactive online courses and lectures available for anyone returning to the profession or is generally looking to brush up on their expertise. Both in depth several-week long courses and short introductory tasters are available on a broad range of industry-wide topics.
Legal Workshops & Training
At Obelisk Support, we work to ensure our legal consultants stay at the top of their game, with workshops and access to training providers and courses for constant development and up to the minute knowledge.
For example, we recently held a masterclass event on getting the most out of the online legal research platform of LexisPSL. Participating in events and discussions about your sector are integral to growth as a lawyer. Sharing your own experience is as important as hearing from other experts and thought leaders, and we actively encourage thought sharing through our Friday Live events and other workshops on sector-specific topics and trends in the legal profession. We also offer our consultants a discount on MBL legal courses online.